Tuesday, 15 March 2016

As Vladia tells me about Jean Carlos you can see the warmth of the memories on her face.  Vladia used to play with Jean Carlos when she was a child in her grandmother's garden in Brazil.    You and I will probably never meet Jean Carlos and yet I think we have an opportunity to learn from this enterprising young man.  

Vladia remembers Jean Carlos (film clip)
Jean Carlos as a boy

Jean Carlos is an inspiring example of someone who was making the most of the planet's resources.  His story is a small example of the Restorative Economy (link). Tearfund is working with others to encourage us to move towards this much more sustainable and fair way of running the global economy.

In this approach economies would move from being 'linear' that is extracting, making and wasting resources through to being 'circular', ie making the most of the natural biological cycles and constantly reusing non-biological resources.

Two others things strike me.  Firstly the way in which God often chooses 'men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses' (1 Corin 1v27) such as Jean Carlos and other 'litter-pickers' to gently challenge the rest of us. 

Secondly that the key ingredients for large scale change are a great idea (eg Restorative Economy (link)), great people (connected in a movement) and, most importantly, our great God 'who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine' (Ephesians 3v20).

So maybe it's time for you and me to learn from Jean Carlos.  We'll need to work towards and pray that the whole economy of the planet changes.  It's a big dream but our God is able...

PS And so what is Jean Carlos doing now?  Vladia recently got back in touch.  His enterprising skills are still bringing blessing to those around him. 

He has worked as an ambulance driver and recently used a public address system attached to his car to attract people to benefit from Operation Smile. This meant that more local people who were suffering from cleft palettes, have received an operation and can now smile with joy. 

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