Report from Tijuana Oblate Youth Ministry

Tijuana, Mexico

By David Rizo

“We are reminded to always listen”

Michelle Hurtado and family received a new roof thanks to the roofing project through the Oblate parish.  Michelle has been helping with SEARCH retreats at the parish for 4 years.  It all started with Adrian, her nephew and a young guitarist and Taekwondo instructor at the parish, attended his first SEARCH retreat some 6 years ago.  His life was changed and now thanks to the scholarship program he is in his last year of nursing.  His mother was so impressed, she attended a retreat the next year and her life changed.  That led to Michelle, Adrian’s aunt, next going to a retreat, and having a similar experience.

Michelle’s husband, Raul, was a taxi driver.  The family was doing well enough to start building a masonry house for their three children.  But Raul developed diabetes (all too common here).  Not having insurance and not wanting to incur the expense of the medications, he eventually became depressed, disabled, and unable to work.

Adrian winning his first taekwondo competition

“They are so thankful to have a decent roof”

When we visited the family, we first thought the family was doing too well to qualify for a new roof, since they owned a masonry house.  However, we learned of their plight to make ends meet.  Michelle has been cutting hair in their front yard to help with expenses.  She hopes the business can grow to where she can open a salon.  Once again, we are reminded to always listen because what one sees can be deceiving.

Mrs Estefania Becerril is a 39-year-old single mother in the Oblate Maria Inmaculada parish.  She provides for her family by cleaning different offices and private homes.  Six years ago she attended a SEARCH retreat because she had just become divorced and was struggling to support her family.  It was just what she needed to get a new perspective on life.  Eventually her 16 year old son also attended a retreat and that led to them beginning to pull together.  He attends school and is a big help at home, having changed from being rebellious.  Estefania also has a 7 year old daughter who is a delight to be around because she is always smiling.

The family had managed to start making payments on a modest house they can call their own.  They hope to pay it off in 11 years.  Our parish roofing project has helped by providing a new roof.  Estefania says they are so thankful to have a decent roof that just seems to make life bright.