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From the Blog

Mathare Valley Slum

Second hand clothing is a major industry in the developing world (for better or for worse). This amazing story reminds me of so many of the 1010 partners in Nairobi.

If your dream was to become a doctor and you ended up uneducated and living in a slum, would you just give up on life? Some of us might have, but not Jane Ngoiri. Jane dreamed of being a surgeon, but she was too poor to finish school or go to college. However, today Jane is a Mitumba queen from Nairobi’s Mathare Valley slum. Mitumba is the business of selling second hand clothing that arrives in Kenya from European and American regions in massive bales.

via AfriGadget » Blog Archive » Dreams can come true – Janes miraculous Mitumba story.

Justice: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness
Social: of or pertaining to the life, welfare, and relations of human beings in a community
I will not deny that justice is the responsibility of all institutions in a society (families, churches, corporations). However, I believe people of faith have a special responsibility to share the prophetic voice of Jesus and the Hebrew prophets, one of whom spoke against “those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the court … ” (The prophet Amos)

So I’m proud to support “righteousness, equitableness, [and] moral rightness” “pertaining to the life, welfare, and relations of human beings in a community.”

I’m also proud of my friend Michael Hidalgo who wrote a balanced, beautiful response to some unfortunate words spoken this week by Glenn Beck

A Pastor’s Response to Glenn Beck’s Call to Leave ‘Social Justice’ Churches – Michael Hidalgo – God’s Politics Blog.

“Moving at the speed of business.” “Moving at the speed of light.” “Always on the move.”

Ours is a culture on the move. My life is always in motion. I can scarcely keep pace with my own mind, let alone the activities of each day.

When I stepped into Heathrow Airport I felt like a cow in a Masaai herd. Reentering “the west,” everyone is so serious, so busy, so hurried.

I tend towards an anxious personality. I have a variety of nervous habits. Despite the heartbreaking poverty, and times of culture shock, I’ve not been so relaxed since…well I don’t know when.

In Kenya I always knew I was the priority of whoever I was with. The relationship, the friendship, the moment is what matters. It was a powerful sense of presence.

It wasn’t always deep life-changing conversation. I watched a lot of Mexican soap operas (translated into English…Kenyans are obsessed…I know, weird right?).

I now reenter a world where expectations are different. Showing up late to meetings because I was “in the moment” won’t fly, and would be disrespectful in the US culture. How can I create a balance and retain the slower pace of life I loved in Kenya?

In a world moving so fast, how can I move at the speed of friendship?

“You will never walk alone.”

It is a rallying cry for Liverpool FC, a soccer team in the English Premier League that is very popular here in Kenya (and the arch rival of my team, Everton FC). It could also be a theme for life here in Kenya.

I’ve been here now for 4 days, and have never spent a moment alone. All of life…traveling, eating, worshiping, they are all community events. As I found out yesterday, so is death. Death is a regular part of life in the developing world.

Several days ago, the wife of a pastor in this community was killed in a failed robbery attempt. After church, a dozen of us packed into the husband’s tiny living room and sat with him as he shared the story.

In America grief, like so many other things, is considered a private affair. So yesterday it felt as if I was intruding in some way. And there were some things about the experience that are confusing, that I am still emotionally processing. However, I realized the power of the presence of others for this man. His community came to be with him. Only one other person spoke, his mentor and  fellow pastor Fred Afwai. The rest of us were just…with him.

Together in life…and in death.