More than just a roof

05 Jul, 2013 | Panama
Christina Hydes
After building the roof and some benches, the volunteers and a few locals enjoy a break and rest as it was difficult to dig the holes in the ground.
On a hot and sunny Tuesday morning, 7 volunteers from OM Panama loaded their van with wood, bamboo, a tarp and tools in order to build a roof on a garbage dump. As the raining season started in Panama, the workers of OM needed a roof to be able to continue their ministry to the people living in the dump.

A few months ago, some OM workers visited the garbage dump of David for the first time. David is the biggest city close to the OM office. They had heard that some people live and work there. Upon arrival, the people living on the dump did not want to shake hands with them. “Our hands are too dirty,” they said, but the OM team members insisted. For the first time, someone outside their community entered their homes and even wanted to shake hands with them. This little gesture impacted them greatly. “Why are you here?” they started asking. On that day, a new ministry was born.

OM Panama now visits the dump every week on a Tuesday afternoon. At first, the team members tried to reach as many local people as possible. They presented dramas, sang songs, taught from the Bible and shared food and drinks. After a few weeks, they decided to make a few changes in the programme to be able to have more personal conversations with the local people. Some of the workers of OM Panama were able to build good and deep relationships with them and help them with their daily problems as well as in their spiritual lives.

Benches under the roof

During the raining season it’s difficult to meet with people in the garbage dump. So the OM team members decided to construct their own roof. Digging in the ground on the landfill was a big challenge, because it consists primarily of garbage. The OM workers didn't have the right tools. But with the help of the locals, the work was finished successfully after a few hours. They do have some experience in how to dig a hole fast and deep.

Now, not only are they all going to be protected from the rain, they can also sit comfortably under the roof. The team also built some benches. The local people and the workers of OM Panama are now looking forward to all the conversations and Bible studies in the coming weeks and months - under the new roof.

Please pray for the local people that live in the garbage dump. Pray for them to have hope in their hearts and grow in faith. Also pray for wisdom for the volunteers of OM Panama in their ministry to the people. Pray that God may give them the right words to say in all the circumstances.

Credit: Christina Hydes · © 2013 OM International This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

OM exists to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.

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