Grace Growing at the City Dump

Caitlyn Barbee | June 11, 2015

A steady succession of semi-trucks deposits 500 tons of waste each day into the 40-acre Guatemala City garbage dump. Workers scavenge through each truck’s contents for items to use or sell.

This dump, one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere, takes in one-third of the country’s garbage. The medical waste disposed here poses devastating health risks to the 8,000 workers and their families who make their living and home nearby. Dump workers are the dalits of Guatemalan society, the most unwanted—murderers, criminals, the mentally unstable. Crime is rampant in this neighborhood. 

Church at the Dump 

The city dump seems like an unlikely place to plant a church. But to one couple, it sounded like a perfect location.

Dana Craft began short-term mission trips to Guatemala in 2007 but had no long-term plans for ministry there. Amid a series of debilitating health issues, he surrendered his career goals for the foreign mission field. Despite his chronic health condition, Craft and his wife, Damaris, moved to Guatemala City in June 2012 to minister to the least reached. They started A Mission Challenge, which seeks to faithfully instruct Guatemalan pastors, leaders, and church members in sound doctrine.

Craft first planted the home church, Cristo Mi Redentor (Christ My…

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