From my journal:
We walked through the market into the worst of the worst, down into the slums of Belin.
We brought bread and gave it out to mamas with no food
to children on the way to school without breakfast
and to little ones who heard our drums and singing and came out hoping to get bread.
They were hungry and bit into it immediately.
Some moms turning us away and pointing to others homes where they knew of hungry children. None of them rushing to us to grab something before it was all gone -- like you would expect here in the states. I have seen that when something is being given away. A rush. Or some wanting more than their share... Not here in Belin. It seemed they all stayed at a distance until you reached the bread forward. Only then coming near to take the bread offered to them. None asking for more. Only thankful to receive what they were given. That was something that stuck with me.
After we had passed out all of the bread we brought with us, we played with the children there. Right there in the filthy streets outside their homes. We played for a little while.
From my journal:
It took a definite decision on my part not to break down in tears.
Living in a stinky smelly slum
With drug addicted parents
It isn't right.
At that moment more than many others while we were in Peru I was so thankful for The Abundant Life Ministry. Those people there in Belin, the children there- at least have this one constant. In this unsteady, even stormy life that they live,
they have this ONE THING that they know. That Daddy Matias (as they call him) will show up once a week. He will bring bread, friends, and a smile.
Thank you Trent (Matias) and Shawn. Thank you Rodolpho. Thank you Michael. Thank you Courtney and Andrew. Thank you Nedi. Thank you Safehouse guys. Thank you Jessica House women. Thank you Abundant Life Ministries. Thank you to all of you for doing what you do. Thank you for continuing to go back and back again. Thank you.
Then our time there was over.
It was time to go up ALL those steps and walk right up out of Belin.
So we left there, me in tears. It was heart wrenching. I was feeling sad, bewildered, and even angry that they must live that way. Then also feeling thankful and hopeful knowing that Matias and his team will be back. They will bring bread for the hungry. They will bring more than that. They will bring the bread of Life. They will bring Jesus with them each moment they are there. They will bring with them the love of Jesus and that hope.