As we drove the washed out dirt roads on the way to Gracia Del Calvario, I was once again amazed that this degree of poverty exists just 15 minutes south of our border.
On Sundays, this small church is filled with the sounds of worship crackling through an antiquated system. But on weekdays, you hear the chatter of children as a handful of mothers serve bowls of hot, nutritious food to the kids that race to the tables after school. These meals have just been delivered from the OTB Tijuana Super Kitchen and are the reason Alma Aguilar and her family started going to this church in the first place. These meals ensured that Alma’s children would get at least one great meal a day and eventually she asked if she could serve as a way to say thanks. Alma told me, “We’re growing up a lot. We’ve started to know more about Jesus and changing our lives. Right now we just wake up and thank God for everything we have.”
Jose Luis and Cindy Pesina pastor Gracia del Calvario. The Pesinas coordinate three feeding programs that serve OTB meals in impoverished areas surrounding Vista del Valle. They eagerly shared their passion with us for what they do by stating, “It is a fact that a child needs nutritious food to do well in school. We believe that faith, education, and food all go together to help raise godly leaders!”, and the fruit of their ministry is clearly evident in these small communities.
This little church of Gracia del Calvario is experiencing amazing growth and impact because of what is happening outside the bowl. OTB meals draw kids who are simply hungry to step foot into this church. They are welcomed with open arms and relationships are made. Hearts are then open to hear about Jesus, and parents are open to hear from anyone who is loving their children like that. “We share about Jesus in the three neighborhoods that we feed in and then pick them up on Sundays and bring them to our church in Vista del Valle,” says the Pesinas. Cindy continues, “People are changing. Their lives are changing. The kids are getting educated. The mothers and fathers are following Jesus. We’re seeing families change.”
This small church on the outskirts of Tijuana is having a huge impact on hundreds of lives like Alma and her children.
It is because I have seen, and believe in, this ministry that I have no hesitation in asking if you want to be a part of it. During this season of gift giving and generosity, would you make a year-end gift to Outside the Bowl so we can equip more ministries like this to feed the hungry?
Or consider becoming a KITCHEN BUILDER, Outside the Bowl’s sustaining supporters who give on a monthly basis. A generous donor has stepped up and is matching all new monthly donations, up to $5,000 every month, for all of 2018. See your gift go further as a KITCHEN BUILDER!
Thank you for partnering with Outside the Bowl in feeding the hungry ... body and soul.
Blessings during this Christmas season,
Chris Brown Jae & Debra
Board Chair Founders