Filthy puddles. Makeshift structures. A dark kitchen with no electricity. Roaming chickens. Emaciated dogs. A naked child. A mother who didn't smile. I vividly remember walking through my first slum. I was on a Compassion International mission/vision trip in the Dominican Republic with several colleagues in Christian radio. As I toured the slum, I felt somewhat numb--not knowing how to process the scenery around me. But when I returned to the hotel, and when I was in the middle of a live report back to WMBW-Chattanooga, TN, I completely fell apart. I sobbed on the air with thousands listening. At least I was not alone, many of us on that trip struggled with our emotions. One of those teammates who also was deeply impacted was Mark Zimmerman of WCRF-Cleveland, OH. There, in the DR, God introduced both of us to extreme poverty, a larger view of the Church, and a desire to be involved in global missions.
(Photo of Mark Zimmerman and Andy Napier)