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07 January 2014


It does take long after spending time in Reynosa to realize that garbage collection in Mexico is an entirely different experience than in the United States. In Reynosa, local men with horse or donkey drawn carts collect the garbage. They then haul the trash to the local dump. I'm thinking that there must be mechanized trash collection- dump trucks- in Reynosa, but I don't remember ever seeing one...

At the dump, the cart traffic constantly moves on the "roads". You see families sifting through trash, looking for recyclables or clothing to resell. On this day I saw a man open a cracker box, presumably to see if there was anything inside worth eating. I spent time with a sweet family with three kids happy to be spending the day with their dad before going back to school the next day. The family lives on the edge of the dump, and it was obviously their playground as they zipped around on their bikes next to their dad. I talked to several men who had been collecting trash for decades. One bought his cart from his father. Another was accompanied by his son, presumably who would someday have his own route.

Our family was at the dump along with a short-term team serving with Isaiah 55 Ministries this week. These servants from the States included a team of vet students and a doctor providing antibiotics and anti-parasite medicines for the animals, a man to shoe the horses and donkeys, and others to do improvements on the carts, including new lumber and welding improvements. We had opportunity to distribute Bibles to adults and children, and minister in Word and deed. This is the work I adore.

The day my family served with the team at the dump was probably the coldest day we've experienced in a couple of years. The smoke of the small fires around the dump left us smelling musty. The mist of light rain added a dampness to the already cool temperatures. Our toes and fingers and ears were chilled. Obviously the dump is a dusty dirty place (though not nearly as stinky as it will be in the summertime!). All this, and we were blessed, and our hope is that the cart owners were as well.

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