Tijuana Oblate Youth: “The Gift of Life”

Tijuana, Mexico

Report from Oblate Youth Ministry in Tijuana, By David Rizo and Rich Reader

Mr. Librado Rosales is a 40-year-old man who got electrocuted while on his previous job.  He was working on a large piece of equipment when a coworker made the mistake of plugging the machine.

Librado was in coma for a few weeks and is still recovering.  He can walk and talk, but he cannot lift or use his left arm.  This event was a huge challenge for his wife Carolina.  She was pregnant at the time of the accident.  Being from another state and not having family in Tijuana, she felt alone and overwhelmed. She did not know whether to focus more on her husband or daughter.  She gave birth to Sofia while Librado was still in coma.  Now at 3 months, Sofia has developed intestine problems and requires special milk that is expensive for their budget.

Librado has been strong, and his recovery has been impressive.   He says he wants to fight so he can watch his children to grow.   He has insurance and is getting $200 per month, which needs to cover the rent and other family expenses including the special baby formula.  The Oblates have been helping.  The Oblate Scholarship Program pays for the school supplies.

Carolina cries when we ask how she manages the difficulties.   However, she says everything happens for a reason and God knows why.  She recalls Librado needed to rest because of how hard he has worked for so many years and she never has felt that he was part of the family.  Her dream has long been that Librado would play with his children and now that is happening.

Librado and Carolina are considering having their marriage blessed by the Church.  They feel like they want to do something for God, since He gave them the gift of life to Librado and their newborn baby.

“Everyone deserves forgiveness”

Victor is a 40-year-old man who its disabled.  He has been strong and enduring of his situation. About 4 months ago, he got shot in the back of his head and now lives with a bullet on his brain. His motor skills have been damaged.   He was thought dead for a minute, but when the doctors unplugged life support, he started breathing again.

Through a lot of exercise, he has been able to move and walk again – slow and with many difficulties.  He can now use a toilet, and that is a blessing also for the family and their budget.

It was a blessing that his mental condition was not affected, but Victor entered a deep depression.  He can now talk and understand everything people ask.  He shared his story, and said he spent most of his life in gangs.  He was a drug dealer and was “working” his corner when other gang members beat him and shot him 3 times.

He spent 2 weeks in the hospital, and he said that he was happy that his gang friends visited.  He does not remember a lot but remembers crying a lot.  He says he needed that so he could change. The first 2 months recovering were the worst because he had used drugs for over 25 years.  His sister said the detox was enormously hard for him.  He was angry and threw everything in reach.  He was yelling and cursing everyone.  However, even though he was in that condition, his family says he was willing to do all the exercises prescribed just so he could get back on his feet and start using drugs again.

Despite all that, he is clean now and says he wants to change and become closer to God.  He understands and believes that God gave him another opportunity.  He does not want to waste this opportunity.  He says he prays daily, especially for the guys who shot him.  He says everyone deserves foregiveness and a second chance.