"The rats are bigger than my cat!"

By Matt Jesch, Mar 27, 2016

For several months now a teammate and I have been doing ministry in the form of carpentry classes and other things, in a drug rehab facility that sits high on a mountain inside the city limits of Guadalajara. It is called the "Mercadito."

As you turn off of the main road and begin to head up the mountain, the rough cobblestone streets look to rattle every bone in your body. The buildings are basic and run down.  You see car jumper cables attached to the main power lines up above that run down into homes so they can have power. Everywhere you look there are street dogs fighting for food scraps, kids playing in the streets without shoes, and people merely trying to survive. It is a broken, impoverished neighborhood that leaves you with a hopeless feeling. Right in the heart of all of this is where you will find the Mercadito.

There are about 12–15 people who live at the Mercadito. One day one of the men asked if we knew how to install a door. He then started to explain to us that he needed a door on the front of the room that they were living in. The room is a 15'x10' room where there is one light and one electrical outlet, no door, just a sheet covering the opening and a dirt floor. This is where he and his wife and their three kids are living.

We need a door!
As we started talking more about the door for his room, we learned that the reason he really wanted the door was to keep out the rats! He told us of nights that he would fight off the rats so that they wouldn't bite and attack his family! He said that the cat ran off one night because the rats were bigger than the cat! Can you imagine the feeling you would have not knowing how many rats you would have to fight tonight to protect your family? Think of the countless hours of sleep lost anticipating a fight and then having to try and work the next day in order to provide for your family. You can imagine how badly you would want a door!

We quickly took care of the door for them and they were so happy and grateful. This door that cost $50 dollars or so at Home Depot was a priceless item for this family. It provided a safe place for their children, a restful night without the fear of rats coming in, and peace of mind for a father trying to clean up his life and take care of his family the way God intended and created him to do. This door installation was a true blessing for us to be able to do and a very tangible way to show this family God's love.

Since then we have turned some of our efforts on trying to help them with some practical things, such as: putting a roof over their kitchen eating area to shield them from the sun and the rain, plans for installing basic electrical in all the rooms, building an outdoor stove and cooking area, and installing more doors on other rooms. Future plans include finishing out more rooms so that they can house more people, installing showers (they bucket shower right now), pouring concrete floors, and building a carpentry/welding shop for more formal vocational training.

We are so grateful for our faithful supporters that give generously so that we can serve here in Guadalajara, in places like the Mercadito, and show God's love in tangible ways.

Matt Jesch serves in Guadalajara, Mexico, with Mission to the World. 

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Pray for women forced by poverty into sex work. Pray for MTW ministries around the globe seeking to rescue and minister to these women.

Pray for those living in poverty in Guadalajara, Mexico, and for the gospel to bring life and hope to people there. 

Pray for the men and women who cross paths with missionaries in Guadalajara to come to know Christ personally and to find a church home.

Last summer, Claudia came to faith through a summer trip. She has since been baptized. Pray for those who come to faith in Mexico as a result of short-term trips to plug into the church.

Pray for church-planting efforts among the Purépecha Indians outside Guadalajara, Mexico. Pray for national missionaries and short-term teams serving there.

Pray for God's work among migrants and refugees on the U.S./Mexico border. 

Pray for the national pastors serving in Mexico and Cuba, many of whom are bi-vocational, and the work God is doing among them.

Pray for the kids in Aquiles Serdan neighborhood of Reynosa, Mexico, and the outreach of Isaiah 55 ministry there.

Pray for a woman in Mexico City who recently came to faith in the midst of a personal crisis. 

Pray for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and our church-planting work there. Pray for God to grow, expand, and deepen the churches and draw many to Himself.


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