Tag Archives: different

What Does DIFFERENT Mean?

 

 

Today, we are living smack in the middle of different!

 

When I’m out on the street, in stores or offices, I may hear at least three different languages:  English, Spanish, and/or Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese . . .

Each of these languages represents a different culture and different belief system.
In Seattle, the international airport has instructions in English and Japanese.  Probably the majority of airports in the US have instructions in English and Spanish. Many business automatic phone responses say: “Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish.”

 

Because I lived in another country and learned how to bond into it, I recognize many of the feelings of being “lost” in the USA of today.
I’m being forced to learn the culture of a country I don’t know, a country that doesn’t even know itself.

I painfully realize that I am, once again, going through culture shock.  And lucky you, who have never traveled outside of the US! you don’t even have to leave the country to experience culture shock.  It’s HERE!

 

Am I to get so irritated with all of the changes that I think about nothing else? Or hide out in my home or apartment and pretend there are no changes?    Do either of these questions resonate with you?

 

 

From where I stand, it looks like we have three basic choices with many variations.

Denial – attempting to keep some form of normalcy in our homes and avoiding what is happening outside.

Give in – to the merry-go-round – and give up: let everyone do what they want. Jump into the culture and get what you can.

Or – find some place where we can place our feet that is solid and does not change, so we can see the reality of our circumstances

 

I desire to share with you different concepts that helped me learn to live in Brazil, and the concepts that are helping me now.  For we are definitely on a journey as this country changes and as the world changes: an age that many believe are the last days talked about in the Bible.

 

When one is in the midst of chaos and change, one needs a point of reference and stability that does not change.  

That is the first step, and it helps us to keep our sanity,

 

I will write about thisglobe hands-different-cultures basic concept in my next post.

 

  • Voni

 

What does Different mean?

Today, we are living smack in the middle of different!

globe n & s america

 

August, 1967

As my husband and our five children walk down the gangplank from the Japanese freighter onto the solid shore, into the heat and the bustling port of Santos, Brazil, my ears only hear the strange sounds of Portuguese, the language of my new home.   It is August, 1967, when there is no such thing as the internet, no computers, no easy international phone calls.  Letters (sent air mail) usually take 10 days to arrive and many never get to their destinations.  It will be three years before I once again hear English on the street and in the stores.

I am there because of something God put into motion five years earlier.  I know I’m going into the unknown, but I have no concept of the depths of change that is coming into my own life.
We’ve spent the past five years talking and preparing for this move.  Jesus left His home to come to earth to share the Good News of Hope and Love.  I’d learned the joy of walking with Him and desired with all my heart to share this Good News with others.  So, we are here, starting the next phase of our journey as get onto an older style bus (no a/c), to travel to where we will sleep that night.  We’d studied about CULTURE SHOCK. Now it will become part of our lives.

 

It is now June, 2015.

At this time, I’m living in Portland, OR.  I don’t know for how long.  For the past 48 years, I’ve spent most of my years in Brazil, and that is “home” to me.

Now, when I’m out on the street, in stores or offices, I may hear at least three different languages:  English, Spanish, and/or Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Russian.  Then there is Arabic, plus how many others? Each of these languages represents a different culture and different belief system.

In Seattle, the international airport has instructions in English and Japanese.  The majority of airports in the US have instructions in English and Spanish. Many business automatic phone responses say: “Press 1 for English, 2 for Espanhol”.

All of these illustrations indicate that the nation I was raised in as a child no longer exists.  Things in this nation have changed and are different.

I’m in the United States, but it is not a familiar culture. Instead, it is a third culture I have to learn and understand.  Only this time, changes here are happening so rapidly I am in shock.

Conversing with others, I frequently hear the expression: “I can’t believe it!” as people talk about what is happening in this nation.

Welcome to CULTURE SHOCK.  Only you  didn’t move to another country to have the experience. Instead, the changes came here, and we are all living in the midst of them.
This can create confusion, anger, desperation, a sense of helplessness or hopelessness, anxiety . . . and the list continues.

In some of my posts, I will begin sharing and applying basic principles I learned in the past, and now realize I have to continue using in this crazy world we are living in today. I hope that these painfully learned truths will challenge and be of help to you.  Welcome to today’s culture. 

– Voni

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