Saturday, April 03, 2010

Trip Update: The Mathare Slums and 250 Orphans

In our debriefing time, I often warn students to avoid the following statements when sharing with others:
  • You had to be there to really understand it.
  • It's really hard to put into words.
  • I just don't even know how to explain it.
I warn that statements like this are not helpful in trying to bring others into your journey and often can symbolize our lack of applying what we've experienced in our everyday life.

We are resting from a morning tour at the Mathare slums followed by a day spent with nearly 250 orphans from those slums who had been taken out to "Paradise Lost", a park and nature area. The streets we walked through the Mathare were a mix of mud and trash. It is a valley overflowing with Shanties and shacks. From what was explained to us, the Mathare is a place of much evil. We were safe there in that we were some very respected individuals who are doing what they can to provide education, health care, and resources to this area. I'm very interested to hear kids impressions of their tour tonight as we debrief.

We prepared 250+ sandwiches for the kids of Mathare who had been brought out of the slums for a day of fun. We held kids, blew bubbles with them, hugged them, tickled them, and briefly got to know them. Our King of Hearts Drama performed for them and we handed out salvation bracelets. We laughed a lot, gave out fruit snacks & water, and had a great time together. Then we loaded in our vans to go back to hot showers, naps in our hotel bed, and pizza. They loaded in their buses to head back to no running water, mud floors, and no supper... oh ya, and no parents either.

One statement that kept running through my head, "The main difference between a kid in Mathare and myself is where we were born." I don't like that. I want to be a part of a movement that is doing something to make where you were born less controlling of your destination in life than it currently is. Taking a kid out of the slums for a half a day, giving them one meal, and tickling isn't enough to accomplish this. BUT, at least it is something...


1 comment:

Jeremy Wilmot said...

keep it up this is awesome stuff you guys are doing!