I saw something that impacted me the last time I visited the dump, with the Willamette Community Church group. The teenagers wanted to hand out some extra food to some men who did not come to the meeting. I told them it would be a lot of walking, and they said that was OK, that is why they came. We headed to a huge black, smoldering mountain of garbage and rounded it to the south side. There, in a wall of smoke, were men scraping through the garbage looking for metal. They had no masks, and no way to escape breathing the noxious fumes directly. They were so desperate for a little money, they were risking their health and even their lives for a few pesos they might glean from the garbage. I have been working with garbage pickers all 22 years of my time in Mexico, but I had never seen anything so awful and dangerous. They had a non-chalant attitude about it, but when we drew close, the smoke was choking us, and I just couldn't believe how desperate they must be. Pray for them.
We were blessed by a visit from a group from Willamette Community Church of Albany Oregon. The spent time with the children and Oasis, visited the shut ins and ministered in the church and dump. Here are some pictures:
Here are some pictures from the second day of work for the boys.
The boys of Oasis are taking advantage of their free time having a valuable experience laying tile. The local tech school had tile to lay and asked Pedro if the boys could do it. They are doing a great job and are enjoying the sense of accomplishment. Here are some pictures of the first day.
My first time being in Mexico was a great experience. Being able to go to another country and not only show God's love to others but learn some of the culture as well. The roof job was hard but very rewarding. Whenever I felt like stopping, I thought of who I am doing it for rather than myself. - Bryson, ASU Chi Alpha Group
Speaking with Adalberto in the car and hearing his testimony was powerful. His story of redemption has apparently brought him to a level of conviction of his faith to the point that he can preach the Gospel with authority to people at the dump. Adalberto's story and character is an inspiration to me. I would like to have the sort of faith Adalberto has. - Chandler, ASU Chi Alpha Group
Every time I come down here I am reminded of how big our God is and how individual His love is. More than any statistic or photograph, visiting with the people down here makes it all seem real. Even through the lens of poverty, people are people and God loves us all the same. Watching kids play, seeing how people react to things and how similar we are reminds me of His view of us not as a mass of people but as individuals.
I was also touched by how engrained in the community this place is. I love how it is not only a self serving and closed off area but instead that people like Adalberto know the needs of the community and know the people here - Kristen, ASU Chi Alpha Group.
This was my first time coming on a trip to work with Caring Hearts. Visiting the shut ins with Adalberto and Ines was so moving. They both have such compassionate hearts, and I was encouraged by their ability to care for people and speak truth and life into those who are in desperate need of love and encouragement. My heart broke for the people here, and it was a blessing to get to pray for people. Meeting Guadalupe was especially impactful because she is 105 years old and has so much joy and faith. Her simple prayer for just one more day of life reminded me that each day is a blessing and that joy comes from the Lord. - Megan, ASU Chi Alpha Group
God poured into my life in a big way on this trip. He reminded me what a sinner I am and that I do not deserve His love or grace. At the same time, He told me He loves me anyway, simply because He is God and He is good. It hit me so hard I broke down, amazed at how the God who created the entire universe died for ME even though I deserved to be eternally punished for all of my mistakes and wrong doing. All this I KNEW, but I hadn't FELT the gravity of it so much ever before. God opened my eyes and my heart to feel his presence. He comforted me. He strengthened my soul. He gave me an overwhelming peace. At the very moment when I felt the most broken, helpless and hopeless, God showed me He is healer, helper, and hope giver. All Praise Be to God!!! - Payton, ASU Chi Alpha Group
At the women's rehab center, there was a woman sitting in the back, right behind me and at the end of the service she was crying and asking for prayer. No one could hear her, and I don't speak Spanish so I asked my Spanish speaking friend to come help. The woman was so terrified because at night she was hearing voices and sensing a demonic presence in her dormitory. You could tell that she was panicking and she was shaken from the experiences at night. So we prayed for her that God would show her her authority and that there would be peace in the room. We prayed that the demons would be gone in Jesus name. We got to encourage her and bless her in the Lord. - Betsy