We sidestep trash and puddle-filled stench. We move through the narrow corridor of buildings in the slum. And there in the midst of it all, we find glory.In the small, dark room we huddle. We've come to love. To stay. In solidarity.
When Niclete starts to sing, tremorous and brave, the women start weeping. The holy spirit breathes close and still. I think it is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. I don't understand all the words. But I know she is singing to Jesus. A hum of a prayer.
Worship in the face of loss. A heart surrendered.I learn something here every day. How love for God does not depend on circumstance. How a loss can evolve into light.
How thankfulness is the sweetest sacrifice.
She lays it all down as she sings.
We read scripture and Valerie bends to pray and I look at the doorway bathed in glow.
And I know He is here.We fill her empty hands that should have known the soft skin of an infant, with the only comfort we know. A leather bound Bible. In Swahili. It took us a year to get them, our Father has been right on time.
I see our women pressing hard-earned shillings into her palm. An offering.
And when I walk outside, I see Zabibu.
The one who survived.
And she is smiling.