“In our world, one in eight people live in slums. In total, around a billion people live in slum conditions today.”—UN-Habitat Slum Almanac 2015-2016.
Upon reading this fact, my mind almost shut down. An eighth of the world’s population? It seems absurd, but apparently, it is the truth. The reality for those living in slums is harsher than what is reported.
The Slums: An Explanation
Firstly, what exactly are slums? Merriam Webster defines “slums” as “a densely populated usually urban area marked by crowding, run-down housing, poverty, and social disorganization.”Little to no basic utilities exist in slums. Sanitation facilities, clean water, medical provision are inadequately present in these urban areas. Diseases run rampant, with little to no prevention.
Slum dwellers suffer under these harsh and brutal conditions. These people endure the hardship and poverty around them. Entire families are caught in the endless cycle, with no visible way out. Hopelessness and despair rule their lives.
The Ministry of the Faithful
What is being done to help these people? By the grace of God, many Gospel for Asia-supported workers toil endlessly among the slums`in Asia, bringing hope and love to those in need. Whether it be through prayer, medical care, literacy and vocational classes, gift distributions, water filters, toilets, etc., brothers and sisters minister to those living in these slums.
As I perused the many reports and stories about slums, one in particular caught my attention. The story is of one woman’s return from the brink of desperation and despair. This is Maisie’s story…
Learn more about the need for slum ministry, uplifting the lives of slum dwellers. GFA began supporting ministry in the slums in 1999. Through this work, many people have found hope and strength in God.