A Day In the Slums

Mukuru Slum

How do I even start to talk about today? Today was indescribable, the smells, the sights, the people; everything about today was nothing less than an absolute eye opener. The Mukuru Slums hosted some of the most gracious and faith filled people that could ever live in the kind of conditions that they live in day in and day out. The people of the slums live in some of the harshest conditions that I have ever seen and to be able to grow up in that and share the love and comfort that they gave us was truly amazing to see and hear.

We began the day huddling up around a broken up, gravel-filled lot that sat in front of a “house” that was 14 foot by 10 foot give or take, and was considered a big lot to the other lots around. The worst part about these houses is not the rusty tin covering all sides of the buildings, not the mud or other substances that are considered floors, or even the glorified branches that support the frame of the house, but the fact that to live on one of these lots actually cost them 1000 U.S dollars to buy. It’s terrible. As we began, the construction crew we took off all of the rusty sheet metal that surrounded his house and put up all new metal. The best part of the job was to work along side Baba Francis and see him working harder than us in the job. Nothing they do is given to them and they work for everything they have and to work with Baba was an awesome experience in itself. When it was all said and done the experience of putting up a few pieces of sheet metal and in return them acting like you built them an entire new house put my life into a whole new perspective. The worries and concerns you think you have in your life seem to disappear when you see the amount of joy that surrounds the smiles that the people of the slums have. Everything they have in their life is cherished and never taken for granted, something that is a huge learning experience for me in my life.

After the experience I had yesterday with Boniface and the street kids, I really couldn’t imagine anything else would affect me more than that.  Man, was I proved wrong today. Our intentions for the day were to visit the Mukuru slums to rebuild a burned down house and to walk around the village to meet with and pray for some of the parents of the kids in Walter’s soccer academy.

I have seen people that are poor before. But I never experienced true poverty like I did today. This is an entire community of about half a million people that live in the worst conditions I could ever imagine. Despite the blatantly obvious poverty that these people endured everyday, they could not have been more welcoming and joyous when inviting us into their homes. What I remember most about the day was when we visited the home of a young soccer player named Isaac. His dad ushered us in with a blinding smile on his face and began to tell us a little about him and his family. As we filed out of his house, Isaacs father stopped a few of us last people to exit and sincerely apologized for not having anything to offer us. I’m thinking in my head ‘You’re crazy mister, that’s our job!’ We are the ones coming into his home to minister and share with him and he was so deeply concerned about not sharing what little material things he had. This mans unselfishness was something I saw throughout the day from everyone we saw walking through the slum. No matter how little they had, they were determined to share it with us. Talk about a humbling experience.

I found it ironic that all these people were so concerned with giving us any material thing they could spare because in reality, they gave me so much more. It is easy to share any material thing with these people being blessed as we all are. But what a greater gift it was to me to be able to witness the unyielding faith and love these kids and parents had for God despite their extreme hardships.  I am inspired to grow in my faith and develop the completely selfless love these people have for Jesus Christ

I’m so excited to connect even further with these boys this Saturday when we take it to the soccer field!

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Beryl and David Frazier on May 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    What an eye opening experience for our young mission athletes. We pray that you take what you have learned and let it make a difference in your own life and with others. God Bless each and everyone of you for doing this. We are all praying for your journey back home.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sam on May 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    wow

    Reply

  3. Posted by Celina Campos on May 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I shared your post with our 7th grade class who just so happens to be studying Africa and in depth discussions about Human Rights. I had them comment and most of them felt it was truly
    inspiring,amazing,an eye opener,brave and awesome that you have put so much of your time and talent in trying to make a difference in the world. They wish you strength and courage and look up to you as a positive role model.
    Thank you once again!

    Reply

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