A visit to Kroo Bay

February 17, 2010

My good friend Jen Diers, who I have been spending this trip with, posted a beautiful blog about her experience today in Kroo Bay:

Psalm 25:1 says, “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.” Every day over and over while I am here, I am witnessing the truth of this scripture.

We visited Kroo Bay today. It is something my brain could not have even imagined. This is a village that is built right near the ocean on top of a garbage dump. The river running through the village is full of garbage. Pigs rummage through it and the people get their water from it. Children play in it. The stench is something I can not describe. For several on the team, it was so unimaginable that they could not even look or take pictures. It is something you can not even fathom! And as I sat in the meeting with the chief of the village, I could not even hear what he was saying. I could only focus on a young mother sitting just outside the building with her infant daughter. That mother held her daughter, wrapping her arms around her tightly. The baby looked up in her mother’s eyes and the mother smiled. This young mother then realized I was watching her and when I smiled at her both the baby and her smiled back at me. The mother was so proud of her baby. She must have been so thrilled as I just sat staring at her beautiful baby. And in that moment, I knew why God had brought me here. In that moment I realized what God meant when he told us that we are all His people.

You see this mother loves her child in the same way I love Kobe, Luke and Faith. She must have the same hopes, dreams and wants for this little girl. She wraps her arms around her baby the same way I will when I get home to Iowa. She smiles when her child looks into her eyes. And God loves her and her baby the same way He loves me.

For reasons I may never understand, this mother lives in this horrendous, inhumane place. She washes her baby in water that a pig has rummaged through. She lives in a shack that is flooded to waist high during the raining season. She has no furniture, no toys, no diapers, no bottles, no food. And God gave me the means to help! I don’t know why. I sometimes ask God, why me? It is easy to see a place like Kroo Bay and become completely overwhelmed. The problem is so vast. The suffering is so deep. But I now know that this suffering exists and I am choosing to do something about it. I am taking just a small step. I can’t clean up all of Kroo Bay. I can’t change the entire situation. But I can buy some pillows for some kids at an orphanage who don’t have any right now. I can teach the staff how to dispense children’s Tylenol. I can ready the place in the event the orphaned children of Kroo Bay end up at The Covering. I am choosing to obey my God and know that His plan will see me through. I have no idea of knowing if that mother saw God’s love in me with my smile but I do know that I saw God in her!