Where are the Smiths and what are they doing?

by Rod Smith

Arizona

Arizona

As I write today I am a kilometer or two from an obscure town named Christopher Creek, Arizona and, like I remember from growing up in Durban, the temperatures are soaring. It feels like summer in Durban. Although I’ve not seen it myself, and nor have needed to do it, I am told some people have to open car doors using oven mitts! It’s hot, it’s dry, and it is heaven for me.

My task here at this rustic campsite is to address about 60 inner-city children aged 11 to 14 who come from a poor neighborhood in nearby Phoenix. These children, almost exclusively Hispanic, are fluent in English and Spanish.

As a natural product of their warm and caring ways, they have embraced my children and me in a manner that could teach much to some far “better off” people I have encountered around the world. While most of the children have never left their immediate neighborhood in Phoenix, and couldn’t be more unaware of the larger world, nor have any inclination of what it might be like to come from South Africa, their immediate inclusion of the Smiths into their circle of friendship could teach some churches, gosh, even the United Nations, a thing or two.

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