Honduras (MNN) — Approximately 1,000 people live with just the shirt on their back near a garbage dump in Honduras.
Without it they would have nothing else. "[The dump people] scavenge food and recyclables for some income and basically that's their existence," said Peter Rhetts of World Gospel Mission .
WGM, partnering with a local pastor, has helped build a school and nursery and has plans to build other facilities. They have also built a well. They call it The Dump Ministry.
The dump people are very open to the Gospel. "The dump people don't have an
affiliation with really much of anything but they are very interested in Christ and learning about that and we feel that by offering them an oasis, both spiritually and physically, that they're even more open to it and that's proven to be the case," said Rhetts.
Many churches have been planted during the four to five years of the Dump Ministry. "We have several churches that have been planted. Some of them under trees on Sunday morning because they just can't afford a facility," said Rhetts. Hundreds of others ride donated busses to a community center where services are held.
"The response to the church has been absolutely overwhelming. I've been to several services. I think the least number of decisions that I have seen is around 10 or 12 per service- they're that hungry," said Rhetts.
The relief is very much spiritual but physical as well. "We do believe as well that a hungry man is not as inclined to listen to the Gospel as one who is not hungry. SO we minister both to the physical need and then to the spiritual need," Rhetts said.
Time, effort, and money are holding WGM back from giving all the things that the people need. They need maternity clothes, children's clothes and toys, and school and kitchen
supplies. "Although it may not be politically correct to say it, people are dying in this dump. And we need to get busy as fast as we can to meet the needs that we can do," said Rhetts.