It’s 12 at night, and we are exhausted. I have LOTS to tell you. I’m not sure where to begin, and all this might be major word vomit, but I’m gonna just try to put into words what we did today.
We spent a practical day at the church this morning. At the beginning of the planning for this trip, some of our group expressed that they wanted to do something tangible while we were here. For about two hours, we were digging up some pretty big rocks out from under the field on the property to try and make the ground softer for the kids who play soccer. We cranked some music up and got busy digging up these big rocks and raking little ones of the way. Everyone kind of pitched in where they could and we got the job done. Ryan broke two sledgehammers. There are battle wounds from fighting these rocks, dudes. You can see a picture of Ryan and Coach’s hands on the last post.
After going back to where we were staying for a quick lunch and change of socks, we headed to the orphanage/juvenile detention center. It was almost nothing like we were anticipating. I’m not sure how we got the term detention center, but it was much more like a boys home. Pepper said he was so relieved because he was expecting thugs X_x Many of the youth are there just because their parents can’t take care of them for reasons such as mental disabilities or just not being able to provide. Since it was an all guys group, the dudes of our team took charge and led. Jonathan and Trinity led the group in some songs. Jonathan taught the guys some clapping rhythms and we rocked it out. Then, we did a skit and the guys split up into small groups. Those of us who weren’t leading a small group were sitting together praying for our guys and that God would speak through them into these boys’ lives. Daniela was also over to the side praying with a young guy, which we got the sweetest picture ever of.
After the orphanage/boy’s home/detention center thing, we went to a trash dump. When we were told that we were going to a trash dump, I don’t think many of us knew exactly what that meant. Some of us thought it was just a really run down part of the town here. It was legit trash. It was the place where all the dump trucks go and dump their trash…. and inside of this dump, people had built tiny shacks out of whatever they could find by digging through the trash. It took us a 15 minute walk from where we had parked up into the dump. Our mission was to go there, talk to the people, and give them some juice and a sandwich. During our debriefing session, Michael shared with us that there was a lady in the dump there who was thankful for the food, but made sure he knew that the Word of God was much more important to bring to the people there. Trinity shared about a man her group talked to named Raul who was the original “Person of Peace” (translation: the person who was key into the OM team first starting this ministry there in the dump). Daniela shared about a lady who had 3 daughters that were taken away from here because she couldn’t care of them.
Michael and Ryan then connected both of our ministries. We got to see both sides of a story. The kids in the orphanage were wanting out and kept saying that they didn’t belong there, where as the parents in the trash dump were working hard to try and provide for their children so they didn’t have to be taken away from them and sent to places like the orphanage. Some of the women who lived there had children that they would hide so that they wouldn’t be taken away from them.
The people we met who work at this trash dump are not employed. They are there living off of whatever the dump trucks bring in and sell the stuff they find to gain money. They were very thankful for someone to chat with and for a little bit of food and drink during the hot day today.
For our last ministry event of the day, we put on a program for the kids that go to “Joy Ministry.” Joy Ministry is set up for the kids of the neighborhood surrounding the trash dump and for the kids of the parents who work there. We did some songs and colored a lot because these kiddos were super young.
After a long, hard, and heavy day, we went out to dinner as a team along with our OM friends at some Mexican restaurant that was amazing even though we all SMELL. Then, we went back to our base for a quick time of debrief and encouragement for one another. God is doing amazing things here in Volcan, and we are constantly being reminded of how powerful and wonderful HE is. Please continue to pray for us as we finish up our time here.
“Coach, watching you at the orphanage and trash dump, I see you as cute and cuddly.” – Daniela
*Talking about when guys whistle or honk at girls* “Yea. That happens to me a lot!” *INSERT UNCONTROLLABLE LAUGHTER* “… when I’m walking with my mom.” – Pepper
Person1: “She’s like 65 years old.”
Person 2: “When ya got it, ya got it.”