Wednesday began with a bible planning session for the Power Womans group in the afternoon. Each week we go in to the slums and meet with a group of ladies that carry HIV/AIDS, doing a bible study, teaching them business skills and ideas to make a living, as well as praying for them and generally being a support to them for them to talk about their circumstances they are facing, and to support them in any way possible. This week the bible study was on Matthew 9:27-37, Jesus heals the blind and mute and the workers are few. Preparing a summary and question time for the group.
Before going to the slums we had a refelction session of the week so far with the group I have been looking after for feedback and so on. We then headed for a local lunch in Limuru with this random guy foloowing us in and having lunch with us rather funny!
We was then began our hour journey to Kibera slums which are the biggest slums in the whole of Africa with the population of over 1 million people living there. Approaching the slums and being there was heartbreaking to see what people called a house, seeing the depths of real poverty. What amazed me was the joy people had which was just incredible.
The power womans group was a real inspiration and also learning so much from the ladies as well as teaching them. Their faith and love and joy they have for God is amazing, seeing how alive they are although they carry a life threatening disease, and leave in extreme conditions there spirits were so incredibly strong! They were amazing women! Seeing what they have accomplished to earn a living for themselves was also really great to see.
It didn't feel right to take any photos of the slums that day being peoples lives is not a such an appropiate photo opportunity. On the way back we stopped to see polo being played the first time I see horses here in Kenya!
The main thing I have been learning since being here is the real definition and extremes of what poverty really is. The poverty we identify with so much is what we see before our eyes and see people without many materialistic things and things we think people need. Yes important things like a home, running water and food is what people need but it goes beyond that, so many people come out and try to fix things and make things better by providing the materialistic things they dont currently have thinking this solves the problem but it really doesn't, its just a short term fix and can often cause more harm than good.
For example if you see a child hungry or begging and you give them money or food that will fix the issue then and there but next time they are hungry they will then go to depend on others or always have the view the mzungu will pay ot feed them which is not teaching them the right way or helping them in the long run as they will just become dependent on this. The same is if you were to buy them house appliances they needed it would be all well and good, but they are unlikely to be able to pay for the run and up keep of it in the long run. Sometimes things will look simple and basic and not what we are used to, but if they can manage on it and it does the job then this is no need to buy something more flash, but instead look to see what the real need is beyond our worldy materialistic western view. There are so many issues and mistakes made by people not being aware of the real issue and real extreme of poverty, they will often rush into treating the symptons before indentifying the problem or more often than not misdiagnoising the problem.
The four types of poverty are poverty of being, community, spiritual intimacy and stewardship. Everyone experiences poverty in some form in their life wothout even realising it as when people think of the word poverty they think poor people but it goes beyond that. That is why you will often see poor people so much more spiritually happier than rich people that have everything! The power womans group were a prime example of this. The children here experience so much heartache and experiences we could not even begin to imagine yet they have so much life and hope it overwhelms me.