"Praise in the slum"

More than a million people live in Kibera, East Africa's largest slum, located in the heart of Nairobi, Kenya. A railroad track divides the massive area in half and, when no train is chugging through, also serves as a walking path for Kibera residents and visitors.

One day, as I was trekking down the track, a man in a shabby suit approached my friend and me. "I've just come from church," he proclaimed. Appearing to be oblivious to the horrible stench that permeates his 600-acre slum home, he thanked us for coming by and added with a smile, "The Lord loves us and will provide for us." He then shook our hands and walked away.

Surely this man craved better circumstances, but somehow he could still "acknowledge that the Lord is God" and that the Lord will take care of him "as a sheep of his pasture" (v.3).

His secret? Perhaps, more often than most of us, he has searched for water and found none; then, with a parched tongue, he's cried out to God for provision, and He delivered. Perhaps a mere cup at first. But then more. Of the poor and needy, God says, "I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them. . . . Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground" (Isaiah 41:17-18).

Though this man was a stranger, his life and faith have greatly inspired me. He showed me it's possible to praise God while living in squalor. We can, regardless of our physical circumstances, "worship the Lord with gladness . . . singing with joy" (v.2). "For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever" (v.5). , Roxanne Robbins, Our Daily Journey

CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org