“Members in Tijuana Receive Relief,” Ensign, Apr. 1993, 75
Members in Tijuana were flooded with more than water during recent storms; they also received love, food, and blankets from fellow Saints located in regions around San Diego, California.
The flooding, which began January 7, hit much of southern California and the Baja California peninsula. Hardest hit was Tijuana, Mexico, located about twenty-five miles south of San Diego. According to President Arturo de Hoyos of the Mexico Tijuana Mission, water levels reached three feet above street level. Twenty-four people were killed, and about ten thousand were left homeless. There were no members killed or seriously injured, although some 176 LDS families were affected and six homes were seriously damaged.
One problem facing the flood victims was the loss of transportation and the closing of businesses. Tourism is the main industry in Tijuana, but due to the floods, shops closed for several days.
Members in California rallied to help their neighbors, collecting about thirty tons of food and more than two thousand blankets for victims of the floods. In addition, a truckload of food from the bishops’ storehouse in Colton, California, was sent.
A convoy of about thirty-five pickup trucks delivered the food and blankets to the mission office and to a stake center in Tijuana.
A few days later, more relief supplies were needed. Within twenty-four hours, members of the Carlsbad California region responded with twenty more tons of food collected in Chula Vista, where Church leaders from Tijuana picked it up to distribute to the needy.
According to Craig A. Bullock, regional representative in Escondido, all relief supplies except those from the bishops’ storehouse were donated by individual members. The supplies were distributed by local Church leaders to all those in need, regardless of religious affiliation.
The relief efforts were made possible because of a bond that has been developing between members in Tijuana and those in San Diego as they prepare for the dedication of the San Diego Temple, Brother Bullock explained.
“With the building of the temple, and with the assignments of five stakes in Baja California to the temple district, we’ve created a close personal tie with the leaders there,” Brother Bullock explained. Members from both areas have been working on a temple committee in preparation for the temple dedication. It was actually through members of this committee that Brother Bullock heard of the needs of flood victims.
“The LDS people here feel great because they know their brothers and sisters north of the border know them,” reported President de Hoyos. “The end product of the whole relief effort is a close bond, made possible by the temple.”