One of the things you hear about often in 3rd world countries is people living at garbage dumps. We recently learned that there is a garbage dump on the west end of the island and that people do actually live there…like whole families live there! Our youth had been asking to do a mission project and when we shared about what we had learned about the garbage dump they immediately said “let’s go to the dump!” So they started collecting good used clothing and bags of water (yes, bags. Here they sell bags of water for like 10 lempiras which is a little less than 50 cents a bag). They collected a lot of clothes in a short period of time (some of them even donating things they had in their closets that either didn’t fit anymore or they didn’t wear). We loaded up one Saturday morning and headed out to the garbage dump to be the hands and feet of Jesus to people living there.
When we got to the dump we were actually really surprised at how many people lived there. As we started unloading, they started walking up from several directions. Pretty soon we had a fairly large crowd and we were told that there was a lot more people who live there but on Saturdays they walk into town to sell their scraps for money. The youth had divided up into 2 teams (one to share the gospel to the adults and one to share the gospel to the children). The teams had worked hard crafting their gospel presentations and learning them. So once we got unloaded, we split up the children and adults into different groups and let the teams do their gospel presentations.
After the gospel presentations, we started handing out clothing and fresh, clean drinking water to the people there. One of the youth and I were handing out waters and a guy told us about an area where there more people who hadn’t come down. So we loaded as many bags of water as we could into my backpack and took of to them. When we got there we met the man in the picture above. He told us he wanted to come down but if he left his “home” then other people who lived there would still everything he had so he couldn’t come but was thankful we had come to him instead. The kids at the dump were the most heartbreaking to me. Most of them had major dental issues, some of them looked malnourished, they all were dirty as could be and most of them weren’t going to school or getting any type of education.
One of the best parts of the day was getting to pray with the people who lived there. They were so open and receptive to being prayed for and often shared struggles and needs with us. The youth loved being able to bless others and on the way home so many of them were asking “when can we go again Pastor David?” They loved serving others and they were just as blessed as the people they got to bless. We praise God for the opportunity to be His hands and feet to the people who call the garbage dump “home”.