DOWN IN THE DUMPS

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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.

SHIFTING GEARS BIG TIME

SHIFT ONE

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.

SHIFT TWO

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.

SHIFT THREE

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.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Steve and Lois Dresselhaus

TEAM, PO Box 969, Wheaton IL 60187                                                              steveandlois@hotmail.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Blog: Macrochristian.wordpress.com

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About Steven Dresselhaus

Steve is a career missionary with TEAM. TEAM is a faith based, international, non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to making life better for everyone now and in the future. We do this by creating sustainable and reproducing gatherings of Jesus followers who understand that as long as they are here they have the privilege of serving Jesus by serving their neighbors and by teaching them spiritual truths found in the Bible. Steve is a SCUBA diver, sea kayaker and an avid cyclist. Meeting with followers of Jesus every week is a number one priority for him. Making the world a better place by obeying Jesus is what energizes him.
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