Casa de Luz (House of Light) - Mexico

Todd Rutkowski, Mar 8, 2022, 6:41 PM
Todd Rutkowski National Catalyst of Vineyard Emerge
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Toni and Erin were a part of the Abbotsford Vineyard in British Columbia, Canada when they felt the Holy Spirit's prompting to return to the mission field. They had previously served with YWAM in Brazil, where Toni is from, and believed they would return there. It was in a meeting with their pastor, Gary Stephens, that a question was asked as they were discerning the Spirit's leading in their life, next steps and obedience. He asked, "Are you called to serve in Brazil, or are you called to serve the poor?"

It was this conversation that sparked the beginning of their journey to Primo Tapia, Mexico to be the directors of Casa de Luz (House of Light).

For over ten years, they have been working in direct partnership with the local church in Primo Tapia. The need was evident at that time and it has increased considerably over the last 18 months. Among the most vulnerable are single mothers and their children. For a myriad of reasons, not the least of which involves the drug cartels, many fathers are absent leaving single mothers to be the sole providers for their children in a land that is already harsh towards them.

Tragically, violence against women is often viewed as a normal part of the culture, leaving women to live lives filled with fear and hopelessness. Marilu was one of these women who arrived at the gates of Casa de Luz.

With four young children in tow, Marilu arrived in Primo Tapia scared and alone. She was fleeing an extremely violent husband, with no idea where she would settle or how she would provide for her family. Sadly, this is an all too common occurrence in our  region.

The gravity of her situation caused Casa de Luz to step in quickly, providing support and advocacy for her. Marilu's children were brought into the safety of CDL's Children's Center, safe shelter was secured and they began a journey towards healing through the stability, food, care and resources offered to them.

Marilu took the opportunities before her to begin rebuilding their life by opening her own restaurant and tortilla business. With hard work and perseverance Marilu has now grown her business to employ more than 15 other single-women, many of which are Casa de Luz moms from situations just like hers.

Marilu's story tells you a bit of why we're in Primo Tapia. Her children were safe so she could work to provide for them. They were mentored through our youth program which kept them off of the streets and away from gang and drug activity. With help from our educational programs, her eldest children have now completed University and are thriving in their work. But more than that,

Marilu met Jesus through Casa de Luz and our local church, La Hermosa. This changed her life and the lives of her children. Not only have they broken the cycle of poverty, but they are living in obedience to the Lord and spreading the gospel to their neighbours, too!

This is the life change we get to be a part of and we would love for you to be a part of it, too. We know it is our call to advocate on behalf of the vulnerable in Primo Tapia. We also believe it is our responsibility to teach the next generation to serve the poor and marginalized, creating a legacy of action. This is why we have created a unique opportunity for families to stay in Primo Tapia and participate in all we do.

Today in Mexico, there are more single mothers raising their children alone than ever before. We would love for you to take bold action and join us in stepping into the story of single mothers like Marilu.

Click on this link  to see some of our town and hear how you can make an impact, and be impacted through Casa de Luz.