What if...

      What if this were the description of a missions trip? Would you have volunteered to go?

      Near the center of Guatemala City is a deep ravine 4 miles long, one-half mile across, and more than 800 feet deep. This ravine serves as an immense garbage dump for the city. More than 10,000 people, two-thirds of them kids, live in hovels and shelters in the alleys and streets around the dump. These people make their living by scavenging through the garbage for items they can sell or recycle, earning about $4 to $5 a day for a family of four or five members.
      You値l be working in two alleys immediately adjacent to this garbage dump.
      You値l be going into the dump and taking sand from piles intended to cover the next layer of garbage and spreading it inside 10' x 20' cinder block and corrugated metal hovels that serve as homes to families of four or five people. You値l be hauling cement, sand, and stones in broken-down wheelbarrows into one alley and mixing concrete on the ground. You値l be hauling concrete up a second four-foot wide muddy, dirt alley and pouring slab floors on top of the layer of sand from the dump.
      You値l be working in the brutally hot sun with poor tools. You値l be surrounded by flies and see flocks of buzzards circling overhead. The stench is overpowering, but you won稚 notice it after about 10 minutes. The life expectancy of people living here is 47 years due to disease, malnutrition, and crime and you値l be in the midst of it all.
      Some of the local girls and women will help you, but the men won稚 because they are out scavenging in the dump.
      One afternoon you値l make visits to four or five visits to families living in these hovels to share your faith in the Lord with them. You値l do this through a Spanish translator and you値l be required to make a written report on each of these visits.
      You can稚 wear a watch or jewelry because this makes you a target. You can稚 go out at night at all and even in the day you must stay in a group because of muggers and roving gangs of vicious teenagers.
      You値l stay in a seminary with concertina barbed wire around the top of its 8-foot concrete walls. You値l sleep in dorm rooms, 4 to 8 to a room, in double decker bunk beds. Your showers will barely dribble water and there will be two showers for every 12 people. You can稚 drink the water, use it for brushing your teeth, eat any fruits or vegetables washed in it, or use ice made of it.
      You値l have an unforgettable time.

The following pages have many photos from the trip. All of the photos are in a manual slide show. Just click on the right arrow above each photo when you're ready to go on to the next photo. Click on the button below to start at the beginning and see it all.

Start slide show

© 2005.   Web site design by Dave Ahl, e-mail SwapMeetDave@aol.com