Sight, sound, smell, touch. Sometimes what we take in through our senses is beautiful beyond the ability of words to describe. Sometimes it is overwhelming ugliness and suffering that render us incapable of describing what our senses perceive. Unfortunately, it is the ugliness and suffering that I cannot properly describe after spending two weeks in Guatemala working with the Potter’s House, a Guatemalan ministry which serves the women and children who work in and live on the edge of one of the largest dumps in the Americas.
Thousands of people scavenge in the dump looking for value in what others have discarded. They gather tossed recyclables and then sell them by the kilo. While they look for plastics or glass, cardboard or scraps of metal, they fight off dogs and vultures which share the same space with them. All the while they dodge garbage-flattening bulldozers and breathe in the dust, fumes and odors of the garbage of four million people. No boots or gloves protect them from the broken glass, jagged metal and dead animals that fall from the steady stream of garbage trucks.
For 26 years, the Potter’s House of Guatemala has shared life with the people of the dump and has shown in word and deed the love of Christ. TEAM is privileged and honored to be entering into a partnership with the Potter’s House as we share in their labor of restoring dignity to those created in the image of God through the transformation obtained only through Christ Jesus.
My work at TEAM has had three sizeable shifts. We in TEAM are very happy to have hired two additional senior directors, meaning that my workload has shifted from work on three unrelated continents to now just Central and South America. I am able to focus on an area I know well, with a language I grew up speaking. This is allowing us to expand our ministries into new areas in South and Central America. Very exciting. We would love to have you join us.
My role in TEAM is not changing, but my status is. Lois and I will be returning to our former status as supported on-field missionaries, as we had been for 22 years in both Venezuela and Mexico. Sometime in the next couple of years we will be moving back overseas, where I will continue in my current assignment as senior director but do so while living closer to those whom we serve. Huge change, but we welcome it. Mexico is the most likely place.
The other major shift for me is that TEAM has appointed me as the Environmental Strategist. We will engage in creation care ministries when they help us disciple people and when the end result will be the establishing of ongoing, reproducing churches. The projects in which we are/will be engaged will be the extension of ministries of love, mercy and compassion . An example of this is the deforestation in Mozambique, which is resulting in tremendous loss of farmland due to uncontrolled erosion. We are attempting to reduce deforestation by providing a culturally acceptable alternative to charcoal as the main source of energy for cooking. If our efforts are successful, forests will be protected, cropland erosion reduced, cleaner burning fuel will reduce some chronic health issues, jobs will be created and Christians will be there with unlimited opportunities to proclaim verbally the love of Jesus they will have been demonstrating practically.
HOW CAN YOU PRAY?
We have a lot of travel in the near future, for me as part of my job but as a family for two weddings we will be involved in: one in Baja and the other in California.
Joel and Claire will be needing summer jobs – you know how to pray for that one.
Joel still needs to buy a car – college student budgets make for slim pickings.
Lois continues to very much enjoy her job as part-time office manager for a social services agency in Addison. She is also enjoying her job as a freelance proofreader for two large Christian publishing houses. We are thankful .
Pray for Steve as he works to build up the work in Central and South America. The needs are many.
Steve and Lois Dresselhaus
TEAM, PO Box 969, Wheaton IL 60187 firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: Macrochristian.wordpress.com