A very good question that I am repeatedly being asked.
How can I answer it ? I’m going to attempt to keep the answer short enough for you to read it, and with enough info for you to understand. When I started searching for the answer, I discovered it isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. . .
First reason I’ve always stated is “Because I bonded into the culture and I feel more at home in Brazil than I do in the US.” This is true. It took three to four painful years in Brazil to learn enough of the Portuguese language and start to understand the “why are they doing this? “
I learned there are many good reasons for most of the cultural attitudes and mores. (That last word is pronounced mór-eïs and in this phrase means “ folkways of central importance accepted without question and embodying the fundamental moral views of a group.” Cultural Dictionary
This means, I began to unconsciously fit into and respect the culture and the history of the country. I didn’t always agree – in the same way I don’t agree with many things in today’s culture in the USA.
In essence, I started choosing the cultural rules I live by, based upon the principles in God’s Kingdom. It’s ironic at times. I look like an American, speak English fluently, but do not feel at home in the states. In Brazil, most think I am German because of my height and build. I don’t fit the prototype of a Brazilian (although there are many, depending upon where you are in the country.)
I speak with an accent (which is frustrating to me.) I am finally beginning to write almost correctly. With all those negatives, I still feel more at home in Brazil than I do in the states.
But, on the bottom line that is not enough reason to move back to Brazil.
Second reason to return: I have a small apartment ☺ in Natal (I call it Our Nest) where the breeze comes off the ocean and through the apartment. The doors and windows are open most of the time, I can live there less expensively than in the states, and the warmth of the climate helps my body have less pain. This is a strong positive but, again, not the basic reason.
Third reason: I won’t be isolated, even though I have no car. People come by all the time. There is always café, hot and fresh, in the thermos and we can usually scrape up some pão de quijo (a famous small cheese bread.) And my hammock is swaying in the breeze on the miniscule balcony.
Still not the basic reason for going.
I just received my Brazilian citizenship which is an act of God! Long story with fine details only God could put together. But even that is not the basic reason for me going, although it is a strong confirmation.
You see, all my six children and some spouses, 18 grandchildren and more spouses, and 18 great-grandchildren are now all living on the West Coast and East Coast of the US. I would love to be with all of them – which is not possible. But living further away doesn’t make it easier.
So, why am I returning to Brasil? This is the reason.
Colossians 3:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].
I have learned that this peace is “gut-level” in modern vernacular, a peace that flows out from my inner self like “rivers of living water”: a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law.…
If I do not have this peace, then something is wrong!
Clark’s Commentaries says this about Colossians 3:15
Rule in your hearts – Let the peace of Christ judge, decide, and govern in your hearts, as the judge does in the Olympic contests. No heart is right with God where the peace of Christ does not rule; and the continual prevalence of the peace of Christ is the decisive proof that the heart is right with God. When a man loses his peace, it is an awful proof that he has lost something else; that he has given way to evil, and grieved the Spirit of God. While the living, active peace rules, all is safe.
This is why I am returning to Brazil. I DON’T HAVE PEACE IF I STAY IN THE STATES.
It would be much easier physically to not go.
HOWEVER, I have learned regardless of how difficult it is to obey God, it is MUCH MORE PAINFUL to disobey Him.
I must trust my family, loved ones and myself to Him. And obey, thanking Him and praying.
Philippians 4:7 … And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Berean Study Bible
What about you? Do you know that peace personally?
If not, do you know how to FIND it? Send me a note of what YOU think.
Life is interesting - and can be challenging. Voni shares with you her experiences