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.

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People come from the rural areas to the cities to better their lives, stop on someone’s land…..and build a “house”.

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They use whatever they can find as building materials….old garage doors, wood, concrete…

Some are nicer than others…

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They are often just nestled right up next to the big city…

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The landowners can’t do anything about it, it’s too dangerous with crimes rates so high.

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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.)

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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 GodJohn 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?

Love you,



2 Responses to “Wake up Wednesday: FAVELA (Brazil)”
  1. Rachel says:

    I absolutely love this post. Great reminder that Christ is all we need. I actually saw one of these “favelas” in Puerto Rico during my tour of Old San Juan. I too was clueless about them. Keep up the good work of the Lord! Feel free to visit us some time @Annointed Beauty Ministries

  2. Jennifer says:

    Wow. I live in the same bubble. Love this post.

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