Families Matter, Regardless of Where They Live by Steve Dixon

Note: this is a guest post by Pastor Steve Dixon. Steve is pastor at Porters Grove Baptist Church in Conowingo, MD and he is also a Board of Director for Unsheltered International. He and his family just returned from a trip to the Philippines where they worked alongside our ministry team. You can contact Steve atSteven Dixon sdixonjr@me.com

We got to see one of the prettiest sunsets we have ever seen while we were in the Philippines. As the day turned to dusk, the darkness started to hide the reality of where we were.  At this moment all it was, was beautiful.  As I was taking these pictures I thought to myself that it’s hard to believe that a place like this exists on earth.  A place with such wonderful people, happy children who love to play and have fun, and a place that looks so gorgeous when the sun goes down.

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Of course you must be wondering by now where exactly we are.  Well, we are standing inside a basketball court in the middle of a dump site…yes, a real dump.  This is a place where people not only make a living scavenging through the trash everyday looking for items that can be recycled but it’s also the place where these people make their home.  On the evening these pictures were taken, we were getting ready to show a film and present the Gospel.  By the way, many people trusted in the Lord on this night after Pastor Remada preached a powerful message.

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But the dump site is not really what I want to focus on, rather to let you know about one specific family we got the pleasure to meet while we were ministering there.  When we arrived here, we saw almost immediately one of the most beautiful babies I had ever seen.  He was so precious and chubby you just couldn’t help but pick him up and hug him.  Between Beka, Ben, and I holding him, he rarely got put down or saw his parents.  Children, no matter where they live, are precious and wonderful and a gift from God.  Look at this picture, you may have only been focussed on Beka and this little one but take a closer look at the background.  I forget for a while but am always reminded quickly that this is all happening within the confines of a trash dump.

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Pastor Ricky could tell we were becoming attached to this family and started to tell me their story.  This is the Patijayon family.  Husband Teddy, Wife Janalyn, and their three children.  They are once again fruit of the meal center and Bible lesson time that happens at the dump every Saturday.  Through this ministry they received the Lord Jesus as their Savior and He is truly doing great things for them.  You see this family is missing a key component, the parents are not married.  Now that there saved they realize how important it is to get this matter resolved and the church is presently working on their paperwork so they can make it official.  What a wonderful God we serve that can take these lives that the world would deem insignificant and make something great out of them.

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The story doesn’t completely end there.  I found out on the Sunday we were there that even though the parents are saved and getting legally married that they were such new converts they hadn’t been baptized yet.  And that this family was on the candidate list of the people I would baptize that day in the river.  It just never ceases to amaze me how in just a few days of a mission trip that God can knit your hearts with people from the first moment and have such a great impact on each other.  As Satan tries to tear families apart God is bringing families together all over the world!

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