The Mathare Valley Slum, Kenya

There is nothing in our American culture, no place inside our borders, no amount of literature or pictures, that can prepare you for the kick to the groin that an African slum offers to the compassionate. Bono does well raising awareness, but it doesn't matter how many times you listen to "Where the Streets Have No Name"; this degree of poverty only begins to make sense when you can feel the heat, smell the human waste as it runs down the narrow dirt paths that serve as streets, see a house of 8 that an American would NOT store his lawn mower in, or have a malnourished child grab your hand as you walk by his house. If you are ignorant or cynical enough to believe (even if only in your own mind) that the conditions here are "not that bad", I would suggest that you not make assumptions about that which you have no context to understand. The conditions here are "that bad" and most likely worse than you've imagined.

But do not be mistaken, our God is on the move in Kenya. After visiting a Compassion project in the Mathare Valley slum today, I could not be more confident that the King of Kings holds the whole world in His hands. Jesus Christ, who came from heaven to take upon Himself the sins of the world, is alive and well in the hearts of many here in one of the most poverty stricken areas in the world.
I don't say any of this to appear wise or cause anyone to feel guilt. I do, however, believe that God has allowed me to experience this great need, so that I could and would speak on behalf of the least of these with passion and conviction. So I will begin now.
God is moving in east Africa and around the globe through an organization called Compassion International. Through one on one child sponsorship, you can break the cycle of poverty through financial, emotional, physical and spiritual investments in their lives. They are by no means the only Christians on the front lines of ministry, but they do offer an incredible opportunity for you, as an American, to impact the nations with the Gospel of Christ.

Check them out at compassion.com.

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