The Dump of Guatemala City

It’s a sight hard to explain.

DSC_6196And a smell hard to take in.

To get the best view of the dump, you have to drive through this large cemetery where some graves have been tainted by the gangs that live near[1]

DSC_6225Eventually, you know you are getting close to the dump when you see the vultures.

photo 2It reminds me of a Hitchcock horror film.

2000 people, including children, come to this dump to scrounge through the garbage in search of anything they can sell for enough money to feed themselves and their families. It’s a dangerous place, because in desperation, people will do anything to get something that may be worth money.DSC_6222 During the rainy season, landslides are common, and those below working in the dump, are left for dead. The vultures scatter in the sky above.DSC_6212A scene of hopelessness.

DSC_6220 DSC_6223 (1)However, Compassion Center GU888 is on the edge of this dump, and though these kids live in a dark corner of the world, at this Compassion center is a glimmer of hope.DSC_6246DSC_6242DSC_6234The glimmer of hope is because some amazing people have chosen to live radically, to love outrageously, and sacrifice generously, all in the name of Jesus. DSC_6231 (1)Tomorrow we return to this place, and the story will continue.

I want to encourage you to read this blog by Ann Voskamp about radical gratitude.  “AHolyExperience” Just possibly her story might tie in soon to what is going on in this place.

Finally, I leave you all with words from a Jars of Clay song that I listened to over and over at the end of my day today.

It profoundly describes what I have seen, not only today, but on so many of my journeys.

Oh My God written by Mason, Stephen Daniel / Lowell, Charlie / Haseltine, Dan / Odmark, Matt.

Oh my God, look around this place

Your fingers reach around the bone
You set the break and set the tone
Flights of grace, and future falls
In present pain
All fools say, “Oh my God”

Oh my God, Why are we so afraid?
We make it worse when we don’t bleed
There is no cure for our disease
Turn a phrase, and rise again
Or fake your death and only tell your closest friend
Oh my God.

Oh my God, can I complain?
You take away my firm belief and graft my soul upon your grief
Weddings, boats and alibis
All drift away, and a mother cries

Liars and fools; sons and failures
Thieves will always say
Lost and found; ailing wanderers
Healers always say
Whores and angels; men with problems
Leavers always say
Broken hearted; separated
Orphans always say
War creators; racial haters
Preachers always say
Distant fathers; fallen warriors
Givers always say
Pilgrim saints; lonely widows
Users always say
Fearful mothers; watchful doubters
Saviors always say

Sometimes I cannot forgive
And these days, mercy cuts so deep
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep
While I lay, I dream we’re better,
Scales were gone and faces light
When we wake, we hate our brother
We still move to hurt each other
Sometimes I can close my eyes,
And all the fear that keeps me silent falls below my heavy breathing,
What makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder
We all feel the need for wonder
We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the thunder

Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children – this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers – this is our greatest offense

Oh my God
Oh my God
Oh my God

One Comment on “The Dump of Guatemala City

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