A team from my faith community Impact recently spent a week serving the thousands of people who live around the Guatemala City Garbage dump. The trip was part of our partnership with a Guatemalan ministry named Potter’s House.

Unlike our last 3 trips, this team was able to go inside the actual dump. They passed out water, vitamins, and medicine to hundreds of people who were scavenging through the dump that day.

My colleague Benj Petroelje shared his journal entry with me, and gave me permission to post it.

Guatemala City Garbage Dump – Journal – Day 5

Vultures.  They are what’s eating at me most about this trip and the Guatemala City dump.  Human Beings.  They are in competition with these vultures for the precious scraps of garbage.  Is there a more obvious picture of death anywhere in this world?  Vultures – a bird that represents death.  Human Beings – made in God’s image and meant for life … Standing/Flying side-by-side wading through garbage.


Jesus spoke about a place where two valleys met at the site of a garbage dump.  He spoke of a kind of unquenchable fire that existed there.  It was a literal place.  It was sub-human.  No one was meant to exist there.  Not even vultures.  He called it Gehenna.

We call it hell.

I rode into hell today in the back of a pickup truck.  Unlike Lazarus, I was able to bring water.  But what does water do for those working next to vultures?  What do vitamins do when your very existence is less than human?  What does medicine do when the worms living in your stomach are guaranteed to return?

I’m not sure what they do.

But I do know that hell exists.  And I do know that hell isn’t meant to exist in a world meant for heaven.

So we brought water.

We brought vitamins.

We brought medicine.

We brought ourselves.

Because hell exists (and it shouldn’t).

I know.  I went there today.

Explore how you can partner with Potter’s House on their site.