Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brazil 18 - Some of What I've Learnt

An old friend asked me if I'd learnt anything in Brazil. This was my reply...

I suppose the biggest thing has been something of what it means to trust God without holding onto any material things. But also a lot about people - about how women are still house-proud when all they have is a one-room shack, how ugly society can get when material advancement is prioritised at the expense of everything else, the way that corruption can lead to so much suffering and yet the people who own virtually nothing and live in an illegally-erected shack which is semi-permanently a foot deep in dirty water are often happier than those who are working 70 or 80 hour weeks with the luxury beachside appartments. Except when they've watched one or both of their parents be murdered - that seems to upset people quite a lot, but I've even seen hope for them.

I've seen the difference that one woman can make to individual lives and to an area by planting a church on a rubbish dump where the human life expectancy is 26 and where people thought of themselves as little more than cockroaches. I've seen the way that witchcraft always seems to take hold in the lowest places, and something of the way that Jesus can break that hold.

So yes, I've learnt quite a bit. ;o)

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