INSTALACIONES » Padilla, Mexico
Nuevo Padilla is located about a 2 hour drive south of the US - Mexico border. It is just off Highway 101, which is a very nice four lane highway that runs from the border to Victoria. It is also located next to one of the best bass fishing lakes in the world.
A few years ago a number of people in Mexico began to pray asking the Lord to send people who would have a heart to evangelize the area they were living in. Some friends of the ministry shared with us how needy the people were and how hungry they were to hear about Jesus. They also shared how the pastor’s in the area were praying that WOTC would come to evangelize the area. Then our friends came all excited because they had found the perfect place for our base of operations.
The word “Nuevo” in Spanish means “new” which means if you have a new there must be an old. In this case the original town of Padilla now sets in the middle one of the most famous bass fishing lakes in the world named Lake Guerrero. When the Mexican government built Lake Guerrero they moved Padilla 15 minutes away and called the new town Nuevo Padilla.
So it was in Nuevo Padilla our friends found the perfect place for WOTC’s next base of operations. A group of the ministry leadership traveled down to look things over. We found a quaint town with paved streets, a beautiful town square. There is lots of charm and a complete different atmosphere than Aldama. It is also just off the major four lane highway going from the border to Victoria. Victoria is the capitol of the state of Tamaulipas with a population of 220,000 and is only 30 minutes South of Padilla. Our many friends living in the area, which includes both government officials and believers, were anxious for us to come into the area to work with the people and to evangelize the area.
When we arrived at the property we found a huge concrete shell of a building that was designed to be a grocery store on one side and a cafe on the other side. It also had a two story home in the back. The building itself was in great condition and is by far the best building we had ever started out with. Like all WOTC projects it needed a lot of work however it didn’t take long for us to realize it was a perfect place to bring short term missions groups.
According to the local’s living in the area this property came with quite a history and many stories. Most were bigger than the truth. One story says the home was owned by a famous drug dealer who had the place built so his family could operate the grocery store and cafe while giving him a way to launder his drug money and at the same time have a nice home in the back.
The story the banker shared was that a local man had built the place and didn’t have the money to complete it and couldn’t make the payments so the bank foreclosed on the property and they were ready to sell it. We ended up buying it for $14,000.
Not only were we excited about the new facilities but we were more excited about the hundreds of small villages close by that are ripe for the Gospel. We were also excited about the opportunity to reach the hundreds of school children who walked in front of the facilities each day. One of the things we have learned in Mexico is if you reach the children you will reach the adults. The Mexican government is really pushing to get the children educated so they are subsidizing the 4 pesos it costs each child to ride the taxi to school. This allows the children of the poorest families to attend school. Opportunities to grow and share abound in Padilla.
The work grew in the area grew quicker than we expected so it wasn’t long before we knew we would need additional space. However we also knew our facility was surrounded by other homes and there was no place to add on to where we were. The possibilities of expanding were pretty bleak. We started praying and in about two weeks one of the neighbors directly next door approached us about the possibility of buying his home. The Lord provided the building and the funds so we expanded the space enabling us to expand the size of groups we can take to Padilla.
If you are interested in taking a short term mission trip where you can experience living in a small Mexican village and enjoy time to mingle with the people and play with the children then Padilla is the place for you. Great facilities along with a great opportunity to work in harvest fields that are ready for harvest.