Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hot Summer Night

After weeks of unusually cool and cloudy weather, Tijuana is finally feeling like it normally does in July: hot. And for this night in particular, humid as well.

We are in downtown Tijuana -- properly known as Zona Norte -- with the DTS students, as is our custom on every Wednesday night, providing food for the homeless people in this urban park, and building relationships with them and their children.

On the north side of this tiny, mostly-concrete park, the traffic on the Via Rapida races by, oblivious to our presence. And towering on the edge of Via Rapida, of course, is the razor-sharp sentinel wall that divides Mexico from the United States.

As I pause and take in the scene around me, I notice the pain in my lower back -- partly from my recent unsolicited acquisition of 'shingles', and partly from picking up garbage and broken needles for the past hour or so -- and I'm struck by the stories coalescing all around me.

DTS students and staff -- all from widely divergent backgrounds -- getting out of their comfort zones and serving cheerfully in a dirty, squalid, needle-infested concrete-and-sketchy-palm-tree park shoved up next to a busy thorough-fare and The Fence.

Watching as the perception of the people in the park morphs from being an anonymous sub-category called "the homeless", to becoming "people", with hopes, dreams, children, smiles, and laughter.

And the children: just playing like any normal child would do. Watching some of our students -- who just a few weeks ago were graduating from high school and having proms -- running, playing, laughing, holding and at times crying over the children.

The people, lining up to receive the hot 'n' hearty soup prepared earlier, and then hanging around with us afterwards, listening to some of our young musicians play some songs. Talking and laughing with us, as we all watch a few of the students and staff perform a silly children's drama -- La Casa Se Quema (The House Is On Fire) -- that the children absolutely love.

I need to tell more stories about this DTS; they are a remarkable group. But for this hot summer's night in downtown Tijuana, I just felt a great sense of gratitude for what God is doing in them, and through them as they serve.


  1. May God bless your work, old friend.

  2. I'm glad to hear what God is doing in this DTS! They are lucky to have you as a leader! I pray that God would continue to bless you, your family, and the DTS. Love you man!