Endless alleys with trash-filled trenches and open sewers; chickens and ducklings pecking away, eeking out a meager existence; so many dirty children in ragged clothes. Poverty is real, folks. It's real. And heartbreaking. I try to imagine myself calling these streets home, living without all the things we consider necessities in the west. I try to imagine living, eating, sleeping, raising my family in a space the size of many of our closets; sleeping on a dirt floor without mattress or blanket or pillow. Maybe, if I'm a little better off than most, I have a few pieces of furniture.
But one thing has struck me - today, as well as in other home visits - in the homes where Christ is present, there is light; not just figuratively, but in actuality. These homes have light; they are clean; there are smiles on the faces of those who live in these homes. There is a dignity that comes from knowing that because I belong to God, I have worth - I am His priceless possession. The love and joy are palpable. For the Christian, there is hope - not only for this life, but eternity. And that hope is sufficient to carry a person through the most difficult of circumstances.
The mission of Africa Connect is to meet the deepest needs of these people - spiritually first, and then inseparably, educationally, vocationally, physically, and economically. I pray that I will never become immune to the suffering of the world's poor; that my heart will always break when I encounter poverty, and that God will use me to help meet their needs at every level.
"I slept and dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy." –Kevin Oyugi, social worker
Sue Choquette, for Africa Connect.