A Brief Bio
My name is Bryan Avey. At the age of three, my parents went to Brazil as missionaries. I believe this lifestyle has had the largest impact in the shaping of my person than even genetics.
Early on, we lived in the Amazon region of Brazil in the state of Pará. After my parents spent time at the language school there, we moved to Minas Gerais. Minas is a more centrally located state best known for the coffee plantations. It was between the rows of coffee plants that I learned to ride a bike. At the age of eight, we moved to Salvador, Bahia. This city is located on the northeast coast of Brazil, rich in history and culture. Most of my missionary training happened here, unbeknownst to me.
I grew up with the rich/poor dichotomy of Brazilian society. Being American gave me a peek into the rich lives of Brazilians at school and at the same time, being missionaries (basically poor Americans), most of my friends were poor people at church. Without any conscious realization at the time, I learned to navigate through the cultural nuances which divide a country.
Then there’s the reentry into the United States when my father left the mission he was with and returned to his home country, I soon realized that I was not fully American…neither Brazilian. After a “wonderful” few years of identity crisis (ages 15 – 18) I slowly began to put things into perspective. A big help came from a David Pollock seminar I attended for what he coined “the third culture kid”. Those years were also a missionary training. You can’t get this stuff in any seminary or school. I’m thankful for it today. Perhaps I’ll share some specific stories in my blog. I’m sure many MK’s and children of overseas workers, military brats, would be able to relate.
Today I am married and have two children. My wife is from Brazil and my children are not at all confused like I was. I also work with the General Counsel of the Foursquare Church denomination.