Posted by: everynation | March 17, 2009

“Slumdog” Lifestyle, Minus the Millions…

steve-murrell1

by Steve Murrell

The multi-awarded Slumdog Millionaire movie follows the lives of Salim & Jamal, two of the world’s 1 billion squatters. Salim & Jamal are not real people, but the story – the story of poverty, violence, corruption, hopelessness and hope – is very real.

Two days ago, I visited Barangay Pinagbuhatan, one of Manila’s many squatter communities. It looked and felt like scenes from the Oscar-winning movie. But this was not a movie set and these kids were not actors. These were real people, and this was real life.

I walked through narrow sewage filled allies, past tiny shacks to the home of Emily – one of our Real Life Foundation scholars. Emily’s mom was gracious, kind and hospitable. Their home was smaller than my office. I could almost touch the right and left walls at the same time, and could easily place both palms on the ceiling while standing flat-footed. There was no furniture. How does a family with 5 kids live in a home smaller than my office?

I looked through the hole in the “wall” into the next house. I looked up at the sky, through the holes in the roof and wondered how any home in this community could survive even the weakest typhoon. Then I thought about the super-typhoons that flatten billboards and uproot trees, and I prayed for these families.

I left Barangay Pinagbuhatan burdened for the poor and determined to do more.

I pray that we will raise millions of pesos for our Real Life scholars at the “Van Hagen & Van Hagen: Brothers in Art 2” exhibit at The Gallery of The Peninsula Manila.

I really appreciate the Van Hagen bros and hundreds of others who volunteer their time, talent and money to help our Real Life Scholars.

Steve Murrell is a missionary, pastor, and the author of “The Reluctant Leader” and “The Accidental Missionary.”

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