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Harrodsburg family on mission trip to dumps in Mexico

January 26, 2007

Picture an 80-foot tall mountain of garbage with children on the top of the heap ripping open garbage bags in search of a half-eaten sandwich or a piece of an orange.

A convoy of trucks can be heard coming to bring another load. An 8-year-old takes off his shirt, replacing it with a better one he found in the bag he is sifting through. A small girl with open sores is sitting with an older woman in the shelter of makeshift cardboard boxes.

The children must fight buzzards at times to get their next meal of scraps from the bags of garbage. Parasites are a common problem as well as rats and wild dogs. Many of these children have no shoes; they cannot afford even the simplest school supplies to go to school. They do not know when they will have a fresh drink of water or a good meal.

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The Tomlinson family of Harrodsburg is traveling to Mexico, March 1-21 to serve at several municipal dumps in and around Puerto Vallarta.

They also will make a short stop in Guadalajara to serve at a ministry training center and orphanage.

While at the dump, the family will feed children and teach music, English, haircutting and other skills that may enable young people to obtain good jobs in the tourist areas of Puerto Vallarta.

Deanna Tomlinson will work with children in music and plans to take a harp and at least 100 recorders to leave with interested children. The family has obtained shoes, clothing, toothbrushes and other items to distribute to needy children. The Children of the Dump Ministry has built a "school of champions" for the children. The ministry provides the necessary school supplies and at least one hot meal per day as an incentive for children to attend and learn so they can have a better life. The Tomlinson family hopes to acquire many more items, especially food and bottled water and school supplies upon their arrival in Puerto Vallarta to distribute to the children and families.

Will assist in construction

The Tomlinson Family also will assist the Bread of Life Church in the construction of a church/food distribution center at the dump in Pitallal.

These organizations have child sponsorship programs available to help feed the children on a regular basis for only $25 per month.

In an effort to support this mission, the Tomlinson family has been making musical performances featuring 17-year-old Deanna, who is a harpist, pianist and vocalist. They have performed at several Central Kentucky congregations since October. Deanna has produced three full-length CDs and all profits from CDs and offerings from performances have gone to support this mission. As a fundraiser for the Mexico Mission, the Tomlinson family will host a lasagna dinner and concert, 5 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Mackville Community Center. Door prizes have been donated by local area restaurants and businesses.

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. For directions or to make a donation, call (859) 262-5492 or e-mail: tomlinsond@hughes.net. For more info about Deanna, go to www.deannamarie.org. To learn more about the dump ministry go to www.childrenofthedump.org or www.breadforchildren.org.

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