We hadn't gotten very far from and only walked down a few levels, before kids came running with their arms raised just wanting someone to pick them up and love on them.
It broke my heart to see the people living there. We were told that "The Hole" was basically ruled by the drug ward and we were actually there under his protection. Apparently, years ago, when the feeding center and church were first being built, he asked for a meeting with the pastor because he liked what was going on there and he saw hope and future for the kids. So he told the pastor that he would watch out for him and the groups that he would bring in to help with the church and feeding center. It's a pretty crazy story, but I felt safe.
My heart was broken for these kids. That life is what they've always known and even with help and education, it would be so hard to change their lives. We were told that drugs and prostitution are very prevalent there. To look into the eyes of those little girls and know that is the environment that they will more than likely grow up in almost brought tears to my eyes. It was incredibly hard to get back on the bus and leave. I don't think these kids are hopeless at all. They just need love...just look at their faces. I think that says it all.
Below is a short video clip I took with my camera at the basin of "The Hole."
Upon my return home, I found this video that Harold from Morgantown posted. It breaks my heart. Pray for the kids in "The Hole." Pray for their safety and health.