hunger and thirst for righteousness Heat coils around me as we step off the van. It starts down around my feet and spirals upward. Until it reaches my mouth and it takes my breath away.

And though I’ve chugged an ice-cold bottle of water right before our arrival I think,

“I’m thirsty.”

And that thought stays with me.

I look around.

hunger and thirst for righteousness

My heart drops and so do my eyes. Which gives perfect view to the smallest, most precious treasure:

hunger and thirst for righteousness

And all I can hear is my mom’s voice.

“No baby, put that down. You can’t have that.”

hunger and thirst for righteousness

“Come here. Let’s wipe your face. You got all dirty after lunch.”

“No, you cannot play in the sandbox, I just gave you a bath.”

hunger and thirst for righteousness

When the familiar collides with the absolute worst (and I mean the absolute worst) it’s all my mind can seem to do, to place the familiar back over it. To relive the time when I was a child.

I flop my tongue around in my mouth. I’m so thirsty.

This trash dump in Nicaragua is where mothers, grandmothers, men and children come to make a living. It’s where they find their lunch. For children it’s where they play and take their midday nap.

I’m sure it’s where innocence comes to die. Where purity and worth are strangled.

And I can’t stop seeing my mom in this moment. Being a mom. Loving me. Protecting me. Protecting. Me. From the tiniest germ to the most unsuitable weather.

I look back at the van. Should I go grab some water? I’m just so thirsty.

A breeze is released and with it the most degrading smells. This is a trash dump. And the image of God is walking around in it.

After talking to some of the people who work here, who earn less than $1 a day going through trash, we walk back to the van and climb in. I survey the land one last time. Poverty on its throne. Trying so hard to remove the mark of God from each person standing there.

I grab a water and chug.

Strange, I think, I’m still thirsty. And I feel an ache start in my mind and it reaches through and strikes against every bone and splits through my heart.

hunger and thirst for righteousness

The van winds through dirt paths and my thoughts start churning, trying to make sense, trying to grasp. Already trying to remember. But I hear,

“Blessed are those who thirst and hunger for righteousness, for they shall be comforted.” –Matthew 6:33, ESV

And I think,

“Yes, I am quite thirsty.”

We turn a corner and see the church. A church partnered with Compassion. And children.

hunger and thirst for righteousness

hunger and thirst for righteousness

And I thank God. That there is a Church and there is you, a sponsor, thirsting for righteousness. Sacrificing a little to give a child so much.

And I just wanted to let you know that you are making a difference.


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16 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Jun 19, 2013
    at 6:34 am

    I love this, Bri!

  2. Jun 19, 2013
    at 8:17 am

    Beautiful Brianne. What a stark contrast between the images of the dump and the images of the children at the Compassion center.

  3. Jun 19, 2013
    at 9:00 am

    Wow! Being a mom, I can’t even imagine what it must be like for these families, day in and day out. I am so thankful for you and the others that are traveling on this trip to help me ‘experience’ life for these families. And I am so thankful that each one of us can make a small difference to change the story for our sponsored kids.

  4. Jun 19, 2013
    at 9:13 am

    Thank you for sharing a glimpse with us. Such a good reminder.

  5. Jun 19, 2013
    at 9:13 am

    Wow. So many words and thoughts going through my head as I read this. Among them I just want to say thank you for letting your words and pictures speak for those in Nicaragua. Thank you also for the dose of perspective this morning.

  6. Katie Boltwood
    Jun 19, 2013
    at 9:37 am

    I was sad to know I couldn’t come on the trip this year but I would like to do one in the future. Since I sponsor my little Junieth from Nicaragua I can only image what her day is like. Blessings to you sisters in Christ for showing these children that they truly are loved via Christ’s love in us.

  7. Jun 19, 2013
    at 9:46 am

    Thank you for sharing this, Brianne. Praying for you all this week, and thankful for the work Compassion is doing there.

    ~Kendra

  8. Jun 19, 2013
    at 10:01 am

    I love the way you wove thirst through this whole post and ended with wanting your reader to thirst for righteousness and sponsor. Beautiful imagery and heart. Thank you for making us feel as though we’re there with you. Looking forward to all your words.

  9. Jun 19, 2013
    at 11:30 am

    Oh Bri , I heard my momma voice right along side your momma’s voice and I am reminded of the stark contrast.

    Thank you, sweet friend, for reminding us of the hope Compassion brings. Of the hope we can bring by just saying “Yes”.
    Love ya and praying for you guys all week xoxo

  10. Jun 19, 2013
    at 8:49 pm

    Thank you so much, friends, for your sweet, encouraging words! So grateful for you all!

  11. Mark Megginson
    Jun 19, 2013
    at 9:19 pm

    Thank you Brianna.
    This is my first blog to follow and I didn’t know what to expect. All I can think is…I wish that there was some way that the whole world could read your words and, for just one small moment, feel the heart of our Savior breaking for His beautiful Little Ones. I’m holding all of you up in prayer. God is using you in an awesome way.

    Mark

  12. Jun 19, 2013
    at 9:39 pm

    Extraordinarily well written; so moving, so expressive, so full of your heart. Thank you for this.

  13. Mike Westphal
    Jun 20, 2013
    at 11:06 am

    Hey Bri,
    Is this the dump in Leon or La Chureca in Managua? Just curious. I’ve been to both.

    • Jacquie Parella
      Jun 20, 2013
      at 1:44 pm

      Hi Mike! They were in Leon.

  14. J>B>McKOy Jr.
    Jun 23, 2013
    at 6:27 pm

    Hooray, Brianne

  15. Seles
    Jun 26, 2013
    at 1:14 pm

    You are such an eloquent writer. I felt like I was right there with you, seeing what you saw that day & feeling your emotion… “A breeze is released and with it the most degrading smells. This is a trash dump. And the image of God is walking around in it.” Wow. Powerful.

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