The Mercado de Portales (Portales Market) is located three blocks from our apartment in Mexico City. On one particular corner in the market there is almost always a large group of people standing around with a plate in one hand a taco in the other. Welcome to Tacos Don Mario. I have always thought that with a great salsa and a fresh tortilla any taco would taste amazing. Don Mario’s salsas are all that and more, but he then adds fabulously tasty carnes (meats). Carne asada, bistec, chuleta, chorizo, or more exotic flavors like nana, tripas, higado, o machito.
Don Mario founded his taco stand 37 years ago. Today all the employees are family members. Uncles, aunts, cousins and grandchildren work hard to prepare all the delicious food and make sure that customers are served quickly.
When it comes time to pay they ask the customer, “cuántos comiste?” “How many did you eat?” First, you note that they take your word for it. Second, when the person says that they are a bit short and don’t have enough cash, the response is “don’t worry about, you’ll get me next time.” They are sure you will be back (the flavor removes all doubt), but they are more concerned with the customer leaving full and satisfied than they are about being taken advantage of.
Ministry is similar. If our biggest concern is never being taken advantage of we will lose all opportunity to help people in need. There’s no question we will, at some point, be deceived by people who know how to play the system. But if our primary motivation is never wanting to lose that which is not ours to begins with we will never be a blessing to anyone. That would be the greatest loss.
We hope to be back in Mexico City by the end of summer 2020. If you find yourself in Mexico City, let’s have some tacos. Don Mario will be waiting.
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Paul and Sandy Kazim