18 April 2016

strangers in a strange land.

Last week, I had the privilege of socializing one-on-one with one of my LULU facilitators in our home.  The 25 LULU facilitators and I see each other a few times every month, but there's rarely time for a lot of chitchat, as we're focused on teaching our new members lessons on financial literacy, health, relationships, handcrafts and all other sorts of good things.

So it was a special treat when last week, a LULU facilitator named Teddy stopped by. I hadn't seen her for awhile because she had taken time off for maternity leave. I was happy to catch up with her a bit and see her adorable new baby (and even a bit proud when she told me I was meeting the baby before people in her own family!). But it turned out, for me, to be more than a simple social gathering.

04 April 2016

what i learned living in a slum.

If the statistics on our blog traffic tell me anything, it's that this is going to be one of those posts that maybe four people read. Oh well, I'll write it anyway. 

We live in a slum. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that simple fact by just repeating it aloud, especially on the most challenging days.

Our neighborhood of Mabatini in Mwanza, Tanzania can be described as a heavily populated informal arrangement of substandard housing lacking reliable sanitation, water or electricity services. Some of the homes are built from plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic. Others were more professionally built but have deteriorated quite a bit. When it rains, the narrow streets of dirt quickly flood making the way not only impassable, but also littered with refuse. Mabatini is an area unknown by most expatriates and deemed a den of thieves by locals.

And it is here - in a community of the oppressed - that I have found Jesus the human person.

(Wait, what did he say?)

photo credit: mwanza tourism