Kenyan Journal Pt IV: Kakuma Refugee Camp

From August 27, 2019

On January 24th, my eighth full day in Kenya, I traveled north via plane to the Kakuma Refugee Camp. I was weighed down by a sense of trepidation and nervousness about what I would see. I did not want to leave the comfort and security of my Nairobi home with the Mill Hill Missionaries…and the daily cold beer they offered me at the end of a long, hot day filming in the slums of the city.

Kenyan Journal Pt III: Preaching and Hanging Out of a Helicopter

From August 26, 2019

Yesterday I gave the homily during the Sunday liturgy in Jesuit parish in a very poor area. The celebrant was my friend Fr. Bob White, an 81-year-old priest who invited me to teach at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome back in the late 1990’s. After he proclaimed the Gospel, he introduced me by telling the people he wanted me to share with them my conversion story and my current work on behalf of the poor. Inexplicably, I was not nervous, and spoke very extemporaneously for about 20 minutes while standing in the aisle without any notes and armed only with a microphone.

Kenyan Journal Pt II: Nauseating

From August 25, 2019

Today I spent a few hours filming in Nairobi’s main garbage dump, where hundreds upon hundreds of people sifted through the rotting, stinking, smoldering waste for scraps of food to eat or bits of metal and plastic to sell. Competing with the people for scraps to eat were very large birds that were so big they were taller than most people’s waistline. The images I captured are haunting.

God in Exile

From August 23, 2019

In January 2012, I made my fifth trip to Africa. It came just three weeks after celebrating the Incarnation of God. Still fresh in my mind was the reality that Jesus was the son of homeless refugees. He was born not to riches, but to poverty. During his life on earth, Jesus knew hunger and thirst, he knew squalor, insecurity, and danger, he knew isolation and loneliness, he knew betrayal and exile. Jesus knew the debilitating destitution of dire poverty.

I Hate to Bother You

From August 20, 2019

I pulled into the Sister’s compound at 6:15am yesterday. I was barely out of the car when Sr. Patsy came up to me. She motions me to come aside. She said, “I don’t want to cause you trouble. But, could you take in one more baby?” I asked, “How old?” Sr. Patsy did not know. She they walked to area where the male staff sit during breaks. There was a tall, thin man seated, holding a tiny infant. The baby boy was four months old. The mother died during child birth. The father is unable to care for the child himself. The father’s name is Patrick. The son’s name is Patrickson.

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