Question of the day

by Elizabeth Aranda May. 07, 2017 1920 views

This is a more personal blog update full of all my thoughts traveling through Brazil and what god has been putting on my heart. I noticed that people here are fascinated by America, they love our music. Our movies. Our celebrities. But there are many people hurt by America. Hurt by our immigration policies. Hurt by our new president Trump's words about immigrants. I first came to Brazil and I met someone who said they would love to go to America but our president hates foreigners and our country rejects their people. I thought to myself, "no one I know in America hates Brazilians, this isn't true". But then I met another person, then another, then five more people, and now I've been in Brazil for over a month and it's a common story. And I meet some of the nicest, sweetest, hardworking people who tell me they can't even get a visa because they're rejected over and over. So where's the line drawn? Because I see a problem that can't be solved. I see a lot of gray area. Working in Brazil I've seen poverty that I never imagined. It's a cycle that keeps going: a child is born into poverty. Their parents are drug addicts, there's no work to be found, absent parents, some even live on the street and/or in over crowded living conditions. There's no role models, and they grow up to be just like their parents because they don't know any better. Then the cycle continues. I'm not saying every situation is like this because their are children who escape this cycle, there are children growing up in loving and safe homes. There are very nice areas of Brazil that I've been too. One of my good friends grew up in a lovely home in Brazil and is one of the toughest/coolest chicks I know. But the reality I've realized, most of the world aren't that privileged. And when I say that I mean not just Brazil but the whole world excluding first world countries. Then I look at my own life and it's almost sickening. I catch myself in my ignorance all the time. I grew up having my own room most my life, never had to worry about food. I took for granted my education. My traveling opportunities. And I think, of course everyone wants to go to America. But that's the problem. Before I left to be a missionary I heard the common sayings, "why should we let people into our country who just want to steal our jobs?" Or "they choose to be addicted to drugs, they choose not to work, they choose to get pregnant and have countless children they can't afford." And leaving America I realized, it's not true. There isn't work opportunities. How can adults get off drugs when their given drugs when they start walking and talking? How can they not get pregnant when health care products are expensive or hard to find. Heck, when I got my period it took me multiple store runs just to find tampons! And even then I had to grumble because they weren't that good of quality. (There, catching myself in my ignorance again.) so these people, they're humans. Just like you and me. They're humans who love, who feel pain, who dream, who hope. And it's impossible to not fall in love with these people. I just got out the shower and there was a row of kids waiting eagerly for me to play with them. I am being hugged and kissed by strangers, and I can't imagine how anyone could go on living their lives without loving these people. How blessed I am that I get to have these people in my life. So the question I'm always thinking is, how do we fix things? How do we change things? I read a quote, "Making real progress isn't easy. There will always be those who fight you every step of the way. Prevailing has the added benefit of reminding us that with determination, even the most difficult problems can be overcome." So sometimes it feels hopeless. But being a missionary I've realized that the little things matter. We have to tackle injustice one day at a time, one person at a time. So I'm happy to take cold showers and wear dirty clothes day after day. Because I get to share my faith with people, i get to tell people about their father in heaven. I get to be god's hands and feet. And this gives people hope. This changes things. So that's what god's been working in my heart lately. Please continue to pray for my team as we travel around São Paulo area. 

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