Mercy at Centro de Misericordia

Natividad López is a 82 year old man who used to wander the streets begging for
food. He has now been rescued by Centro de Misericordia, where he has received warm food,
shelter and clothing, but has also experienced a wonderful example of God’s mercy.
Centro de Misericordia is a ministry that feeds the hungry and cares for the homeless. Led by
Pastor Guillermo Ortega, this ministry is held in high esteem by many including the
government in Tijuana, so much that they have decided to sponsor their mission of service
for their community. They feed everyone who comes, from children to abandoned elders-
about 60 people every day.
Mr. López is an elder who was left to his own fortune by his family after his deteriorating health deterred him from working and contributing economically. He used to be
a chauffeur in his former, healthier days. He was left with no pension and no retirement plan,
brutally dismissed by his former employer. Trying to find something to eat, he begged on the
streets of central Tijuana. However, after he was found wandering the dark roads, Centro de
Misericordia took him in and offered him a clean, warm place where he could withdraw from the cold at night and eat a hot meal. He was also provided clothing, blankets and much love by
the volunteers at the feeding program.
Mr. López was so grateful that he felt the need to offer his services in exchange for the food.
To his surprise, the volunteers at Centro de Misericordia wanted nothing more than to see
him recuperated, healthy and fed. Mr. López says “I am so blessed, I am always the first one
here. I want to be on time, something I learned as a chauffeur- punctuality was a way to honor
those around you. The meal I receive here is one of the most important parts of my day. They
have kept me from the streets, from the dangers and from begging. That makes me happy, not
having to beg for food anymore. They have no reason why they should help me and do
good for me, but they do and I am grateful.”
That is exactly what Centro de Misericordia is, a place for mercy, a place for hope. Pastor
Guillermo says “we carry on mercy to those who need it like God has mercy for us. Because
although we don't deserve it, God still reaches out with his hand, caring with love, healing our
wounds, putting clothes in our backs and food in our stomachs.” Centro de Misericordia and Outside the Bowl is a partnership that truly goes "outside the bowl."

  written by Vianney A. E.

written by Vianney A. E.