Every so often I see a picture of the kids in Brazil from my wife’s family and from the church, and I realize how fast time is passing and how much I have missed. I was fully invested and fully involved in life in Uberlandia, Brazil and had no thought of moving from there to the United States until finances got too tight. It actually hurts to see in photos that the kids are getting bigger, because I feel deep down that I should have been able to be there for it.
Hindsight is always 20/20. I now know that I should have clung to my original sense of vocation and completed seminary. I now know that I should have studied for a stable second career as well, just to be sure I’d be able to support myself in mission work. I now know that I could have brought the woman who is now my wife to the States to get married to be able to fulfill these other purposes.
Consider this, though: Had I done all the things differently which I mentioned above, I likely would not be getting to Brazil until this year, or perhaps later, and would only now be meeting these kids. Further, in all likelihood my son would not have been born. Sure, I would possible have had a child with my wife, but I in no way believe that we humans are non-contingent beings. Only God “must” exist. Therein lies the difficulty of morbidly obsessing over what you could or should have done differently. You cannot actually go back and change anything (and if it were possible it would probably be wrong for more reasons than one can count to do so) and reflecting on the past too much blinds you to the purpose of the present and the hope of the future.
So here I am. I live in New Jersey and want to serve in mission to the Brazilian community here. I am here, not in Brazil. There are young people in the church here that I would miss if I were to leave, just as there are in Brazil. There is work to be done here just as there is in Brazil.
My decision to be bivocational did not work out in Brazil for the reasons I discussed here and in prior posts, but that does not mean that I should stop trying. Rather, I need to pick up from where I am now and serve those around me, reach out to the Brazilian community and others with the Good News that Jesus is Lord and also seek the theological and practical training that I committed myself to in accepting my vocation to Brazilian evangelism.