Wake up Wednesday: FAVELA (Brazil)
Several years back Mr. Wonderful and I had the opportunity to take an extraordinary trip to San Paulo, Brazil.
I remember driving (not me driving, someone else driving) around and just feeling like I was in another “world”.
Even the air and sky seemed to be a different color. ( Perhaps that was due to the Ethanol they used to fuel their cars, but I digress.)
As we drove from the airport to the city, I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on one of these:
“What is THAT?” I asked. From a distance it looked so interesting, and there was something actually beautiful and artistic about it….
“That’s a FAVELA,” my friends replied. It’s sort of a “slum,” a “shanty town,”a “squatter’s camp” if you will.
People come from the rural areas to the cities to better their lives, stop on someone’s land…..and build a “house”.
They use whatever they can find as building materials….old garage doors, wood, concrete…
Some are nicer than others…
They are often just nestled right up next to the big city…
The landowners can’t do anything about it, it’s too dangerous with crimes rates so high.
In Rio De Janeiro, it is estimated that 50% of the population live in a favela…
And I was surprised to find this fact: “97% of Rio’s favelas houses have TV, 94% have refrigerator, 59% DVD player, 55% mobile phone, 48% washing machine and 12% have a computer.”
(These numbers are just for Rio.)
It is estimated that over 6.5 million people live in favelas in Brazil.
That’s a lot.
Millions of people live in favelas, yet I had never even heard of them.
I live in such a bubble.
And lest we are tempted to “feel sorry” for, or “pity”, let’s consider this statement:
Human wealth compared to God’s wealth is ridiculously tiny and laughable to boast in. Bill Gates is a pauper and has nothing compared to the poorest heir of God –John Piper
Amazing. The poorest pauper, who lives in a favela in Brazil, but has CHRIST….is richer than any millionaire or even billionaire we could find.
Christ is that valuable. Even more so.
I need to be reminded of these things daily, my sisters. Remind me. Thump me on the head when I start to forget. Tell me in our conversations. When we meet along the way, or chit-chat about our children…..remind me.
Don’t let me forget. I am so very forgetful.
And I, in turn, will try to remind you.
After all, that’s what sisters are for, right?