Today is the last day of our Live Below the Line challenge, while just another day for the 1.4 billion who don’t get to end their struggles as easily.
We focused this week on the people of Korah, a 1 kilometer area in the poorest section of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I asked my good friend Pastor Mike Conroy to give us an inside perspective on the area where he recently visited to pray with and interact with the street children and people of Korah, please see his comments and photos below:
Korah is a place in Addis Ababa that was started by lepers and other outcasts around 70-75 years ago. There are many people with leprosy, who live there. Although, more people are plagued with AIDS and HIV now. It is a little village surrounding the city trash dump and the people pick food to eat from the trash, or things to sell. Some people actually live right in the dump itself, others live in houses surrounding it. It is about 1 square kilometer and around 120,000 people live there.
The rest of Addis view them as worthless, and very few people go there to visit with the people. It is a very hard place to live. The one old woman in the bed has no hands or feet from leprosy, yet she blessed us when we were leaving her house. I toughed and held on to her hands and it meant so much to her because no one wants to touch her. They love to read Matt 8, where Jesus touches the leper. That is such a BIG deal to them. That Jesus reached out His hand to touch and heal a leper.
Today, as everyday this week at 1:50 PM we lift the people of Korah and all those who are affected by extreme poverty and live on less than $1.50 a day. They are not of the trash that surrounds them, they are deserving of the same freedom and basics needs that we were blessed to have in our lives. They are God’s children, they are our brothers and sisters and are loved. I found this beautiful prayer early in the week and wanted to share it with you so that we may collectively pray these words for these beautiful people today.
Lord you have brought some of us over the oceans and across the miles to share with us what lays heavy on your heart. You have given us a glimpse, a small window into Korah.
We have seen the faces of those who grip your heart, who live under circumstances that grieve your spirit. These are your precious children; men, women and children, whom man has forgotten and ignored, living in oppression, in garbage dumps and makeshift homes filled with darkness. We are no longer innocent or uninformed, but we have had a glimpse of their reality. Their need is overwhelming, compassion floods our soul, we grieve. In these moments, as our hearts connect with yours, you remind us that the night is as day to you. You are there in their darkness! “Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:12
We pray for those living in Korah; may they see YOU in the darkness and may You turn their darkness into light. “You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.” 2 Samuel 22:29.
For too long the people of Korah have been forgotten. For too long they have walked the path of pain and suffering. We pray Lord; bring them on unfamiliar paths of love, acceptance, healing and hope. Open their eyes that they may see they are not alone and they are not forgotten; for Lord – You know each one by name! We pray for the healing of hearts, homes and lives in Korah. A new dawn of hope and healing draws near – for You O Lord, have not forgotten Korah! “For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant… I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:14
We pray for those whom you are raising up within Korah itself; for GreatHope Ministry, for Sammy and Pastor Antonoh, the men and women who work along side them. For those you are calling from near and far. We thank you for the amazing miracles you have done in their lives. We pray for your protection, your guidance, your wisdom, your strength and your provision for their lives and for their part in your ministry. May they be sensitive to your spirit, may they hear your voice and see your vision for your ministry. May they do your work and not their own!
Lord we pray for ourselves. We may not have been born in Ethiopia, but you have chosen to share Korah with us. May we be one with You. May we hear your voice and see your heart for your people. Help us not to turn our heads away. Help us not to forget, but instead we ask that you teach us how to pray for Korah – may our hearts and ears hear what it is You truly desire for this community, for these leaders, these Christian brothers and sisters who remain in Korah to minister and to love your people.
We pray that your light will continue to break through this darkness; through those who are there and through us who are here. Show us how to spend ourselves in behalf of the hungry and to satisfy the needs of the oppressed. Specifically show us what that means for us – for each one of us individually – it may be different, it may be the same. Please open our eyes and our hearts, so that our light – Your Light may rise in this darkness and the night that Korah experiences will soon become like the noonday – full of joy, healing, and HOPE! “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen; to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood. Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say; Here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:6-10
We love you Lord and we pray all of this in
Christ’s precious name.
As I have mentioned this week, we are collecting funds to send to A Heart for Korah, an organization that directly works with the people of Korah to provide critical supplies. They will be taking medical supplies and hygiene supplies there in August. Please take a moment to visit their blog, LIKE them on Facebook, and if you feel called make a donation by clicking on the link below on our site, or the link on their site. We are close to reaching our goal of $200.00 raised this week. Will you prayerfully consider helping us meet or exceed that goal today. We would love to bless as many people as possible on their upcoming trip.
Even a donation as little as $10.00 could have a huge impact for the people of Korah. There are a number of ways to make a donation, the first would be by clicking on the donate button below. Make sure that you make a note that it is for the Below the Line fundraiser. You can also visit A Heart for Korah blog and donate directly through their website. I would ask that you would make the same notation that it is for the Below the Line fundraiser. If you do not have a PayPal account, please feel free to email us and we will provide you our address to send a check. We thank you in advance for any prayers or donations you feel called to offer.
Donate directly through A Heart for Korah Blog – http://aheartforkorah.blogspot.com/
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Come back this evening for our Day 5 area of focus, education, and a recap of our week. God bless.