Reconciling the Disparity

Today we visited the Guatemala City dump.

A place that is 1 square kilometer. A place where 20,000 families reside.

A place where the water is unfit for consumption, even by a rat.

A place where little girls go missing like discarded baby dolls.

A place where vultures circle, searching for something, anything, to prey on.

A place so dark that even hours later my eyes still are not accustomed to the light.

If I am honest, I am frustrated. Really frustrated.

Frustrated because I cannot begin to reconcile the disparity.

The disparity between wealth and poverty. Want and need. Developed and developing. Light and dark.

I have questions.

How do I fish shoes out of my overflowing closet after seeing babies walk on trash barefoot?

How do I discard leftovers after watching kids line up for whatever the Compassion project is serving because it is a rare warm meal?

How do I return to the abundant life I left five days ago knowing the haunting truth of poverty?

And unfortunately there are no easy answers. There are no pretty pink bows to tie up this life-changing journey.

There are only challenges.

The passionate pursuit of becoming more like Christ.

And the question that Shaun Groves asked each of us tonight, “Now that you KNOW, what are you going to DO about it?”

I must ask you the same question.

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

Would you consider sponsoring a child from Guatemala? It would mean the world to me. It would mean the world to a little boy or girl, their family, and their community.

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dog Molly, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • practicinghuman

    Lord have mercy.

    I'm still a young adult working to discern my life's vocation. God has opened the doors for me to pursue a degree that enables me to make connections with various organizations working full-time to be the hands and feet present in these situations. I pray the doors continue to open. And I continue to pray for the people who find themselves so impoverished they do not have any other options.

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      That would be important work!

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  • tam

    Yep. This Wednesday we are going to sponsor a child from Guatemala. And I can't wait!
    My recent post let it go

  • http://twitter.com/Marlee09 @Marlee09

    Just like the starfish story – all you can do is say "I made a difference to that one". And God bless you for it. And now there's another one sponsored… by me. And we are blessed.

    marlee

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      Thank you so much! The power of one is always bigger than we know.

  • http://www.withoutwax.tv pete wilson

    Thanks so much Lindsey. Thanks for going on this trip and allowing your heart to break for the injustices that break the heart of our God. I wrestle with these disparities on a regular basis. Heart breaking.
    My recent post My Little Runnin Back

  • http://pathfromtheheadtotheheart.wordpress.com chrystiecole

    Thank you for being willing to get your hands dirty…to do the uncomfortable…to overcome fears and anxiety…and to tell their stories. Thank you for showing us life outside of our own little comfortable bubble. Thank you for the love you displayed in every post. Thank you for the call to action. Following you on your experience pricked my heart and made me long that much more to love on my little Ingrid in Honduras.
    My recent post God-Goggles

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      Thank you for reading. Thank you for encouraging. I appreciate both. A lot.

  • Kelly

    I went to Honduras this past summer on a missions trip, and felt the same way. A saying that my pastor learned while on a missions trip in Haiti is: little by little, a bird builds it's nest. That is what we need to remember. We can't fix everything, but we can fix something.
    Kelly
    PS: This afternoon, my family is going to start sponsoring a child from Honduras.

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      Kelly, Yes, I agree. We can fix something. Not being able to fix everything is not an adequate excuse not to do anything. So excited for your family to sponsor a child in Honduras. Amazing.

  • Gina

    My heart is broken for all of these people and children. I want to rescue them all. I have 4 children through Compassion International now. My husband knows nothing about it. He would not approve. My 9 year old daughter is the only one who knows ( and I have 4 kids). I feel bad for being so sneaky in my marriage but I feel great for helping these kids. Your posts from Guatemala were really touching. Someday I will find a way to do more.

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      Gina, I feel the same way. I want to rescue them all. But thankfully we know that they are in God's hands.

  • http://ambocullum.blogspot.com Amber Cullum

    I never experienced more frustration than when I returned from Haiti and then India. How do we reconcile the disparity? Somehow I have come home and years later I am doing very little to nothing. Conviction….what will I do???? Thank you for sharing and helping me remember

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      That is my fear. That I will stop questioning. And return to complacency. Think the pull to that can be overwhelming.

  • http://www.momof6blessings.blogspot.com Teena

    Thank you for sharing your trip w/ us.

    We sponsor two children already and want to sponsor more.

    Praying for you.

    Hugs,

    Teena

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      Thanks Teena!

  • http://meeshimama.blogspot.com Michelle

    I have had a fire in my heart for the work Compassion does, but this blogger trip is fuel for the flame. I am going to put even more into effort spreading the word about the great work being done, in Jesus name.

    I know it will be hard to come back to the land of plenty after what you’ve seen. I pray that you have safe travels and some down time to process what you’ve just been through. Thank you, Lindsey, for the posts you’ve shared.

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      I am such a huge believer in what Compassion is doing. Seeing it first hand is such an honor. Go, be an advocate, great work is being doing in Christ's name.

  • Eve Annunziato

    There are no words…really….

