Act 16: Dirty Hands

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“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3 NIV)

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Here it comes. The one we all dread – but also, the one with some real reward. Find a grotty toilet, take a bag of cleaning equipment, and make that thing shine. Walk straight into the inconvenient, the uncomfortable, and the grimy. Serve low today. – Graham Miller

Cleaning kit ready

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Today’s Options

GREEN OPTION:

Don’t avoid the blocked up public toilet; give it a flush and a brush!

YELLOW OPTION:

Get in touch with a friend you know has a busy schedule. Offer to go over and do their washing up.

RED OPTION:

If there’s a student village or area near you, find a street and go door-to-door offering to clean kitchens. If not, ask a local family.

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What did I do?

Yellow and red were not available to me here so I defaulted to the green option. I got my cleaning kit ready, which contained disposable gloves, an old cleaning cloth (which I could ditch afterwards) and a loo block.

I walked for all day (8km) with this in my bag and not once did I come across a loo that needed cleaning. We were at the beach, at a theme park, on the MRT – not a single dirty loo. A testimony to Singapore’s cleanliness.

I’ll keep looking and update here when I’ve achieved this one.

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India

When we were in India every public toilet (if indeed you could actually find one) would need cleaning and I regularly left toilets cleaner than when I entered. Even the church toilets were grim, filthy places either with no water at all (yes just imagine THAT smell in the heat) or they looked like Noah had just passed through and you waded through waste water in flip flops or sandals (equally grim). I felt like I was on a mission to personally clean every toilet I visited in India.

I improved the Bible college’s only toilet (yes, just one for the entire college) by cleaning it, providing loo roll, soap, towels, air freshener, mosquito spray and bath mats (to avoid flooding). Once I cleaned it it was kept relatively clean and I washed the towels weekly and replenished the loo roll and soap regularly. Once I took the action to improve the foul smelling cess pit that it was, then it was maintained relatively well.

Pictured below is one example of an Indian public toilet before I had a good go at cleaning it (and this wasn’t the worst one I came across by a long way). I was unable to take an ‘after’ shot as there was a queue of people desperate to use it then.

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I’m quite sure I won’t find any public toilets in this sort of state here in Singapore but I will be vigilant for an opportunity to clean one.

#40acts