Monday, May 4, 2015

Dump Day 2015

The first time I ever saw the dump was February 19, 2008.  That is Nicole's birthday and I had planned to write a blog honoring my daughter.  She is worthy to be honored, but after what I saw that day, I had to write about what I saw.  This is what I had to say.

We drove out to the dump. The dump is a horrible place. The odor is awful. At least two hundred people live, yes live, at the dump. When the garbage trucks come in, these people rummage through this filthy, stinking, sometimes rotten garbage trying to find anything to eat. Rotten apples, banana peels, anything. They pull out plastic bottles or anything else they can find to recycle. Hundreds and hundreds of buzzards live there also scavenging for the same food these people are. Most of the people there had on clothes that were tattered and worn. That is not an adequate description at all. Iam positive this would be the only clothes they own. The shelters these people live in are also just what they can find and put together. They would offer essentially no protection from the wind and the cold. How they sleep at all, I do not know. There were little children there. Little children that should have been in school.

The dump is without a doubt the worst of the worst. It just doesn't get any worse than what I saw today. We are definitely working on a way to get those people fed once in a while.

This has been an emotionally draining day, in some ways harder than building houses. I will not forget what I saw today for a long time. I hope I don't ever forget. I need to be reminded of those that need to be served.

I guess it would have been easy to drive away and not do anything but talk about how bad it was.  But the things I saw that day haunted me.

A couple of weeks later, Matt and Nicole arrived in Honduras to spend their spring break.  They had one hundred dollars that a friend had given them to do with whatever they saw fit.  After reading my blog, Nicole's heart was breaking and they both knew exactly what they wanted to do with that $100.00.  Buy food and feed at the dump.  The thoughts from that first dump feed.

Those images of the people at the dump, fighting the vultures for food, have not left me since I first went to the dump a couple of weeks ago. It is really our job to take action on needs we see. More action than just praying the God blesses these people or hoping that someone else takes them food.

A man that is a janitor at Harding, and is a friend of Matt's and Nicole's, gave them a hundred dollars to help someone in need while they were in Honduras. They chose to buy food for the dump people. As gross as this sounds, refried bean sandwiches are loved by many Hondurans. Yesterday we bought enough beans and bread to make 250 sandwiches. This morning the four of us made the sandwiches. We had a good system and it did not take too long. We started down the hill and stopped to buy four stalks of bananas to go with the sandwiches.

As we headed toward the dump, I was quite nervous and a bit scared. I was afraid when we showed up with food we might get mobbed. I have heard the dump is dangerous. I silently prayed about my fears. We took off our rings and watches and, along with our cell phones and wallets, locked them in the glove box before we got to the dump.

We drove up and got out of the truck and locked it. We had decided to hand out the food out of the bed of the truck. At first, no one paid us much attention. When they realized we had food, they began to quickly make their way to us. There was really nothing of which to be afraid. They were asked them to form one line and they did. One of the dump men helped keep them in that line and, at times, handed out some of the bananas.

I went to dump a few weeks back, but did not get out of the car. I thought I was prepared to go hand out food. I made a point of looking into the eyes of every person to whom I handed a sandwich and a banana. There were no smiles, no joy in their eyes. They were grateful. Oh yes, they were grateful. Each person said gracias. Some got their food and walked to the back of the line to get another one. We did not care.

These people were filthy and smelly. Some of their hands had so much black filth on them that I cannot imagine them ever being clean again, no matter how much scrubbing was done. There were small boys, about 8 - 11 years old. There alone, with no family. There was one little girl with her mommy. I think she was about our sweet Camille's age. Some of the ladies wanted to hug me and I did hug them.

I saw a few of the dump people making sure that everyone received both a sandwich and a banana. How Christlike is that?

Not knowing if the dump was safe or not, I chose to leave my camera behind. I did not want to have my camera stolen. But an even greater consideration in that choice was being respectful of these people. I would not want someone taking my picture if I was in the same circumstances.

I maintained by composure while I was at the dump handing out food. But when we got back inside that car and drove away, I was crying my eyes out.

I am so thankful for a janitor at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas that wanted to help someone. And with that hundred dollars he sent, we can feed the dump people bean sandwiches and bananas one more time.
I am so glad I did not let my fear paralyze me.  It would have been easy to do.
A few weeks later a group from Atlanta was here.  Most of these were teenagers.  A very few were taken to the dump to feed bean sandwiches again.  These kids could not believe that people had to live like that.   They went home and raised enough money so that we could begin weekly feedings.  The menu was still sandwiches.

In May 2009, Trey Morgan entered the scene.  He began an annual fundraising day through his blog.  Because we serve a great big God, our God delivered in a big way.  Over $12,000.00 was raised in one day.  On a blog.  If anyone dared to think that it was a fluke, God showed our wrong that was when the next year more than twice that was raised.  In one day.  On a blog.

On May, 27, 2009 we began serving a hot meal of beans, rice and tortillas every Wednesday.

 A hot meal has been served to those people in the dump every Wednesday since except for four or five times.  That is possible because of Dump Day.

Wednesday, May 6 is the 7th annual dump day.  People still work in the dump.  People still live in the dump.  People are still hungry.  Please pray about what you can give this year.

Donations can be made to:
Honduras Hope
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

or for easy online giving go to

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