Even Dickens would be at a loss for words…

Posted on July 13, 2010

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>by Clarissa

Being the literature fiend that I am, I often see things through the lens of great authors. I am reminded of how Charles Dickens wrote prolifically about the poverty he witnessed in industrialized London. He labored to use his pen to raise awareness of the horrendous conditions endured by children living in the city. And yet, as we visited two slums in Nairobi this past week, I found myself thinking that even he would have been challenged to portray what is there.

This past week James took us to visit a church/school that he serves at in the heart of Kibera. It is true that words cannot really describe Kibera. Poverty, squalor, filth can come close, but there is a depth of suffering and resilience that can only be understood when walking though looking into the faces of the residents. Right in the middle of Kibera is a Christian school, run by a church and also working in partnership with Compassion International. Our group walked through the gate and we were stormed by hundreds of little children crying “wazungu” which means “white people.” Speaking with the headmaster we were told that many of these children have lost parents to AIDs and live on less than 2 dollars a day. Surrounded by such precious little faces, suddenly all the ridiculous concerns that I normally carry around seemed to dissolve.

As I pray about how I will spend my time in serving the people here when we move here in the next few years, I can’t imagine living so close to these little ones, and not taking time to be with them. On Thursday I will be going back with two other wives to read stories to the kids and then leave them with some books. Pray that as we spend time with them that God will communicate to them that they are loved and valued.

 

This painting was in the church…I love it.


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