I am still reflecting on the movie Slumdog Millionaire that I mentioned a few posts back. While the movie did not focus on care of children coming from at risk situations, the news following the movie has. Who is in the best position to care for children on the street and living in high risk situations? While in India a few years back, I visited a Muslim (Sufi), Hindu and a Christian outreach to children at risk. A number of the children attending these programs were either living on the street or lived in a slum and worked on the street. The Hindu project was on the outskirts of a famous Sufi tomb in New Delhi, while the Muslim project was near a slum, perhaps just a few blocks away from the Hindu program. The Christian project, run by a young convert from Hinduism, was reaching out to children who lived and worked in a train station in the one of the holisest Hindu cities. I kept asking myself, where’s the difference between what the Sufi project, the Hindu project and the Christian project are doing? All of the leaders were sincere people who loved their god(s) and were approaching the issues in a holistic way; in other words, they were reaching out to the children through education, feeding programs and religious teachings. Given I am a Christian believer, I admit some bias here, but what impacted me the most was watching a young Christian man who was from a Brahmin Hindu family (a small, yet elite group of people in the Indian caste system) reaching out, breaking down economic and religious walls, and caring for children that were considered untouchables. In the eyes of many of his family members this young man had gone insane to be hugging and caring for street children. That is the power of the Gospel at work in the lives of his people. When God works, things don’t make sense. One of my favorite books while in seminary was The Upside Down Kingdom by Donald Kraybill. The ways of God are upside down. This reminds me of Skip and Rehanna and others working in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Skip related to me a few months back that they had a foot washing for children and teenagers living on the street. This is upside down stuff! Who in their right mind would walk up to a group of children living under a bridge and wash their feet? I think when Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father ” (John 14:12), this is precisely what he meant. Greater things: Washing the feet of children who live on the street and breaking down economic and cultural paradigms to care for those most marginalized in our society. Ya, I think that’s it! The Church is in a great position to show the world that God is alive and willing to do just about anything to care for those on the periphery of our societies.
One thought on “Church, Childhood and Slumdog Millionaire”
LOVE it!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Greg!! I often struggle and question the same things; but there is no denying the transforming and unconventional work of Christ!