To live amongst the stench, with its oozing and rotting trash from other people’s lives – black hands from the soot of the burning cords and electrical wires…this is what we see when we go there. Words cannot adequately describe how your brain tries to combat the reality of what your nostrils are being bombarded with – what your eyes are trying to comprehend when they gaze out over the tons and tons of garbage and the realization that children (yes, children!) live here. Dirtiness, hopelessness, and despair live here. It is a part of daily life in the Tijuana Dump.
Last Friday, we were like little elves at Christmas, as we gathered at the Spectrum dorm to fill bags with goodies like beans, rice, canned goods, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, oatmeal, and soup. We filled over 180 bags and loaded our sleigh (okay, it was a pickup truck) with food, blankets, tarps, and warm socks to take to some very wonderful people at the Tijuana Dump. As we stood there handing out plates of warm tamales, hot drinks, and a sweet dessert—shy smiles emerged from under long faces, and the dirty hands graciously accepted seconds to take home for a meal to have later. Laughter erupted in spurts as numbers were called out to take home a cozy new blanket or a tarp to help shelter a family from the wind and cold. Eager ears listened when we shared the Gospel of Jesus. Joy shown round about when for just a few hours, the despair was replaced with hope. This. This is what Christmas is all about. Joy. Hope. Love.
Thank you for helping us to make this Christmas memory for some special men, women, and children. Your generosity has blessed many this year. And for that, we are truly grateful.