Snapshots from the Tijuana Mission

It’s the First Time in 20 Years They Have a Decent Roof

Rosario Luna is a 66-year-old lady who lives with her 38-year-old son. Rosario earns a little money selling food outside her house on weekends. She must always be concerned about falling because if she broke something, healing would be complicated by her diabetes. The diabetes has also affected her vision

Rosario used to get government help to buy her medicine, but since the change in government programs, she no longer knows how to get that help. Accordingly, she has had to pay for her medicine, which is quite a burden for her. 

Rosario has helped in the parish for the last eight years, cleaning and helping serve in other capacities. However, when Covid-19 came, the parish, concerned for her health, asked her to stay home. She did not want to, but accepted it, even though it was probably a blessing given her diminishing eyesight and the danger of walking.

The Oblates of Mary Immaculate parish program receives donations specifically for putting roofs on deteriorated houses. Since receiving a roof recently, Rosario says that it’s the first time in 20 years they have a decent roof and she doesn’t have the loud noise of rain, wind flapping tarps, and buckets for catching the leaks. Now she is sleeping much more peacefully and feels it is helping her energy level.

Inviting God Into Their Marriage

Felix is a 29-year-old man who recently married the mother of his three children after nine years living together. His wife works in a factory making $100 a week and that is what the family lives on.

Felix has a kidney condition requiring him to travel for treatment three times a week over the past seven years. His wife applied to donate one of her kidneys to Felix. So far, the tests look positive, and they are working through the paperwork and need to line up blood donors to help with the cost. The Oblate parish helps by being the place where the youth come to donate blood in order to help the family. Felix recalls that he was angry at God asking “Why me?” when he was first diagnosed.

Felix says his two-year-old toddler motivates him to keep going and try to recover from his illness because he wants to always see her smiling. The family has been coming to church. The social ministers at the church encouraged them to get married.

Father Lucio Castillo, OMI, helped them with pre-marital talks. They really liked hearing that inviting God into their marriage would change things. They also liked the attention the church was giving their family. Given the urgency of the situation, Fr. Lucio was able to make the path to marriage easy and the church community rented a tuxedo for Felix and bought a modest dress for his wife. Another person donated a cake and a small reception.

Today people visit the family, bringing diapers, medicine, and other supplies. It is not a lot, but it is very welcome.

A Very Special Angel

Ángel Roberto was born on June 13, 2013, and has Down syndrome. He is a very active child who likes to eat pizza and listen to music.

His parents met in Jalisco and decided to migrate to Tijuana to have a better-quality life.

A short time later Ángel was born. From then his family has faced many challenges. His diagnosis required therapy, constant consultation and checkups, all which was very costly for his family, but Ángel was a strong motivation to keep moving forward.

Ángel’s father works in construction and sweeping streets making minimum wage, and his mother works at the swap meet. When Ángel’s younger sister was born, his mother decided to stay at home to take care of Ángel and the new baby.

Ángel started school when he was 5 years old, but it was very far from his house. Ángel’s parents found out about our program Transforming Lives With CARES, an education program for children with special needs, and decided to enroll him there as it was closer to home. More importantly they believed that Ángel would obtain quality care and education from the professors. Ángel’s mom tells us — “Ángel has had much growth since he joined the special education program with the Oblates, he is much more obedient, orderly and is able to take care of responsibilities at home.”

Ángel’s house is not in great condition. They all live in a single bedroom, measuring 9 feet by 12 feet, that is also their living room. Their bathroom is in a state that doesn’t allow them to shower or fulfill their basic necessities. For this reason, a group of volunteers has begun to collect funds to begin construction of a new room and bathroom for Ángel’s family. Ángel is a very special child and we want to be able to make his home a special place for him and his family.