For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes. 2 Cor. 1:19-20
It seems like everything in this world comes down to “Yes” and “No”. We might be harassed by a maybe occasionally but “maybe’ is just trying to avoid the inevitable “Yes” or “No”.
In the past few weeks, we have been alternating our time here working in the streets and hunting for an apartment in the vicinity of the red light district. Why do we choose to live where we work? Well, while we looking for an apartment one day, a group of homeless teens walked passed us. They did not recognize us at first as we are still new to them. However, one of the younger ones, Jonas, saw us and told the others. They turned around and called out to us and waved. They wanted us to know that they did not deliberately ignore us. I was touched by their action. This is the reason behind our choice to live here. We want to be visible to these little ones even when we are not working with them. Besides, walking to work everyday has its physical and financial benefits as well.
Renting an apartment in São Paulo is a complicated task. You have to have a guarantor who owns property in this city which is very expensive and most of our friends are not wealthy. The other option is to have apartment insurance which is unfair because you have to pay a month and half rent in an advance to an insurance company per year and you don’t get the money back. There is the security deposit option. You pay three months rent for the deposit which you will receive back at the end of the contract. The minimum contract for rental is three years. We have only means for the security deposit but unfortunately most of the rentals are not willing to accept the security deposit.
We have seen and called about 12 apartments a week and have heard a series of “No” to the security deposit option. After hearing “No” so many times we are afraid to be excited about any apartment. Here we are: we are educated, we have financial means and we have a clean credit record and still we are having a hard time finding a place to stay. What about those who living in the streets? What chances do they have if they want to leave the streets and rent an apartment? What about those hardworking people who live in the slums and want to get out of the dirty and uninhabitable slums? Can their sons and daughters ever dream of renting an apartment in this city? If the answer has been “No” to us, I guess we can be assured that they already have their answer.
Whenever we hear the answer “No” for something that we need for life, a little part of us withers away. This is why St. Paul makes it clear that in Christ, it is always a “Yes”. It is always a “Yes” to life and life abundantly. We continue our search for the apartment because Jesus wants us to be here. His answer to us is “Yes”. Jesus transcends the “Yes” and “No” of this world. He is our “Yes” even when we are faced with a “No”. This is our message of hope to those who think everyone around them is saying “No”. In Christ, it is always “Yes”. It is not about having a positive attitude. It is about knowing that we have a Lord who is alive and He is our “Yes” to life and life abundantly. Amen!!!