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A couple of Sundays ago we were serving up a storm at El Salvador. Kids were streaming in for breakfast, giving us “high fives,”  smiling and heading to their classrooms to wait for breakfast. We were going through food quickly, as is usually the case.  The younger kids eat first followed quickly by the older ones. If there is food leftover then anyone who helps out with Sunday school can grab something for breakfast.

We were finished serving – nothing left in the pots – when something caught my eye near the container where the trash was being thrown out. One of the young men that helps out at the church was picking through the trash looking for leftovers – something to eat, to fill the emptiness in his stomach.  He had arrived late and there was nothing left to eat. I tried as hard as I could to keep the sad and bewildered expression off of my face as I watched him dig through the trash pulling out food that was “salvagable.” And then eat it.

Have YOU ever been so hungry that you have or would go through trash to find remnants of food to fill your stomach? Honestly, I have not and it hurt to watch this person. It didn’t hurt because I was embarrassed or ashamed of what he was doing. It hurt because he was hungry and at that moment there was nothing we had to give him.

It hurt because in my heart I knew this was probably not the first time he had done this to find something to eat.

It hurt because right afterwards, on the way to Luz Divina, we passed by a community trash bin and saw a woman digging through the discarded bags looking for food. It didn’t seem to bother her that there were dogs looking for food alongside her as well. Competing for the scraps. It hurt to watch her. It hurt to know that to find food that is what she must do. I don’t know her or her story but my spirit tells me the story would break me.

It hurt because unfortunately this is a sight we frequently see.


Crying out for enough food for these people all within His Mighty Grip,