This past week we visited the slums. It is located right in the middle of the city. It looks out of place since everything around it is fairly nice. The church has gone there a few times before and have built relationships with some of the people. They planned a small outreach and we took clothes, notebooks, candy, and tracts to give out to different people, kids, and families.
It is always hard to visit a place like this. Their physical conditions are so poor that it is hard to focus on other things. You wonder how it is possible to stay warm in the harsh cold winters here. You wonder how often they are able to eat and what life is like digging through the trash. We saw kids, who know no other way of life, happily playing outside jumping on an old used dirty mattress sitting on top of garbage and mud. Another house had buckets sitting on the ground collecting water running off of the roof from the melting snow. The houses were pieced together with different kinds of materials (bricks, mud, metal) and the inside living conditions weren’t great either.
As hard as it is to go visit a place like this, we need to keep in focus what they need the most is Jesus. Yes, we desire to help them in their physical condition and surround them with good works, yet without Jesus, all of our efforts towards them will be in vain. Many of them may never leave the slums their whole life, but if they have Jesus, they have everything. If they receive Christ, He doesn’t promise them an easier life, a one way ticket out of the slums, or prosperity in this life, but He does promise to make them family, forgive their sins, and make Heaven their home. What could be greater!
Good works and evangelism is great, but how much greater would it be to see our good works connected with a local church in that area! Pray that we would be able to start churches. Pray that more men would surrender to start more churches!