Articles From the May 1995 Unification News
Brazil: Redressing the Balance
by Peggy Moore Amaral-Brazil
Three months ago, in the January edition of the Unification News, an article appeared bearing the title "Mrs. First World," under the byline of Penelope Moore Amaral.
The origin of much of the material was based on a talk or personal testimony on Brazil I gave to a few friends in London, 1994. During that talk I believe I managed to inspire some English members and non- members alike to appreciate their own lives more and feel that they had a far greater capacity to sacrifice for God and their fellow men.
In giving my talk, I stressed the suffering aspect of life in Brazil rather than the positive aspect for two reasons (although without doubt, a comfortable and well-endowed way of life is also a reality for many Brazilians):
First, my husband had been anxious to point out the shortcomings of his country from the first day I arrived in Brazil, in order to help me make a fully informed decision about staying in his country, as well as helping me to understand the depth of commitment I would have to make. It was, in fact, due to the suffering aspects that helped me to make firm my decision of serving God's will in Brazil. Second, for people living in countries of relative wealth and security, being reminded that all is not well in the world can be stimulus to live more unselfishly and work for God with deeper enthusiasm and sacrifice.
However, when a dear friend of mine wrote down his impressions of my talk and submitted it to Unification News for publication, the form and context in which the article was written reflected poorly on the spirit in which I gave the talk and, on top of that, I appeared to be arrogant and bigoted, ridiculing both Brazilians and Brazilian society. Unfortunately, my true feelings about Brazil were not clearly expressed through his article.
If I had been more closely involved in the publication, I would have had the chance to offer a more balanced view of Brazil-also with the consciousness of a far wider audience (i.e., Unification News readers), perhaps by including many of the wonderful experiences I'd had in the process of embracing Brazil as my new home.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to deeply apologize for the offense the article on Brazil caused. It was certainly nobody's intention to offend, but occurred first through the miscommunication between the writer and myself and secondly perhaps was due to the differences existing between the two spheres of Latin America and Europe: the cultural, socioeconomic and particular ways of thinking. It is a near-impossible task for a person from one culture to comment on another culture, yet never having lived in it, to understand the subtle implications of his or her words, on how the words would be perceived by the people of that culture.
To me, Brazil is a powerful country with an unparalleled potential, with a people open in heart to God, who have a willingness to learn and develop. These are qualities which I am sure are priceless in the sight of God, especially at this poignant moment in providential history.
My sincerest wish is that those of you who were shocked and surprised by the previous article might accept that, on the contrary to what was perceived, in fact I am a person who has a deep love for this country and a fervent desire to see the Kingdom of God built in this land.
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