Monday, July 7, 2008
We spent yesterday in N’Durande. What a place! I suppose I would compare N’Durande to Chinatown in San Francisco, or what I've heart Harlem is. There are tons and tons of people - shoulder to shoulder, a wall of people. The houses are so close together that we literally had to turn sideways to pass between them. That was N’Durande.
Each one of the houses we saw was about the size of my family room. Some of the larger houses were the size of my family room and patio combined - but those larger homes were few and far between. The eaves of the houses were so low that Gia and I had to duck and crouch in order to move between the houses.
The pathways between the dwellings were sometimes made of brick or stone, but were mostly just hardened soil. There were clothes lines pulled tightly between the dwellings and many of the lines hung low with wet laundry.
Waste and sewage mixed with water ran like a stream between houses, making the paths more narrow and challenging. Small children played next to the sewage and sludge. The children ran after us, and followed us wherever we went. Even if they didn't follow us, they looked at us and gave us a "thumbs up".
The team split into three groups for the day. Four stayed in Chiwaya and ministered in Joseph's home church and then joined up with the rest of us around 1:30. My team was at a very tiny church in the middle of the cracker box like town. There were maybe 8 adults and around 12-14 children...and 9 of us.
The worship was great - as usual. Daniel spoke and Pastor Moses interpreted. Daniel did a great job and the people were so warm and welcoming.
After the service we waited a bit for John to come get us. We were served cold Fanta and Sobo, which along with Coke are the only soda brands available around here. Gia amazed everyone with her ability to open bottles with her teeth!
When John came to get us, we wove our way through a maze of hovels, people, and sewage until we ended up at one of the pastor's homes where we were given more Fanta and treated to television. The video the pastor put on featured a young Australian pastor who was born with no hands, arms, or legs. I've seen him before and he has an incredible heart and spirit. His desire to live and thrive is infectious and amazing!