Our time in Cairo has given me a new perspective on poverty.
There are people who are poor. Some people are even poorer. And then there are the poor that are absolutely destitute, robbed of everything and broken almost irreparably in every way.
– We visited 2 garbage cities in Cairo, one with 30,000 inhabitants and the other with 20,000. They recycle rubbish in their little brick shanty apartments for a living. But at least they had work.
– We drove by the city of the dead, a large community of people who live among the tombs in Cairo’s cemetery. These people are poor.
– We had tea with a guy who runs soccer camps for Cairo’s streets kids. He told us the kids, some of them as young as 7 years old, have all been abused, beaten, raped. And there are thousands of them.
– Another community we visited was a city of criminals and outcasts, many running from the law, indebted, unemployable, living in hiding.
But then we met a young guy who goes out to the desert each week, an hour and a half from Cairo, to a community of kids who were rescued from the streets. They are the worst case scenarios. Many were kidnapped as babies and had their bones broken and reset badly to assist them in begging for money. Their arms are lumpy. They limp. They are poor beyond description. Some of our team went out to visit them. They told me the kids were like “scared rabbits.” They couldn’t bring themselves to take any photos. I dont think I would have either.
And yet in all of these communities are people who have found deep and lasting joy in connecting with their Creator. They are happy. They have riches that are spiritual, and lasting, riches that nobody can take away.