Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My trip to the dump

i went to the dump tonight...er, the waste management landfill. sorry. it's an interesting experience. the smell. the view. the trash. the tractor moving all the trash. did i mention the smell? there are two different landfills right here in our little corner of paradise. one pile is for our neighbors down the road. the other is for those within lewisville city limits. not sure why both piles are in lewisville, tho... for the record, our neighbor's pile looks cooler than ours.

when we lived in san diego many years ago, my boys first experience playing baseball was in the chollas lake little league. the field was built on top of the old san diego dump. bad grass. gas release valves around the complex. strange odor. they couldn't ever get the field level. funny thing...the kids still loved playing there. it was their home turf. they ran and hit and slid and dodged the release valves. aren't kids great?

down in tijuana mexico (right across the border from san diego), there is a whole community built right in the tijuana dump. not near it. on it. years ago, when i first visited it, there was nothing more than old shacks and cardboard box homes and stacks of worn out tires and broken down pallets all piled up to make places for families to live. it was shocking. it was overwhelming. it was humbling.

good hearted people (including amor ministries, the organization we partner with on our spring break and men's missions trips) began to help. simple, but quality houses were built. small businesses sprang up. today, there are schools, shops, grocery stores, medical clinics, churches, and even some little baseball fields right there in the dump! i haven't been back there in years, but i am confident that the work that was begun a long time ago continues to make life totally different for the people in the dump. i know i am different because of it...

isn't amazing how God has a way of taking refuse and turning it into something beautiful? always has. always will.

1 comment:

Erin said...

My boyfriend's father is/was a school teacher in Picher, Oklahoma for years. This year he's leaving, though not by choice. Picher is the most polutes city in the United States. Years ago, big companies mined the town - for what I dont know - but what they found was lead. Lead that, now unearthed, was seeping into the city's water supply.

The mining companies eventually abandoned their projects, but they left behind unmarked mines that cave unexpectedly and claim lives every year. They also left behind chat piles that spread lead dust everytime the wind blows.

The children in Picher are all dumb. I'm not kidding. The government has been studying them for years. They have birth defects, learning disabilities, and higher risk of cancer. After decades of watching the results, the government has decided to make the people move.

The schools and businesses are closing, and over the next year all of the residents must move.

There is a group of people who would like to see the city cleaned up - the chat piles removed, water cleaned, etc. but it would cost millions if not billions of dollars. But instead of doing that, the government has given the land to the indians, and is now making everyone leave. They're just going to let the land sit there and rot. Uninhabitable.

I read your thing about the dumps - that's what made me think of picher. You were saying how good God is - how he makes something out of nothing - or something out of something else that seems worthless.

I was thinking about Picher, and thinking how glad I am that God didn't give up on me or make me move out.

I was thinking about the world - the tsunami's and earth quakes and fired and storms. Did you know there are places in the ocean where fish are just dying for no apparent reason? all the things the Bible said would happen - they're happening. The earth just seems to be imploding - rotting away - and I was thinking, why doesn't God just let me rot away too? I certainly deserve it.

Sometimes I feel so unworthy that I argue with God, as if I'm trying to convince him to give up on me. He never does though. He never gives up on any of us.

That's pretty cool.