Every time I visit the dump, I can’t help but think of what C.S. Lewis said, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” This is such a vivid picture of our lives and we see it, smell it and even taste it when we visit La Chureca (the city dump). An estimated 1000+ people live in the dump, making their homes out of whatever they can find and making their living out of what ever they can rummage and then sell. It is a horrible existence full of poverty, dysfunctional families, drug & alcohol problems, physical and sexual abuse and so much more.
The Buzbees have even rescued families and children from the dump and over and over again they return. Mike will often say, “You can take people out of the dump, but you can’t take the dump out of people.” How true this is of our lives as well. We look and see all that God has to offer and our complete joy would be found in our satisfaction in Him, yet we find ourselves in the dump making mud pies, every time we turn back to sin and self.
La Chureca always has a big impact on our team and this year was no exception. We were able to stop in at Collegio Christiano de Esperaza (the Hope School) that the Buzbees run right inside the dump. These kids are so precious, but every scar tells a story and every deep look into their eyes shows their inner hurt and pain. But praise God they are hearing the Gospel and receiving an education. We had fun joining them for recess and spreading some Gospel love their way.
After our time in La Chureca, we headed back to Las Parcelas for our time of dedication. But first we had to walk the playground equipment (it did get delivered, just to the wrong place) from Ruby Ranch to the school. We set it in and then had a time of dedication and prayer and shared our love and gifts with them and they did in return. The leader of the community was there and spoke on behalf of the children, the school and everyone in the community. They were so grateful and said they will be anxiously waiting for our return with open arms.
After the dedication, we took a road trip to the beach! Stepping foot into the Pacific and then swimming in it was a first for many on our team. It was a beautiful afternoon and sunset there.
We returned pretty exhausted, but full spiritually. We are all learning better how to walk in the Spirit, hear Him and join Him where He is working. It is excited to see all that God is doing in us individually and also corporately as a team. But our night wasn’t complete without a little birthday celebration! It is Elise’s birthday and so we had the whole team sneak down to the Rancho with the lights out and then had someone bring her down and “SURPRISE” – a party Nica style complete with birthday cake!
God is so good. We are so humbled and grateful for His presence and power. Please join us in prayer that God would move mightily for our last few days here! We will see you all soon!