A Good Life

Meet Anthony's family.

Because I'm scatterbrained and was tired and sick when we interviewed them, I can't remember his last name or his wife and kids' names, but this is Anthony and his family.  They live in Mitumba Slum.  Under the cacophony of planes leaving and arriving at Wilson Airport every few minutes, they are hoping, praying and working for a better future.

They consider themselves fortunate because they were able to buy their own "house" when they got married and make enough to help support Anthony's mother, but that doesn't mean much.  When it rains, they have to rearrange their possessions so they don't get wet.  When it rains hard, the only way to keep their stuff dry is to hang it from the rafters.

 It seems all they have is hope.  Though they speak of hope for a better life, what that really means is hope to get out of Mitumba.  When you live in a slum, you have no opportunity.  The only work available is daily odd jobs where you might earn enough to pay for the next day's dinner of some rice.  There is no way to save up when you have to spend every shilling on food.  It's a vicious cycle because no-one will hire slum dwellers for real jobs, but how are you supposed to get out of the slum if there's no other housing you can afford?

That's why Pastor Shadrack is focusing on "taking Mitumba out of the people, not the people out of Mitumba."  It's possible to change the people who live there, but not likely possible to ever make the physical reality of slums go away.

Though they don't have much, the family is happy.  Like that young couple in your church or neighborhood, Anthony and his wife are silly in love (even my cynical self had to admit it was heart-warming to watch them).  Even the two young kids, one pictured below, are happy.  But above all, Anthony and his family are hopeful. He said, "It might be too late for me, but I hope my kids-" and here Pastor Shadrach interjected, "It's not too late for you!"  He continued with an infectious grin, "Maybe it's not too late for me.  But I hope my kids will be able to have a good life."