Monday, September 05, 2005
Pizza For the Homeless?
Labor Day back home. Hope you enjoyed the day off. Not surprisingly Brazil does not celebrate Labor Day. I have a hunch that they don’t because of the rampant unemployment. In Salvador especially there seems to be an enormous amount of unemployment. As we have visited the other Churches of Christ in the city one of the greatest challenges for families is for appropriate resources that can only be found if the man of the house can find employment. This has particular ramifications for the children because of the education system. In Brazil there is no public schooling for children until they are 7 years old. In Salvador there are endless numbers of private schools that accept kids at 18 months and above. So where families do not have the resources there is no education for kids until they are 7. You can imagine the difference in development between 2 children, where one comes from a family that has been able to afford education for 5 and a half years and the child from the family who cannot afford it. Alicia and I really notice this social inequity on a daily basis from the number of garbage pickers that make the rounds in our part of town. The push around shopping carts and pick through garbage looking for anything useful but especially plastic bottles and cardboard. I have found out that they can get $1 US per kilogram of both. Now you can imagine how much plastic you have to collect to get one dollar. It really is quite remarkable. This happens all hours of the day, so last night as we were coming back from Randy and Jenn’s around 11pm, it was quiet except for all the people picking through garbage. Our team had been together and we had eaten pizza. Alicia and I accepted the leftovers and walked home with a box of pizza thinking we would have lunch the next couple days. While that notion was blown away quickly as we started passing people who were obviously hungry and were eager to accept a piece of pizza that had not been tossed in the garbage first. They were all very grateful and when we got home there was no pizza left. The whole incident touched my heart and helped me to remember the remarkable number of hungry people in this world in contrast to the remarkable riches that some possess. I have the incredible opportunity here in Salvador to make a tangible difference in people’s lives to experience the love of God in tangible ways. Lord give me the strength and vision to plant ministries that will touch the lives of people from all abilities to provide to the growth of the local economy for your glory.