On Sunday we went to Iglesia del Camino. It was amazing and wonderful. I can't wait to spend my summer working there. After we left church we made "home" visits to families in the trash dump.
Pastor Saul had orchestrated which houses we would visit and we took them bags of food and prayers. Our women's team was divided into 3 groups to do home visits.
The "homes" that we visited consisted of tin walls and a tin roof. They had dirt floors. An entire family of 11 would live in a "house" smaller than most people's bathrooms. The room was just large enough for one bed. There were no windows or closets or spaces for storage. Storage isn't necessary when you have nothing. Everything in the dump is grey, brown, and black. Volcanic ash covers most of the land. Children run around filthy and hungry. When we entered into the houses we were welcomed with smiles and grateful hearts. My group visited the 4 planned houses and still had an extra bag left over. We decided to take the extra food bag to the family of the little girl who had been following us around with her 2 younger siblings. I was lucky enough to snatch the smallest of the siblings and carry him around with me in the dump for the day.... even though his "diaper" was leaking all over me. He was an angle child and was content just being held... a luxury which is hard to come by. When he did cry his sister of only 8 years old took him and had him asleep within 3 minutes.... children raising children. When we took the food to this family, we realized that God had intervened and led. Out of the hundreds of families in the dump, we took that bag to the family that God led us to. This was the family that both parents had received Christ the day before at our medical clinic.
The other two groups visited homes as well. One group prayed with a man as he received Christ.... while his young, young children wept with joy around him. These young children knew the joy. Another group prayed over a women in pain. They laid hands on her and cried out to God and begged for His presence. He led these women who were obedient. None of them knew what they were doing but they yielded to the Holy Spirit. They moved their hands up this lady's stomach as they all prayed loudly in unison. When they finally got to her face, she began to cough and throw up green. Her pain was then gone.... in the name of God.
Today we visited Lakewood's preschool which is on the border of the dump. The children sang and danced for us and they were marvelous. God's fingerprints were all over them. 60 kids in a tiny small cement square school.
In the afternoon we had a women's worship service for the mothers of the children from the preschool. Over 40 women attended. Phyllis had planned to give her testimony and had been preparing for days. We were all eating lunch before this women's meeting and Phyllis shared her heart with us. She said that she would be fine giving her testimony but that she knew in her heart that God was telling her there was something else He wanted to do. She said that God told her that I was supposed to give my testimony. As outgoing and bold as I am, I was terrified by the idea of speaking (through a translator) in front of these women who live in what most would consider hell. But God told me to come to Him... so I slipped away for a few minutes and talked to God. And I prayed... and prayed.... and cried for the first time in a long time. I knew that God wanted me to tell HIS story, not mine. And I begged God to make me small and Him large. I had never given my testimony in front of a group of strangers this large. I didn't know what I was going to say but I knew that I didn't want to have ANY of myself in my words but ALL of God.
It was healing and humbling.
God did speak through me these words at the end of my story:
"If you think you have nothing to live for in the world.... you are exactly right. There is NOTHING to live for here.... the only thing worth living for is not of this world."
Here are a few verses that God also placed on my heart:
Hosea 11- the entire chapter. God talks about how much he loves Israel even how diligently He called out to His people; just as God continued to seek after me.
James 5: 7-11
Perseveren in God.... just as I have learned through my life and these women who live in Guatemala trash dump have learned and show through theirs.