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Life in the slums can be good

I feel ambivalent about the Christmas season. I love the time with family and the season of celebrating the mystery of the incarnation. But I really don't like the fact that it has been coopted by our consumer-driven culture. It's become a season that celebrates MORE. But here's th…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I feel ambivalent about the Christmas season. I love the time with family and the season of celebrating the mystery of the incarnation. But I really don't like the fact that it has been coopted by our consumer-driven culture. It's become a season that celebrates MORE.

But here's the thing – one of the greatest needs we have in America is not more, but less.

Regardless of what season we're in, our lives have become so cluttered, it's easy to lose track of what's important.

I like to take on the cardinal assumptions of consumerism – they're easy to shoot down. For example, our World Race L squad is learning how those who are so poor by our standards, who live in absolute squalor, still can be happy.

Emily Chant describes what a typical day looks like in The Philippines.

We wake up around 4am for "dawn watch" aka prayer and worship at the church.

From emilychant.theworldrace.org
Our view we wake up to every morning, and where I brush my teeth. It sure smells good!

Following a bit of worship and prayer is breakfast and personal devotion time and then an incredbly awesome aerobics workout just right outside the steps of the church! The instructor is hilarious and the participants are at least 75 years or older. By the end, it seems like half of the neighborhood is watching us and our mad aerobic skills.

By 8am, we've already been up for four hours — and it is time to start ministry. This time can include teaching the children at the church (where they have school), prayer visits or community service. 

Following morning ministry is a traditional Filipino lunch and an afernoon siesta. 

And then, we may head to the charcoal factory for a feeding. This is personally my favorite part of the day. I love to feed the hungry bellies of the beautiful kids of this slum. 

From emilychant.theworldrace.org
Heading to the charcoal factory with a large pot of soup

From emilychant.theworldrace.org
Feeding the kiddos

From emilychant.theworldrace.org
I LOVE serving these kiddos soup 🙂

Upon arriving home, we pour waters over our charcoal stained skin and get ready for another meal of traditional Filipino food. Which really, can be hit or miss. When we have fried fish — it is the WHOLE fish. Eyes and all. Jake is known for eating the fish heads EVERY time. Ew.

After dinner the church may have Bible Study, prayer — or our team will meet up to hang out before bed.

And by the end of the day, we are absolutely EXHAUSTED. It's a good exhausted though. And we pray that "Templeton" the rat does not wake us up in the middle of the night, like he has before. We have found that sleeping with lights on — keeps him away. So as our sweaty skin sticks to our sleeping mats for the night, we say our prayers and rest to do it all over again the next day.

We are challenged daily to rely on the strength of Jesus and not on our own. They are long days but incredible days of being the hands and feet of Jesus to a world that desperately needs Him.

As hard as this life is, I wouldn't trade it for anything. 
 

From emilychant.theworldrace.org
The ocean view at the charcoal factory after feeding the children! LOVE!

Comments (2)

  • “As hard as this life is, I wouldn’t trade it for anything” That indeed is the heart of the matter; the core of our existence. Thank you Emily for the subtle reminder.

    Thanks “Dad”. A great blog as always. love from us all.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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