My family was invited to a really neat experience, a wedding in Caruaru. We spent five years in the 90’s establishing the church there, making a lot of mistakes, but somehow God used our inadequacies, and brought about something good.
1993, my brother and I moved into small house in an alley, without out a sidewalk, so one step out of our door, we were in the street. The neighbors were excited about the Americans moving in, giving them something to talk about, their kids fascinated. One little boy called Hegon (pronounced Ego), three or four years old, was scared of us at first, but once getting used to us, would stand at the bars of the front doors for hours watching our daily affairs in the living room and kitchen. I guess there was nothing interesting on TV. I don’t know how watching two bachelors burning their lunch made much of an impact on this little fellow, but if I knew I would be at his wedding 22 years along with Christian brothers and sisters from churches all over Brazil, if I knew he would become a young leader in the Caruaru church, I would have paid more attention to him.
Also during those Caruaru years, I started traveling to Vertentes weekly (about fifty minutes away), studying the Bible with a group of people there. I met three kids (about ten years old), and I thought, it might be fun to do something with them. I remember setting up a couple of hiking trip – that’s all. We hiked once to a lake, had a swim in the city’s water supply, then we hiked up a small mountain, called Mouth Rock (Pedra de Boca), and went into a cave there. If I knew that one of those kids, Juarez, would a leader in the church, that he would be celebrating Hegon’s wedding 20 years later, I think I would have tried to spend a lot more time with him and his buddies, maybe preach all three chapters of the Sermon on the Mount on Mouth Rock.
This wedding was a reminder to throw out my missionary ego, this not about me. It’s about Him, He’s the true missionary, doing some wonderful saving in this fallen world. Hey, I’m just reminiscing about time past, about lack of vision, about God’s wonderful grace, little nostalgia, and some determination to make a difference now, and thinking how we will have an eternity of stories to tell and hear with loved ones from times past.