Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Slumming it

I got up in the dark. The electricity had gone during the night, so I worked on the laptop in the dimness of the slowly creeping morning. My host family was still asleep under their mosquito net. There was no chair in their room - and the sciatica in my left leg was killing me - so I put a few stools together and stood up - trying to type in interviews from the day before.

Gradually the sleeping forms on the floor stirred. One by one my hosts woke up, went out the door and down the steps to the toilet they share with their Muslim landlord. The net was folded up and the bed was rolled away. A porridge made and a new day begun.

We were in a small brick room at the edge of a large slum pocket in Eastern Delhi - near the border of UP. The gray winter morning awaited us outside. A quick prayer and we had gathered for breakfast - while the youngest son was dressed up in the uniform of the local school - "The Green Crescent School" was what I remember from his blazer.

The morning dishes were washed from a small tap, from water which had been carried up the steps. The waste water was then taken out to discard.

My host and I stepped out into the mud - a bit of a rain splatter during the night had turned what was dusty into what is muddy. The wonderful Hindi word "Kichard" came to mind.

But all around me was beauty.

I had been deeply privileged to have spent a few hours with an amazing Australian family who have for the past decades been living a prophetic life among the poor. "All for love's sake became poor" goes a song about our Lord - and my friends have and are doing that. Their 11 year old son is a minor genius - and loves seeing life statistically - while being the school boy he is and wrestling with his father and 6 year old brother in the evenings.

I was in Delhi to help evaluate the SHALOM Delhi AIDS programme. I ended up being evaluated myself. By the grain of the lifestyle that our dear friends have humbly and without fanfare adopted.

Unless a seed of grain dies...


  1. Wow. That is inspiring. Challenging. Intimidating. Talk about self-inspection.

  2. Unless a seed of grain dies...

    Made me think Andi!
    Dying to the world.
    Dying to self.
    Living for Christ.
    Rarely preached nowadays.
    Hope we can be true examples by the help of the Holy Spirit.