THE GARBAGE DUMP
My heart is very full as I write these words to you. This morning 150 boys, 10 to 12 years old, gathered for a program. We had given our stage to friends in another country, so we used storytelling, balloons, juggling and testimonies to make a show for the children. God poured His spirit on these children. All of us knew that we were seeing the Father do something special, something precious. You could see the hunger in their eyes.
When it was time to pray, they stood and faced east. They do this because Jesus is the Son of Righteousness and the sun rises in the east.
Then we heard the children calling on Jesus to save them! They prayed loudly in Arabic and were so excited. When we finished, their joy knew no bounds. They clapped and cheered and called out thanks to each of us by name. As I left, they all reached out to me to shake my dirty hands. No one hesitated to take my hand even though it was black from the chalk dust. What is a chalk dust to a child who lives in a garbage dump?
Today was a special day for these boys. It is winter break here and they are attending a special 1 day conference. The ministry that we worked with today rented a place where the children could breathe cleaner air and see a different world. It is only a day and you would not have thought that this place was very nice. However, it was the stuff of their dreams.
Today, each child had a shower. Water is in short supply in the 6 areas that are dumps surrounding this city. I was told that they are very pleased and surprised when they see themselves clean. Then, they see a doctor and are treated for lice. Breakfast is served. Finally, the children were brought to us and they were ready to listen. Through all of these kindnesses, they had tasted God’s love and now they were ready to pray, to accept Jesus as their Savior.
You really can not imagine the smell. It is cold enough here at the moment for a coat and it was still overpowering. Where they live is horrible. We drove through the area and could not believe our eyes. There was trash piled everywhere. There are lots of rats, especially since the government killed all of their pigs in fear of swine flu. The government admitted that they made a mistake, but did not replace the pigs. There is no other animal that will eat all that a pig eats and so the trash multiplies. They scavenge from the garbage that they can recycle and sell it. However, the rest just piles up. Generations have lived and died in this awful place.
We trained some local Christians and gave them some supplies to help them tell better Bible stories to their children. They were so grateful, but I am more grateful. Thank you for sending me to the middle east and thank you for covering us with prayer.
I will always hold this day in my heart and treasure it. We are all so very blessed. Please pray for these boys to grow up and become men of God.
Please pray for us as we leave for the airport in hours. First, we will do a program for children. This will be our last in the Middle East. Pour prayer on all these things!
Today is Sam’s 35th birthday. What an incredible way to celebrate!!
Sam and Silvana