I have been close to the town dump of Tegucigalpa before but, never right in it - that is until today. Those of you that know me know that I am an "emotional rock" and that nothing ever gets to me (just kidding). I gotta tell you that I wasn't prepared for this experience. The smell was what you would expect only stronger. The trash piles were what you would expect only bigger. I hadn't thought about there being a bunch of vultures there but they were like a swarm of mosquitoes at a swamp. I knew that there were going to be people there but I didn't expect to see so many. I suspected that there would be kids there but when you see it face to face, it is heartbreaking. When we pulled in there were 4 little boys - maybe 10 years old that came up to the window of my truck to ask for money for some water (cost is 2 limps a bag). Other kids saw me give this group some money so they came running. There were 2 little boys that were completely filthy and we asked them if they wanted food. We had eaten at Chili's and Terri had a big box of chiken and fries left - she gave it to the boys. We had one other little box that we shared with another little guy. Both of the kids with the food were no more than 8 or 7.
Last summer we did a food distribution to the houses of the people that spend their days seeking food or something of value in the dump but it did not prepare me for the sights, smells, and reality that there are 100's of people that live off of the scraps and trash of Tegucigalpa. They have to fight off the vultures so that they can look for something of value in the garbage. When you look through reality of the dump you see that the real value is the humanity that lives in a way that none of us want to know about. God made every one of these souls in His image. They are valuable to Him and because of that they should be valuable to everyone of us. I've been reading the book of James lately - especially the parts about putting faith into action. The "Message' paraphrase really hits home with what all of this is about. In the Message - in James 2, the translation says " Isn't it obvious that God talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? ... Faith and works, works and faith, fit together like a hand in glove!..."
My own translation of James 2 can be boiled down to this " if you know about a need and aren't doing more that talking about it, you are showing your lack of faith. Faith = doing!" (I probably won't be doing a complete paraphrase of the Bible anytime soon)
The bottom line is this. When we know people are suffering, it is the changed hearts that Jesus gave us that tells us to get up and do something.
Didn't mean to preach in a blog but the reality is, I am preaching to ME. Gotta find a way to get a little relief in the name of Jesus to the people at the dump.
Be a blessing to somebody today!