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Trapped in a Nightmare



  • March 08, 2011
Photo of Vernon brewer
Vernon Brewer

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Only a few miles away from the city center of Nairobi, Kenya, lies a desolate wasteland of muck, raw sewage, shacks, and hundreds of thousands of people crammed together in utter despair.

It’s known as the Kibera Slum. And it is the worst place that I have ever visited . . . Ever!

Nothing could have prepared my heart for what I and our team saw. As we entered the slum, we drove past huge mountains of burning, rotting garbage where Kenyans foraged for food and anything useable. Raw sewage ran down narrow, muddy roads lined with shacks made of cardboard, trash, and tin. A terrible smell filled the air.

But what hung over Kibera was more than the smell of human waste and trash. It was complete misery and total hopelessness. Masses of people forced into less than two-square miles of space. Over 50 percent of those living in Kibera are infected with HIV/AIDS, and 50,000 are AIDS orphans.

I could see half-naked and barefoot children playing in the filth, trapped in a nightmare world they are unable to wake from.

We arrived at a ministry run by two local Christian women. Inside, 51 little smiling faces greeted us. Every single one had become an orphan due to HIV/AIDS.

The first thing we did was hand out vitamin-packed food to all the children. We opened the packages and sat with them while they ate. I could tell that every person on our team was deeply affected.

I could also tell that this ministry needed immediate help. For me, it was a God moment. It was a moment where I could see so clearly why God had led us to these 2 women and the 51 children they were pouring their hearts and souls into.

It was a moment we had to act.

So we did! We are in the process of ensuring each of those children, and so many more to come, will hear of God’s love, and each one will experience physical and spiritual transformation.

These children, and countless more, no longer have to live in a nightmare. They can now wake up to the love of God being poured out in their lives through our hands.

I’m leaving Africa tomorrow and heading home. My heart is heavy with the needs I’m leaving behind.

 

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