Some Good News: Feeling better health-wise; we are finally coming out of two long months of illness. Tony has been able to get back to the kids’ home, to the slums, and got a J.O.B. Things are looking up.
A close-up of the verses he’s been working on with the boys. Proverbs 17:17, because the boys always fight. John 3:36, a good gospel verse. I wrote them out in my better hand-writing, and Tony taped them to the walls; no one’s ripped them down yet! The little successes.
Helping to build a house in the slums. The owners offered this little, tiny, very precarious house with a dirt yard to the church to do its outreach to 20-40 slums kids every week. An organization (not related to the church) picked this family to receive a free house, but the family needed to provide their own labor. Tony went to help.
After a whole year, we finally figured out how they go to the bathroom in the slums. This particular little house has a sheet hung with a place to go behind it, and a basin sitting nearby with a pitcher to fill with water to “flush”. That’s the best description Tony could give me. I wouldn’t know – I always hold it and don’t drink water on purpose.
In other houses they go in a bucket. And then they carry the bucket out into the desert and dump it. The thing is, the slums are located in what would be the best part of the city if they had actually planned the city well – up on the mesa with the best views of the valley. So when it rains… you know. No wonder we’re sick all the time.
The government puts up fences to keep people from “taking” more lands in the desert. The slums are called “tomas” from the Spanish verb tomar [to take]. People who have no place to live or money to rent or build or buy land, just “take” open land, build a little shack out of wood or tin or maybe brick, and settle it. Slums spring up this way. But,
…whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold
water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in
no wise lose his reward. -Matthew 10:42
“These little ones – By ‘these little ones’ are clearly meant his disciples.
They are called “little ones” to denote their want of wealth, rank, learning, and whatever the world calls “great.” They were “little” in the estimation of the world and in their own estimation. They were “learners,” not yet “teachers;” and they made no pretensions to what attracts the admiration of mankind.” Barnes’ Notes on the Bible