Nairobi looks like any city in a developing country. As I look I hear the echo of Dominic’s words. “Nairobi is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. You might think J’burg is but in actuality Nairobi is far more dangerous. Never be without a guide and escort, especially at night.”
As I probe the underlying problem becomes clear. When you travel away from the city you quickly end up in places where jobs and opportunities are held by a select few. Jobs equate to hope which translates to Nairobi. Once in Nairobi the paradox is easy for all to see. There are far more people seeking opportunity that there are people giving.
Tens expanding into hundreds at rush hour hawk small items to cars in smoggy masses. New BMWs and Toyotas taunt those trying to break free from poverty. The skyscrapers, swank hotels, and people out to dinner only increase the volume. I cannot imagine what it would be like to find myself in this spiral without end. If I didn’t dedicate myself 1000% during early school days the glimmer of light would be nothing more than a flickering sliver. What possible thing could I offer for value? What choice is there except to prey on the greed of others, sacrifice my body, or just take it?
It would be one thing if the city creating significant numbers of new jobs. Reality is far too harsh for anyone to base her hope on this. When I wonder where God is I realize that the very question and pursuit of hope is fundamentally flawed. London isn’t that different from Nairobi except for the distance between the extremes. Any city or village falls into the same paradox, again except for the distance.
I believe that it is far too easy for any and all to trust in human bread. Jesus’ offer is as true today as it was two thousand plus years ago. “This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.” (John 6.58)
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