It was 2007. For the very first time in life I took an airplane. The final destination was Norway. I was one of the students in the exchange program late in 2007-2008.
Being church in urban areas like Curitiba is a great challenge.
Church is, in its core, all about strengthening relationships, bringing people closer to each other and to the cross of Christ while, by developing intimacy, these people are transformed and transform each other.
And this is precisely the great hindrance for Christians who live in cities like Curitiba.
Urban culture values isolation and individuality. Brazilian citizens who live in such areas tend to remain anonymous. They seek it. They like it. They live it. Each person is responsible for himself and his own successes or failures. Our neighbour, so important in God’s Word, is not someone we want around or, at best, a problem that is someone else’s responsibility. This is, to a large extent, the opposite of being a biblical church.
However, not everything is sadness. We have reasons to smile. Lots of them.
There are people who have been transformed by the gospel of Christ and who understand that their calling is to be church in their everyday life, in their neighborhood and in their city, not for themselves, but to serve others.
These Christians who understood their call are living contrary to the Curitiba’s modus operandi and change is happening. In short steps, it is true, but every day more lives are being transformed through social projects aimed at those who live in a state of vulnerability, on the street and immersed in complete poverty and without light for a promising future. Projects like Dorcas and Casa Redentor have served society and shown a different path for these people. A path that goes through music, medical and psychological assistance, as well as training and encouragement for personal and professional development, in addition to impacting, with his dedication to social service, the very status quo of the Christian culture of the big city.
We look forward to the day that all those who are being cared for by these projects, live with more dignity. We wish also that more people can get involved in initiatives like these and bring their contribution to make someone else’s life better than it is today.
That’s being church!