Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I had this one moment in Ethiopia with my friends CJ and John that I will never forget.  We drove about two blocks past a market and then walked a few more blocks.  When we passed behind some buildings we went to a slum area unlike any I have seen before.

I have seen extreme poverty, AIDS communities, even groups of refugees and amputees, but I had never seen anything like this.  Within a square block were hundreds of tiny rooms where prostitutes waited for their next client.  Men leave the market on their way home and visit these women.  If it was a good day at the market, the man may spend the night.  If it was a bad day, he might beat the woman and steal her money.  As we walked through the community it was obvious that there were no toilets, no running water, and honestly no hope.

There was one older woman who was beyond weak and beaten by disease.  Still, she waited by her door inviting someone in.  There were bunk beds in many of the rooms.  The children would sleep on the top bunk while the mother worked on the bottom bunk.  This is just life for these children.

This area broke my heart.  I left so angry and desperate for God to change the reality I had just seen. I know there are areas like this in every country, including the US.  For me, walking through this area of Addis made the destruction of prostitution and everything we call casual all the more real.

Our days don't have to lack purpose.  There is plenty of beauty to stand for and celebrate.  There is plenty that doesn't belong as well.  I pray that your day is flooded with purpose.  Enjoy your moments, whether you would declare them good or not.

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