“Comedor Solidaridad” is a feeding program sponsored by the Mexican State Government. Solidaridad is in a poor pseudo-urbanized zone in Mexicali. It stands right at the edge of the city, where the cost of living and violence levels are like that of an urban zone, but the resources and job opportunities like those of a rural area. It’s a community in great need.
The current State Government has made "Soli", as they call it, a key area for social development, thus facilitating and hosting family oriented activities and programs at various sites throughout the community. Feeding programs are one of the vital changes they’ve implemented in Soli. Teaming up with Outside the Bowl is truly a God appointed partnership.
Dalia is the leader and coordinator at “Comedor Solidaridad”. She says that although this place is not technically established to preach the gospel or evangelize as many ministry feeding programs do, it is a place where the love and nature of God is shared through the testimony of those who are believers. It is similar to the motivational story of Nehemiah and the wall builders.
Like God’s chosen people, they gathered from all the areas where they were ‘scattered’ to a community in a place they could call home. Like the temple and the walls of the city, they found that land ‘crumbled’, having rebuild from the ground up. And like the Persians, the Mexican State Government has given them freedom to carry out their beliefs at the feeding program. Therefore the name of this comedor is very fitting: Solidaridad, which means "unity".
“Once they heard there was food, people came right away” says Dalia. “They were in need of food, but we saw they were actually in need of much more. They kept coming back. They started arriving earlier and staying even after they'd eaten. First I thought they stayed because they expected to receive more food but soon I realized that wasn't the case. They wanted to stay for fellowship. We have formed good friendships and we spend many afternoons sharing about our experiences. Those who believe in God share their testimonies, those who don’t ask questions all the time. They are interested; they even ask for prayer. This feeding program has been a great blessing for all of us and I love having them in my home. I feel like I have a party each day they come and we eat together. The people stay expecting nothing extra, but they do receive much more.”
In this way, “Comedor Solidaridad” has begun rebuilding from the inside out. “We have sought after programs to help the most needy have decent roofs on their homes, or air conditioning units for the elderly who suffer greatly in the summer. We try to secure school supplies and uniforms for the elementary school kids and even set up a neighborhood watch to see that the children get home safely after school.” Like in the days of Nehemiah, God is giving favor before the authorities and secular resources are being used for Godly purposes. Stone by Stone and brick by brick, they are the wall builders and restorers of Soli. “We thank Outside the Bowl for partnering with the government, and we thank the people who serve us with love and encouragement. They have motivated us to speak from our hearts about God to those who don’t know him and to act with love in their favor.”
We see a reflection of Nehemiah leading the restoration of the city of Jerusalem, a solid story of encouragement, because that is what the people of “Comedor Solidaridad” have done. They have used personal testimonies and story telling as tools through which they can freely speak about God’s Glory. In fact, Dalia says, “we want to build a wall, like a mural, where we can recount of our stories of God’s provision and faithfulness, so all can see and have faith that God will continue to provide and restore our lives.”
Written by Vianney A.E.