In 1956 (when Brasília was only a dream), President Kubitschek gathered together the team that would design the world’s newest city. Oscar Niemeyer was chosen as chief architect, Roberto Burle Marx as landscape designer, and Lúcio Costa as urban planner. After the plans were drawn up, sixty thousand workers (nicknamed “Candangos”) poured in from all over Brazil to clear the fields, pave the streets, and construct the buildings. A mere forty-one months later (on April 21, 1960) the city was inaugurated with much fanfare.
After many speeches of congratulations, 200 jeeps, trucks, tractors began to make their way down the main thoroughfare loaded with hundreds of Candangos. The 150,000 spectators broke into deafening, spontaneous applause. Yes, the city planners had their seats of honor, but the crowd knew that nothing could have been accomplished without the sweat and sacrifice of this legion of laborers. One of Brasília’s principal monuments (pictured) honors these nameless heroes.
Pastors and missionaries receive recognition for their work, but ALL Christians are necessary to the Church’s mission. Countless “unknown” workers are essential to the building up of God’s kingdom. Dan and I saw this recently when we visited a church in Pennsylvania. The pastor was providing excellent leadership, but no one was waiting around for him to do everything. One group ministers to the physically handicapped. One group of faithful women keeps the church involved in missions. Another man is fixing the car of his non-Christian friend and inviting him to church events. Another lady uses her culinary gifts to bless others. I felt like standing up to applaud these lesser-known heroes of the faith. They are getting the work done without wasting a lot of time to see who is noticing. May we all be Candangos so that others are blessed and Christ receives the glory.