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