Visit to a slum

Hello everyone!

Team Kenya is doing well.

Here is a little something from my journal… It was written last week but I hope you enjoy…

I walked through a Kenyan slum today. When I woke this morning it wasn’t part of my plan.
When the kids found out we were going to Kenya, several of them asked if we could visit “the slums.”  Pastor Joseph thought I should go see it before the children did to determine if they would actually be able to handle it. After arriving, I wondered if I would be able to handle it.
The immediate sights of the slums are similar to things I have seen in other countries. You know the old saying, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover?” This is certainly worth thinking about when visiting a slum in Kenya.
The scenes in front of me grew progressively worse. From the outskirts you see tin buildings put together with whatever people have found. Going deeper inside you see trash everywhere, people everywhere and the sewage ditch full of sewage. Raw, very recognizable, human sewage. The smell alone is enough to pack a powerful punch. The sight of it makes you want to vomit.  Worse than the sight of this is the sight of the small children playing nearby and the woman who is trying to cook a meager meal for her family that is even closer.
My heart breaks. I didn’t think my heart could be this broken anymore. In some cases, I feel immune to the desperation around me. Sometimes, going in, I know that there isn’t much I can do and I try to accept those facts before I ever enter a community. I wasn’t prepared and I don’t know that there was anything that could prepare me for what I saw. As we walked deeper into the slum, the worse it got. We finally got to the end and the pastor pointed out a small shack. This is the one toilet for everyone that lives here, he said. What do you mean, ONE toilet? This is the only one he says. A woman was waiting in the line and she wet herself in front of all the children. It was very humiliating for her. We are working to save enough money as a church to build another toilet for the slums. Broken, broken, broken…
Something so simple that we take for granted.  Most days I hate having to use the facilities. It seems to be a giant waste of time and I have better things to do. They are however usually available to me most places I go. I can’t imagine being in line with hundreds of people daily to share one “toilet.”
As I walk, the Pastor tells me that he wants the kids to be comfortable. We don’t want them to be disturbed by what they see. While I am sure to make sure that they are not put in a situation that will bring them harm, I am not here to make sure that they are comfortable.  Our Christian walk isn’t always comfortable. God is contstantly disturbing our comfort zone and pushing us further into places we never thought we would be. If these kids feel called to the slums of Kenya, then we will go to the slums of Kenya. I have to trust that the Lord will protect their hearts, He will speak to them when they are disturbed and He will give Kyle and I the way to comfort them when the visit is over.
Since writing this, we have gone to the slums. The kids did great and they want to go back again. I am so excited. They did a VBS type program and they even did a drama of the creation and salvation story.
I am one proud "Mama" and so glad to be a part of what the Lord is doing in these young people’s lives. A BIG thanks to all you parents who trusted the Lord to loan Kyle and I your children for the month.
They are awesome and I can't wait for you to see the changes in them when they arrive at home. The Lord has really done a bunch in all of them.
Keep praying for us. We are all starting to count the days as much as we don't want to. It's going to be an emotional departure…

Love to all of you at home.


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