Interesting Articles

Thursday, June 4, 2009

To be made clean...

I recently received a bar of soap as a gift from a friend of mine. The soap comes from a urban ministry in Brazil. There the people collect used cooking oil, which would otherwise be poured down the drain and could possiblycontaminate the drinking water, and is instead processed into soap.

The process is clever in and of itself. It creates jobs for the people, allows them to take a step toward self-reliance,and it excercises wise and thoughtful stewardship over our planets resources. However, what is perhaps the most interesting is the way that the soap is looked to as a metaphor for our own redemption in the ongoing spiritual ministry. Claudio Oliver,one of the leaders of the ministry explains:

All this got started because we were talking about holiness. to be holy is to be used for a specific purpose. Oil, when it starts out, is used for a specific purpose—to cook food. But once it is used, it is damaged and it doesn’t matter what you do with it—put it in the sink, put it somewhere else—it’s going to cause problems in the nature around it. But if you clean the oil, mix it with caustic soda, and pass it through fire, it is transformed and can be used without damage. This is a reflection of the Jesus-process in our lives. There is an outside intervention that cleans, and not only cleans but changes our nature, transforms us. You can’t change the soap back into oil, and similarly we are permanently transformed from something that causes problems to people and the world around us into something that can be used without damage.
The gospel is everywhere. Even in our soap.

To watch the full interview with Claudio Oliver about his soap, visit


Claudio Oliver said...

Thanks for your comments. It was an honour to appear in such an interesting blog as yours as a quote.
As I usually offer, if there is anyone interested to learn how to make this soap, We can provide the recipe, and we are even thinking about a short video on how to make it. Anyway, I was passing by and found you. Great blog, good thoughts, inspirational sharing.
Peace and all good to you

Dago said...

Nice post. Nice blog.

Anonymous said...

Very cool blog and post.

They make great soap, by the way. I


Anonymous said...

It makes a difference if you have a clear intention for doing things.

And the soap is really good not only for the dishes but laundry also.