    I appreciate you for going on this life changing journey and sharing your honest heart with us. Thanks for allowing us to also get wrecked with you… This world of poverty is heart breaking and these are the questions we should ALL wrestle with…always…
    My recent post My Fabulous New Ministry Venture!

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      As I told you tonight, YOUR encouragement made such a huge impact on me. I appreciate you, my incredible cheerleader.

  • http://www.reelrelief.com Ella Kliger

    Hello,

    Kristen Lohe posted a link to this blog on her Facebook Page. Really liked your writing and the photos were powerful. I’d like to link/recap this post on my blog: http://www.reelrelief.com

    Please let me know if that is acceptable to you. Would like to hear how successful your request for donors is over time. Thanks for doing Good Work.

    Best,

    Ella Kliger

    Non-profiteer and Agent of Change

    • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

      Love for you to recap or do an excerpt of this post on your blog and link here. I am not sure how many kids were sponsored as a result of our trip. The Compassion team knows but we haven't asked…intentionally.

  • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

    Robin, I loved seeing your face and hearing you voice last night via Skype. Thank you for being such an encourager along the way. I appreciate your sweet southern self, more than you know.

  • practicinghuman

    Perhaps one way to do something is to find the community closest to you with the greatest disparity, extending love and compassion to those persons immediately before you. I know it doesn't seem like much, but I was amazed when I started walking around the areas of my city I had never been before. It might not feel like it is the place with the most "need" but it is the place where you are.

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  • http://www.jcwert.com JasonWert

    "There are no pretty pink bows to tie up this life-changing journey."

    What a great line. Way too many times when someone takes a trip like this they feel they have to wrap it up in some kind of pretty bow to make it more palatable to other people. I had the same temptations when I wrote about human trafficking. We want to make it "safer" somehow for the people who see it instead of saying "here it is, it is what it is and now that you know about it what are you going to do about it?"

    Great post Lindsey.
    My recent post A second trip down the trace- Part I

  • Stephen

    Thank you for sharing the wrestling match that is going on in your heart. And thank you for not tying a pretty pink bow on it. Poverty is ugly. Therefore the wrestling match is ugly as well.

  • http://www.givinguponperfect.com Mary

    Lindsey, it was so good to see and hear you on Skype the other night, even if you were pixelated! Thank you for going and telling us. Thank you for being gut-level honest as you've done it. I've been praying – and will keep doing so – that your heart will be broken by this trip but not shattered.

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  • http://www.ordinarilyextraordinary.com/ Amy Nabors

    Lindsey, thank you for going on this journey and sharing your thoughts and how it has changed you. God has spoken through your words.
    My recent post The View Through My Window- My Special Place

  • http://lesliemartinyoung.blogspot.com Leslie

    Just sponsored my second Compassion child — Breyner, 8, from Guatemala! It's so hard to choose when looking at all those little faces! I have a little girl in India with my daughter's birthday, and now a little boy in Guatemala with my son's birthday! Thanks for inspiring me SO much this week!

  • http://abeautifulmess.info justin

    i follow your blog usually from a distance – but had to stop and say what a powerful post/photo share this was. i believe devastating is the word.

  • http://charsteyn.blogspot.com Charissa Steyn

    Great stuff that you are wrestling with Lindsey… the world is so full of brokeness and beauty and God is in the midst of it all, bringing redemption, grace, and love. We are His vessels. Hope you guys are being changed and learning alot while you are there, thanks for sharing your heart with us :)
    My recent post Scoops of Love

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  • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura@ Life Overseas

    What a powerfully heartbreaking post. What a powerfully. heartbreaking. post.

    Thank you for being willing to enter in to such a place. Thank you for sharing honestly and truthfully and beautifully.

    You are so right in that knowledge is the first step, but action so needs to be the next one. I guess it’s just hard sometimes to figure out what that next step should be, in each of our different stories.

    Thanks for encouraging us all to take it, though. A step.

    Love from here,

    Laura

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  • http://www.jennyrain.com JennyRain

    That's why I have to keep going back… to places like Guatemala… places like Africa… to be the hands and feet. To take the years of training experience and help share knowledge to a nation because "my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" … to share my strength and effort in helping build new compassion centers so that children are "brought up in the knowledge of the Holy" … to share my knees in prayer because "God is no respecter of persons" and to share my heart and finances through sponsoring because "God cares for the least of these" … have been a sponsor since 2001 and it has changed my life and I am seeing it change my sponsored child's life too…

    It is SUCH an important thing we can do to make a difference in the world.

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  • http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com Angela Watson

    Found your blog from Compassion’s site. I’d love to hear how you are grappling with these issues now that you’ve been home for awhile.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Candidly I am still struggling with it. And I imagine a part of me always will. The truth is that I have a lot. And I live in a society where I was taught to always yearn for more. I hope the voice inside me that is clammoring for “more” continues to quiet over time and is replaced by generosity and thankfulness.

      I should do a post on it soon. Thanks for the suggestion! And making your way over from Compassion.

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