I AM THANKFUL FOR THE PEOPLE OF ZONA NORTE.
800 pieces of marinated chicken, 700 + homeless people joined together in a refugee camp for deportees, 111 free haircut and shaves came together to make up our celebration of Dia de Gracias yesterday.
While it is not traditional to celebrate Thanksgiving here in Mexico, we are creating that tradition. The area of Zona Norte, right a long the San Diego/Tijuana border is home to thousands of deportees, many of them drug addicts or alcoholics and most of them scheming for the right time to try to cross illegally back into the states. An organization has secured tents for some of these people to live in, in a concrete park but many of them roam the streets.
We visit them every week in this place, usually we bring a simple meal of soup and bread but yesterday we went all out: 800 pieces of marinated chicken, rice, corn, beans, tortillas and bread, and countless cupcakes. It was a feast! Each person sat at a table, while a waiter (one of us) brought them their plate and a cup of juice. How awesome it was to serve them in that way! To honor them with a sit down dinner, to humble ourselves before them and spoil them, to be the tangible hands and feet of Jesus in such a hurting place.
My favorite part is simply talking to them, letting their voices be heard, and showing them I care. God so desires a renewed relationship with each and every one of them and we are seeking God to see them as he does. Even when my Spanish is horrible, or they are speaking gibberish because of the high they are on, it is a holy time and I look forward to visiting with them every Wednesday.
We are seeing the Spirit of God falling down on that place, the darkness is fleeing: We had over 50 people accept Jesus yesterday!
I so desperately want to see them redeemed, walking fully in the promises and the freedom of God’s love. There is beauty in that place amongst all the darkness and the sin and the demons. They are simply children who have lost their way, who have experienced things that I cannot even come to understand no many how many times I hear there testimonies, things that only Jesus can heal. But I have peace in the fact that I serve an all-powerful God who is faithful, who is merciful, who is slow to anger and quick to love.
I definitely don’t deserve God’s mercy and neither do they- but God freely gives it.
That is what I am most thankful for on this Dia de Gracias.