By Amy Dillman

Death…  Death is by far the strongest sense that overtakes me in my nostrils and in my heart.  These people do not know their dignity or their value and consequently they live and work in a wretched environment.  The  trucks dump the trash and the workers, who have paid to be there, begin digging out what they will try to sell.

Vultures hover over my head only a few feet away and swarm the trash speaking of the dead things that the people are sifting their hands through.  The smell stings my nose even though I am several feet away.

The workers are exposed to dead bodies and needles and they have no idea the sicknesses and diseases they will pick up as they reach their hands into the garabage.  This is the most ethical job?  Well it is when your choices are a gangster, a drug dealer, a prostitute, or working in the dump.

As we stood on the cemetery grounds looking down at the dump I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing.  There were people making food and others lining up the eat right in the middle of the trash.  There were bulldozers pushing trash towards the river even though people were right in front of them (some have died this way because the bulldozers don't stop and they can't always see in front of them).

We even walked right up to a pile of junk where after a few years or after the people stop paying rent the bodies are dumped.  Unreal.  Death is the overwhelming feeling here, and I have Jesus the source of life living inside me. What do these people have if they don't have Jesus?  If they don't even know their value.

Here you can see the three layers of society.  You have the dump at the bottom and then the ghetto and then self sufficiency is at the top where you see the tall building.  The dump has about 20,000 people living and working around there.  The dump was over two ravines and you could see the rivers open up right out by the dump.  The bulldozers push the trash into the river which is why the water is so messed up.  Later got to get even closer than this, we got to go down to a family's house who was living and working in the dump.

Loupe, is six years old and lives in the down the street where we had eaten lunch. Desi invited her to eat lunch with the family and our group. During lunch, Lynn, a member of our team, asked her if she wanted to sit on her lap and the little girl told Desi she was too dirty to sit on her lap.  I didn't hear her say it but I heard later and it broke my heart.  A six year old has embraced the reality of what she lives in and she believes she is too dirty.  I was so hurt for her because she must have been told that she was dirty.  Either that or she had just learned it from the people around her.  Either way she needs her value and worth instilled in her.  For that moment that Lynn had her sit in her lap she must have felt full of value.

My prayer is that little girls like Loupe will see their value through Christ's love, hearing that comment forever changed my outlook on life….

Loved with value,

Amy Dillman

Bloomington, IL