Hello everybody!!! We just wanted to share some of our latest news, since we are happy to report the birth of our new Rehab Center facility, which is still in progress!
We needed a larger facility for our Rehab Center, and we had a few rustic rooms on a property that was bigger than our current one, so we decided to go ahead and start fixing that old property up!
This was really a huge task, but thankfully all of the helpers at the current center were willing to finish out the construction for us without charging for their labor at all!
We were on a good line to move into our new rehab center, and everything was going well – until a couple of corrupt Mexican officials came knocking at our door! They wanted money, and that day we learned that the government was suddenly demanding $10,000 pesos a month for some strange fund having to do with a “license” for the rehab center(?!).
Now $10,000 pesos is actually the equivalent of about $500 USD, so if that sounds like a lot of money to have to just “give” to the government every month simply because you’re running a rehab center, then you are having the same thought that we had…! In fact in Mexico this is actually an inordinate amount of money to have to give to the government every month(!).
So when the pastor of our Center expressed that he was unable to pay those kinds of monthly “dues,” one government official told him to check his accounts and “see what he could help them with.”
Having left things like that, we were trying to figure out what to do next when a notice came to the door of the center stating that there was a $10,000 “fine” for not having paid the “dues” yet, and our pastor was asked to show up for a 4:00 appointment at the government office downtown.
Not surprisingly though, on that same day at exactly 4:00 (they didn’t wait to see if we would pay the fine!), members of a well-known crooked police division arrived at the door of our center. Knocking our pastor’s wife to the ground, they proceeded to ransack and ‘close’ the center…breaking video cameras, security doors, and bunk beds, and declaring it illegal to enter the building.
Now because of the corruption in the Mexican government, this sort of thing has been known to happen to rehab centers. And when it happens you usually hear about groups of addicts running recklessly down the street and through neighborhoods, all but racing back to the street corners to go back to their addictions!
But you know, when the police came and kicked open the doors of our rehab Center that day, a funny thing happened there…
…Nobody ran out!
Nope. In fact they just sort of quietly stepped out of the building!
And the amazing part of this story is that, instead of trying to ‘make a break for it,’ the vast majority of the young men coming out of our center decided to just sort of stay there… right out on the street in front of the facility, almost all of them saying that they had no desire to leave, and even encouraging the pastor with words like, “Don’t worry Pastor, we’re not going anywhere!”
Now that certainly sounds like a pretty impressive precedent for a group of addicts kept behind locked doors in an environment designed to keep them off drugs!
… But for right now we will leave it as a story for another time.
The point here is that during those awkward couple of hours when these men were sort of sitting out on the street with nothing to do, we had to figure out what we were going to do!
And we had a choice to make. So after thinking for awhile, Larry went and got every last dime out of all of our accounts.
… And then he paid the impossible fines.
Having gotten their money, authorities sent members of the police force back to “reopen”(?) the center that same day.
Then amazingly, the 17 young men who sat bravely out on the street with Larry waiting to go back into the center filed quietly in, and, turning their backs on a final chance to break out running and escape, they allowed those broken doors to be soldered shut behind them.
The next day, even more families brought their young men back to the center once they had heard that it reopened, and we are proud to report that these men were also willingly reintegrated into the center.
Anyway, our pastor promptly contacted the government officials about his monthly fees, determining to “settle up” – which is just sort of what you sort of have to do with the Mexican government in situations like this one!
…So the rehab center is back in business.
The only slight problem here is that we have no money and to be honest, we’re sort of living on a credit card now….since we had already been splurging on ministry this past month!
And of course, the most frustrating part of all this is that there are so many other needs around us which we currently cannot meet… Including a family with a 15 year old son that has recovered from cancer but still has to recover from expenses, and several young men and women with addictions – even 14 year olds caught in hard drugs. And In fact some of our youth are begging to be part of rehabilitation programs of their own free will but have absolutely no funding.
Still, there is hope.
Today’s story certainly proves it.
More than anything, it’s a story about 17 men who just simply didn’t do what the Mexican mafia had wanted them to do..
Instead, they held their ground.
More than anything, it’s a story about a rehabilitation movement that has succeeded in changing hearts…
…And for us, those changed hearts have been worth every penny. .
If you would like to help replenish the funds that we spent on maintaining the rehab center open, help with construction costs for the new larger Rehab facility, or contribute to meeting some of the specific needs in our ministry, please don’t hesitate.
Donation info is on our website: