This month I wanted to highlight my friend Vicente. We call him Tocayo which means twin (a reference in Tijuana if someone has your same name) because our other Tijuana ministry partner is also named Vicente. This Vicente is the one whose home we frequent (about 6 days a week), as he and his wife Lupe, provide a place for us to drop off and pick up food, as well as store it for brief periods. They (including their children who we have watched grow up these past 9 years) help us sort, load the trucks, and distribute food to the people.
“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things passed away, behold, new things have come.” II Corinthians 5:17
My partner, Greg, met Vicente over 10 years ago, when his wife started coming to one of our food distributions, not far from their home. She, a faithful hard worker, very soon began helping sort and distribute the food. Vicente started showing up, but kept his distance, perhaps being a little skeptical at first. Eventually, Greg won him over, as he too started helping. Greg’s consistency with showing up ,but also accepting Vicente in the place that he was, also led to winning him over for the Lord. Vicente’s transformation was quick and beautiful. He, himself, will tell you that he was a very stern man who did his job, provided for his family, but rewarded himself with partying and hanging out with his friends. After coming to Christ he became a family man, and equally was proud to be a part of the ministry. He opened up his home to us. Let me tell you it is not without sacrifice! We are often there at all hours of the day, and occupying a great amount of space in their limited home. But the Lord has met their faithfulness. Vicente will tell you that the business that both he and his wife run, of clothes alterations, furniture and auto upholstery, and custom made accessories, has grown and been a blessing to his growing family. We have been honored to bring him work from our friends in San Diego, but also, word of mouth has brought him much business from around his neighborhood. Vicente and Lupe are so generous to us, as they often insist on doing a lot of our personal alterations at no charge. I usually have to argue with him that it is his work and does not need to be a gift. But I also recognize that I can not rob them of their desire to give back and be blessed in doing so! So it becomes a good battle of who can bless the other more! I can tell you, we often feel the most blessed!
You may also remember it was their daughter Angelica (photo to the right with her dad), who had cancer 6 years ago, at 11 years old. Glory to God, she is still healthy and thriving! She is in private school, where we are honored to sponsor her, after she was cut from public school due to the lottery system (used to combat the over crowdedness of schools). We were also able to sponsor their youngest son in school for a season.
Vicente and I are the same age, though I love to kid him about being a few months older. But as I look at the photo (below) with both our moms, I think about how God knew that these 2 little boys growing up on opposite sides of a continent, would one day be good friends, and work side by side in His Kingdom for His glory!
Please pray for Vicente as he does have diabetes. We make sure he has all the materials needed to check his blood every day, as well as syringes for his insulin shots. Thank you for helping us take care of this faithful family, our friends, whom often tell us “mi casa es su casa”.