From 1992 - 1994, when he was in his early thirties, James Martin worked with refugees in Nairobi, Kenya, as part of his training as a Jesuit. He quotes Carlos Valles: "If you always imagine God in the same way, no matter how true and beautiful it may be, you will not be able to receive the gift of the new ways he has ready for you." In his fascinating account of this spiritual journey, the author meets God in some of the 50,000 to 100,000 refugees in Nairobi. As he puts it, the Africans "transformed my heart in ways I couldn't have imagined."

Helping these men and women start their own small businesses, Martin comes face-to-face with the poverty, misery, and sickness in their lives. Many of them are beaten and jailed by the police, locked out of their homes by greedy landlords, and harassed by their neighbors. Martin wins their respect and love by giving them the precious gift of his time. He starts the Mikono Centre which serves as an outlet for refugee handicrafts. In the end, these soulful survivors teach Martin about the spiritual practice of hope.