Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Rio de Janeiro Comes to Lisbon

Last Friday June 10th, Portugal Day, our family was here in Braga, but at Carcavelos, the Lisbon-area beach where Drex and I are learning to surf and where I had hoped to spend time every week escaping claustrophobia urbana, about 500 local at-risk youths like those we serve at Crista da Onda forsook their at-risk status, turned professional, and demonstrated exactly what they are at-risk for.

They conducted what is known on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro as an "arrastão," heretofore unknown in Portugal, which sounds like but is the opposite of being arrested. It means running amuck relieving bathers of anything one can lay one’s hands on and attacking anyone who offers resistance. As surprised police moved in to allay the chaos, the youths took their mayhem onto the trains and into surrounding neighborhoods. Four of them were taken into custody. Three bathers and two police officers were injured.

This may mean we need to rethink our claustrophobia urbana strategy. Please pray that Lisbon comes up with other creative ways to deal with its at-risk youth, in addition to Crista da Onda.

1 comment:

Doris Alford said...

We will pray that God will give you insight as to how -- and what -- His will is for your ministry in Lisbon. It is a comfort to know you are so open to His leading. I thank God for you and your desire to serve him in whatever way He directs you.