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Testimony: Recycled Devotionals Bring Hope to the Garbage Dump


A Church in a Garbage Dump

Several years ago I was in the Philippines. We’d supplied a little pastor material, and they pioneered a church out in the middle of a garbage dump. There are about 30,000 people who live out in the garbage dump.


boy in garbage dump


I was out there ministering. It was November, I was sitting on the back row, and there was an old man that was sitting next to me.

When I go overseas, I usually give all my stuff away. My wife makes fun of me. She says, “You know, one of these days you’re going to get off the airplane, and you’re going to be naked. You give your clothes away. You give your shoes away. You give your Bibles away. You give everything away!”

Anyway, I was sitting back there and there was an old man sitting beside me. I wanted to give him something, you know, but all I had was my Bible left and I needed that Bible for the next two or three days to preach from. So I quickly flipped through it and there was a daily devotional in it. Just a little small, little Our Daily Bread devotional. I gave it to him and he said,

“Oh, thank you, sir. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you.” I went and preached, we did our business, and left.


An Old Devotional Brought Life

Then I had to be back in the Philippines again in April of the next year. We went back to that same area.

I remember I was walking across the garbage dump to get to the little church. As I was walking across the dump, I saw this old man running across the field.

“Sir! Sir! Do you remember me?! Do you remember me?!” And I looked at him and I said,

“Yeah.” I said, “You sat in the back row with me last time I was here.”

“Yes, yes,” he said. “You gave me a little daily devotional. I read it every day.

He read it every day. From November … that’s almost seven months. He read that little daily devotional every single day. Why? It’s because it’s the only piece of Christian literature that he had.


Your Old Christian Literature Can Shine a Light

See, in America, we don’t quite grasp the idea that there are people all over the world that have nothing. So [a small devotional magazine like] this this may not seem too important to you, but to this old man who is living in the dump, it was life. He read it every day. It was life to him.


donated christian magazines


Maybe you could give somebody life today and collect a few Bibles, books, and daily devotionals to send to Love Packages. We would surely appreciate it. We’ll put it in good hands. It would be read. It would change lives.


Read more about how your donated bibles and other Christian literature are bringing hope into dark places all over the world. I you want to organize a bible drive with your local church, you can find bulletin inserts and more in our Resources.