by Rosangela Oliveira
Today is a historical day in United States of America. I did not vote for Barack Obama: I am Permanent Resident of the United States, not a US citizen. I did vote for a candidate that in many ways resembles the message of change that Obama represents. I voted for Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (“Lula”), the President of Brazil. It feels good to have Lula in Brazil and Obama in US. Both bring to the table issues of justice and the elimination of discrimination. As a Latina in United States, it is an issue that I believe must be attended to.
But I’m missing all the inauguration and excitement of the moment in New York City. I’m writing from a plane on my way to Brazil. The Amazonian region of Brazil, in the city of Belém, Pará, will be at the center of the world social movements. I’ll attend the World Forum on Liberation and Theology focusing the issues of water, land and theology.
Then, I will join United Methodist Women delegation to the World Social Forum, together with leaders from Methodist youth and women leaders in Latin America. We will be a total of nine women and young women.
The World Social Forum is a plural space full of hope – “Another World is Possible”. Civil society, religions, social movements, grassroots communities, and people get together to share hope and build together alternatives that can impact our local and global world.
As a GBGM Regional Missionary I come to these Forums to be at the global table that is still able to dream and send a strong message of social change. I expect to be part of a global network of solidarity for economic justice, peace and equal rights. I am here motivated by my Methodist tradition of faith, which ecumenically, extends the love of Christ to the whole world and creation. I am here to expand my concept of mission, as stated in the purpose of United Methodist Women, through being together with women of the world to learn their issues and concerns, and express solidarity. I am here to deepen my understanding of some specific struggles such as the Amazonian Region and its indigenous peoples.
I pray that this experience help me to be more faithful to the mission call.