Friday, July 18, 2008

"The Hole"

Before lunch, we loaded the vans to go to "The Hole." It was literally a trash dump in Santiago that people had made their home. There were tiny paths where sewer water ran down into the water below. Along the paths were tiny houses no bigger than my living and dining room. Kids with bare feet ran through the sewer water that was slowly making it's way down to the basin below. Starved dogs and cats chased after them. The smell was wretched.

We hadn't gotten very far from and only walked down a few levels, before kids came running with their arms raised just wanting someone to pick them up and love on them.

It broke my heart to see the people living there. We were told that "The Hole" was basically ruled by the drug ward and we were actually there under his protection. Apparently, years ago, when the feeding center and church were first being built, he asked for a meeting with the pastor because he liked what was going on there and he saw hope and future for the kids. So he told the pastor that he would watch out for him and the groups that he would bring in to help with the church and feeding center. It's a pretty crazy story, but I felt safe.

My heart was broken for these kids. That life is what they've always known and even with help and education, it would be so hard to change their lives. We were told that drugs and prostitution are very prevalent there. To look into the eyes of those little girls and know that is the environment that they will more than likely grow up in almost brought tears to my eyes. It was incredibly hard to get back on the bus and leave. I don't think these kids are hopeless at all. They just need love...just look at their faces. I think that says it all.
Below is a short video clip I took with my camera at the basin of "The Hole."

Upon my return home, I found this video that Harold from Morgantown posted. It breaks my heart. Pray for the kids in "The Hole." Pray for their safety and health.


Harold said...

Amy, this was my third trip to the hole in the past 18 months but the first time that I had worked there for an entire week. My heart was completely broken by the time we left for the final time. On every trip over the past 18 months one boy in particular has made contact with me. For some reason he has singled me out for the hardest hugs imaginable for a child his size. This trip I found out his name, Joel Louise, pronounced Joe-L Lou-eece. He also learned my name. On our last trip there I heard his small voice yell, Haarooooold. That sound has haunted me ever since. He is a wonderful young man who now owns a large piece of my heart.

It was literally sickening to watch those children play in that river of filth and there was nothing I we could no to stop them. Keep Joel in your prayers. He is now my second son.

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