Feeding the children of Smoky Mountain & Happy Land

Posted on Aug 6, 2016

Feeding the children of Smoky Mountain & Happy Land

We spent the day in Tondo, a poverty stricken area of Metro Manila; really, the poorest of the poorest of the poor.  We did two feedings for the children; one on Smoky Mountain, or Trash Mountain as it is called, an old garbage dump where about 150 families live.  It rises high above the surrounding landscape and from the top you get an incredible view of the city and Manila harbor.  But when you look around you see people in grinding poverty, eking out an existence in by scrounging through the trash.

The other feeding was in Happy Land, a squatter area about a mile from Smoky Mountain where the people also scavenge through the garbage to salvage what they might be able to sell.  The little dwelling provided for doing the feeding was tucked way back off the main street down a series of meandering “alleys”.  We walked past hundreds of people, most of whom greeted us with a smile and appearing genuinely glad that we were there to help their little ones.

We worked with a local pastor and his team to provide a meal of rice and hotdogs for about 250-300 children. We also gave away the stuffed animals we brought with us.  The children were delighted. The whole experience was one that words cannot fully express.

Very eye opening to the world these people live in daily.  Makes your heart ache like nothing else will. -Ben Shields

I felt very touched when I saw the conditions people were living in. This experience has really made me feel blessed and made me feel very fortunate for the things I had. – Brady Stapleton

Seeing a totally different way of life and a level of poverty that the majority of us will never see first hand brings an entire new perspective on what true poverty is, but the level of joy in these peoples’ hearts is so incredible and it is so unbelievable that they can find so much joy while having so little. -Jonathan Shields

After seeing the extreme poverty and uncleanliness in the dump I feel very blessed to have an air conditioned room to sleep and rest in. It puts everything into a new perspective, I am glad I could show the light of Christ to them and give them something to eat to nourish them. -Jeremiah Urback

Courtesy of adventureinyou.com

Slum in the Smokey Mountain dumpsite in Manila, Philippines – courtesy of adventureinyou.com

There were a lot of things we saw today that no one can truly be prepared for. I’ve seen videos, and googled photos of poverty stricken places, but seeing it in person was very different. Garbage filled streets, houses made of old mattresses, and shards of glass everywhere. Yet, all of these kids were so happy. They had a smile on their face and were thankful for what they had. – Audrey Tucker

Today was indescribable, things that were seen were heartbreaking, naked children with cigarette burns, tattered and worn oversized T-shirts covering there little bodies, yet smiling faces, basketball games, singing. I just can’t bring myself to fully understand. Today was so many things filled with so many emotions, but I loved every minute of it. – Keziah Stephens

The needs of these people are so great.  It was all very overwhelming, and heartbreaking. The children were sweet and eager to be around us.  It was amazing to see the love that the pastor and the missionaries there have for the Lord and the people.  It helps me know how to pray for them going forward.  – Jodi Stapleton