Director of La Roca Shelter Tijuana, Mexico
Rudy Martinez was abandoned by his parents as a young child. He was raised by his grandmother in Northern California. Rudy grew up very poor and began getting involved in violence at a young age. He stabbed his first person on a basketball court when he was 12 years old. Rudy was incarcerated in various juvenile detention centers in northern California.
Gangs, Prison, Violence
When he was released, Rudy continued getting into trouble, and was involved in narcotics, gang activity, and violence. He continued to be incarcerated throughout Northern California. He spent years at San Quentin, Folsom, Corcoran, and Pelican Bay Prison. He moved up in the prison gang, and was given authority over other gang members. He was involved in numerous violent assaults on other inmates of rival gangs. This eventually landed him in the “SHOE” for three years. He was locked up in a cell for 23 hours of every day. The only time he left the cell was to do some exercise by himself in a cage.
One day Rudy had received an order to stab another inmate. Rudy jumped the other inmate, and began stabbing him in the prison yard. The correctional officer who stopped Rudy before he killed the inmate mentioned God to him. Rudy ignored the comment, but he later began thinking about it. He says that after that incident he received a bible and began reading it alone in his cell. While in his cell alone, he remembers kneeling down and praying. He said that right there he dedicated his life to Jesus Christ. Shortly after that, Rudy was released from prison, and began living in a home set up by City Team Ministries in San Jose, Ca. After eight months there, his life turned around, and Rudy says his life was completely changed by the power of Jesus Christ. He is now married with 2 beautiful children and works in TJ, Mexico with La Roca ministries helping others just like him.
The Shelter. As the new church building opened up, so was the doors for the shelter. This new building was a disco rental hall, but now has been converted into a church that call’s on everyone with out making exception of person.
We moved five blocks away from our formal location and are still in the Zone Norte and two block away from the border fence. So as you know, this area is quite unique because it’s blocks away from the prostitution, drugs and homosexuality. Drugs are found on almost every corner and people from all parts of Mexico or further south despertly trying to get across, seeking a better life. So lots of people end up needing shelter because of thief, or have been deported or they have been enslaved by addictions.
We now are housing over 80 people every night and at times we run out of blankets or floor mates. So if you care to help, we need more blanket and we need bunk beds.
All I can say, it’s great to see the church building being used seven days a week and 24 hours a day. This is what church really is about, to preach, to teach, to reach and to transform.
The Shelter of La Roca Ministries
Youth boys at the Shelter
At the shelter we currently have 8 young men who live here. They have a large room that they share with bunk beds. We provide food, clothes and schooling for all of them. They are here because they are too old to be at the House of Grace and because they are going to school it would be too hard to bring them out of the Ranch daily. Here they are able to study and help out with the shelter as well.
Alex is 19 years old and has been with La Roca for 4 years. Before coming here he had a lot of problems and was using drugs. But then God started working in his life and he has turned his life around. Now he serves God and is going to school. Alex is an amaizing young man and is a great example to the other youth.
Jonas is 18 years old and has been here for 8 months. He was having problems with drugs and then after going to a rehab twice he went to stay with his mom and a man took him to another rehab center and there everything changed.Then his Aunt and Uncle came for him and he stayed with them for a while but they were having problems so Pastor Carlos brought Jonas here to the church. Now he is in school and helps out in the ministry. And God is working in his life.
Ivan is 18 years old and has been with La Roca for a couple years. Ivan has 8 brothers and sisters. They had a terrible childhood growing up in a house where drugs were being sold daily. At 12 years old he decided to stop going to school and to start selling and using drugs. But when he was 15 years old he learned about Christ and has changed his life around. He is now a new person and will be starting school this fall.
Fabian is 13 years old and has only been at the church for a couple months. He was living in San Julian with his parents. One night he ran away from his house to come to Tijuana. He took different trains and got to Mexicali. Then he started asking for money and ended up with 100 pesos. Then he and some friends got on a bus and arrived in Tijuana. One of the friends that was helping take care of him on the trip brought him to the church and he’s been here since. Fabian is a great kid and always has a smile on his face. He will be starting school in the fall.
Cristian is 19 years old and has been with us for 4 years old. Before he came with us he was living with his parents. Rudy and Sofia (the leaders of the ranch at the time) invitied him to come out to the ranch so that he could continue studying. After many invitiations to do so he finally came with us. Now he goes to school and works. He also plays the guitar on the worship team. Cristian also helps in the ministry and is always willing to serve.
Adrian is 18 years old and has been here for 2 years. He came here because he was having problems with drugs and he was being very rebellious. He also wanted to continue going to school and his brother Cristian is here. This fall he will be starting his junior year of highschool.
Moises is 18 years old and has been here for a couple months. He has 5 brothers and sisters and his parents and his parents have a hard time financially so they brought him here so he could keep going to school. He also came here because he wanted to change his ways, his rebellion and disobedience.
Josue is 19 years old and has been here for a couple months. Josue was using drugs and ended up in a Rehab center where he heard about La Roca from Jonas. He started coming to La Roca church on Sundays and eventually felt the calling to come and stay here at the church. For now he studies the word but he eventually wants to go back to school and become a doctor.