Living Among The Dead

After almost 11 years traveling overseas with Compassion International. I’m not sure how to put yesterday into words. I’ve seen a lot of rough places in my life. Walked the streets surrounded by the meanest and deadliest gangs in the world and protected by them because their kids are educated and cared for by Compassion.

I’ve been in the largest slum in Africa, Kibera. One million people living in a 3 mile by 6 mile plot of land… and walked on the human waste that fills its streets and covers its area in the most god-awful smell.

But nothing prepared me to see people living in a cemetery. Literally. Their houses are built of whatever wood, cardboard, or alumni they can find. If they need to use the side of a tomb for a wall… they do.

In my head, I know the bones they sleep on, walk on, hang out on… play on are just that now… bones. No souls.

But I’ve always had a deep respect, as must do, for where the dead are buried and the meaning their lives once had in the lives of their friends and families.

But to live a life where your only place you can now live is a grave site… It just doesn’t make sense.

None of the poverty I’ve experienced in my travels ever truly makes sense, but I’m used to the order in which people live in poverty,there’s a loose code within these communities but still….

I think for even those living in extreme poverty, a cemetery would be a deal breaker.

I’m writing this in a very stream of consciousness kind of way. I’m processing at the same time I’m writing.

My thoughts, the way I feel, the reason behind what I’ve seen isn’t quite formed except to say… I don’t get it.

If you have seen what I have seen then you could probably relate. If you haven’t… well… just know… It makes no sense.

That’s all.


The views expressed here are those of a personal nature and do not reflect the corporate view of my employer or anyone else who employee my services.
  • Musicjones

    That is rough.  Wow!

    • Spence Smith

      It was rough. I think you would have been wrecked as well. Even after seeing everything you have seen on these trips.

  • Traceepersiko

    That is so crazy to think about. Trying to wrap my head around that scene. 

    • Spence Smith

      Meee too!

  • Alece Ronzino

    Spence… I can’t even imagine… this hurts my heart from HERE… i just can’t fathom being there and experiencing it… 

    praying for you… 

    • Spence Smith

      I’m glad I saw it. I needed to see it actually but really didn’t expect it to be that rough.

  • Gail Hyatt

    Spence, I’m speechless.

    • Spence Smith

      I was too. Those are images that will be in my head for a long time. I’ll never forget it.

  • Trevor Roberts

    Wow, Spence. I’ve seen a lot of poverty and hopelessness around the world, but I’ve never experienced anything quite like this… Praying for you and your heart you finish this trip… 

    • Spence Smith

      Thanks Trevor

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