Dumpsite experiences

This week I went to the dumpsite and I want to share some of my experiences with you. First of all, before we left I had a discussion with one of the locals whether the car was over loaded or not and my main concern was not the weight, but the fact that it was packed twice as broad as the car itself. So after raising my concerns the locals repacked the car and the trailer so that I was more comfortable driving the car.

Then we left, but first we had to drop something at one of their places. He was living in a shack in one of the communities and he could still use some of our trash so we dropped that at his place. Because we had a lot of rain last couple of weeks, the way to his place was full of pools of water and mud. A couple of times I was afraid I would get stuck, but I believe that God guided us through the water.

Now it was time to drive to the dumpsite. Because the car was full full, the locals were sitting in the back of the bakkie on top of the trash. While driving towards the dumpsite, every time I stopped there were a couple of people trying to go through our trash hoping to find something that they could still use or sell. Which for me was already crazy for me, because what I had in the car was in my eyes trash.

When we arrived at the dumpsite I was amazed by the amount of people working here. There were people everywhere. And these people weren’t there to just throw things away. They were looking through the trash looking for things they could still use or sell. Things they would collect is carton, plastic and other things they could still use. We threw away some chairs and tires, and we weren’t even on the spot where we were supposed to dump when people were already taking it from the back. They didn’t even mind the fact that someone was sitting on it. One of the locals almost fell off the car, because someone was trying to grab something he was sitting on.

When I was waiting for the guys to offload the trash a lady that was working there stood out for me. She was working very hard and didn’t really dare to look at me. At the same time, I didn’t dare to start a conversation with her. While driving back I was asking myself why I couldn’t say anything to her, was it because how she looked like or was I afraid of what was going to happen when I did say something to her. I didn’t know but I felt a bit guilty that I didn’t say anything to her.

On our second trip that day I saw her again and I decided to greet her and give her some of the flower that we were going to throw away. The smile that I got off her was the most beautiful smile I’ve seen in a while. She was so happy with our flowers. Later when I asked one of the locals why she was so happy about this, he said that one persons trash is someone else’s treasure. This really struck me, these people didn’t see our broken, imperfect stuff but saw treasure that they could still use. This also made me think about how we as people are broken and imperfect, but God sees through our brokenness and holes and sees the treasure that’s inside of us. It’s so amazing that God can still use us, even though we sin and fall short, but God has great plans for us.

I want to challenge all of you today, think of person that lives somewhere that you’d prefer to ignore. It can be because of what they look like, how they smell or simply because they work somewhere where they don’t get appreciated for there work. I want to challenge you to see through the brokenness and see the treasure in them. Just make a small gesture to make them feel they are seen and loved. Aren’t we all called to love one another and to look out for those who are the outcast of the societies we live in? We don’t all have to leave our homes and go to a different country to show God’s love for all people. What are you going to do to show love to the outcast of society?

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