Dumpster Boy

Last year, I blogged about a young man living in our dumpster behind the church.  He had a host of issues that led him to our dumpster.  He had major family issues.  He didn’t know his biological family and his foster family was unable and unwilling to care for him after he turned 18.  He had some mental health issues.  He had job issues.  He was unemployed with few skills and no High School diploma.  And he had social issues.  He was awkward around people.  And, of course, without access to regular showers or laundry, he smelled bad.

If you remember the story, our church helped him.  We encouraged him to return to school, but that didn’t work out.  We cleaned his clothes and let him use our shower.  We made sure he had food to eat.  We found him places to stay, but he kept returning to our dumpster.  And he often came in and worshiped with us.  The bottom line . . . he found loving and caring people who helped him without judging him.  And he opened our eyes to the many homeless people who avoid shelters and who live in places like dumpsters.  After several months of contact, he moved on, and we hadn’t heard from him for quite a while.

Just this week, I saw him again.  I don’t believe in chance or coincidence, so I believe that God led me to be the right place at the right time.  I attended a Diamondback game on Labor Day.  I wasn’t planning on buying anything to eat or drink, but since the D-Backs had a special going and my ticket came preloaded with $5 worth of food, I decided to get something.  I wandered around looking at my options and finally got in line.  When I came to the front of the line, I realized as I was placing my order that the young man smiling at me as I ordered my food was the young man known affectionately to me as “Dumpster Boy.”

It was a great encouragement to me to see him doing well.  He’s living in a kind of halfway house for a year where he receives a place to live and help in getting his GED.  He also receives counseling, learns job skills, and was placed in this job through their counselors. When he graduates from the program, he may very well have a long-term job offer waiting for him.

We help a lot of people at FSBCA, and many of them move on and we never hear the rest of their story.  It was a great encouragement to see and hear that God was doing some real work in the life of “dumpster boy,” and that his life situation has completely turned around, at least in part because of the love and help he received at FSBCA!


About Pastor Jack

Pastor Jack Marslender is the pastor of Avondale Baptist Church (formerly the First Southern Baptist Church of Avondale.) He is married (Dawn) and is the father of Tina, Rebecca, Kimberly, Melinda, Angela, Maria, Kenneth, Kevin, and Lorissa. He is also the grandfather of Wyatt, Emilie, Everett, Olivia, Dylan, Charlotte, Aiden, and Avery.
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3 Responses to Dumpster Boy

  1. jackie says:

    great story, thank you for sharing.
    God is great and so are you Pastor & all at FSBCA!

  2. sally says:

    Great story with a happy ending. God saw to it you would go get food and led you to the right food stand. All I can say is God is good and this is a great story.

  3. Thank you for sharing amazing story.

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