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Reverse Culture Shock

Well as most of you know, we made it! We arrived in Texas Tuesday night at 10:00 and we were in bed by midnight. The next day we got up and drove three hours East to a meeting on Wednesday night and drove back home that night finally getting to bed about 12:30 am. Needless to say, we were pooped! We had a wonderful meeting with a supporting church in East Texas that started our little 2 month furlough off on a great foot.

Btw, when I met the Pastor's wife at Faith Baptist Church in Kilgore I was so surprised when she referenced my furniture revamping. It took me sec. to realize that she reads my blog! For real! Christy, the sweet, bubbly pastor's wife (that I knew I liked the moment she smiled at me) reads my blog. Wow, that was too cool. 

We have learned after some years just how to beat jet lag. There is a tried and true way to make it through the lag and instantly get on schedule. As soon as we leave for the States or visa-versa we sleep on the plane as much as possible. When we arrive we automatically get on the schedule of the location. If we arrive at noon and to our bodies it's bed time we stay awake until the locals go to bed. We only sleep when they sleep and we walk when they wake. If you do this and done nap when your not suppose to you can get on schedule within two days. Today's our 3rd day here and were all regulated as far as sleeping goes and so we are functioning on 100%. It totally works for us and if you travel a lot you don't want to lose a week getting on schedule.

It's a strange thing to experience culture shock when returning to our homeland. As much as things are normal here, they're not! Two days after being here I was ready to go home. Life in America has changed so much over the years that this United States isn't the United Dtates I remember 13 years ago. Life is ridiculously fast. It's almost like people here think they're not living if they're not running here and there. When do you poeple have time to just sit and enjoy each other?

Oh and the choices you people have! I went to Walmart and wandered in the make-up section trying to find some blush. Josh was with me and he was like, "Mom, just pick one!".  Are you kidding me, there were at least 10 different makers and each maker has at least 4 types of blush. You get that that's more than 40 blushes to choose from. It took me forever for the blush not counting the base, mascara and eye shadow. Oh and the cereal isle, don't even get me started. Theres something to be said for choice but this was crazy!
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Oh and can we talk about NOISE. This place is crazy loud. We're staying with Johnny's parents and while I love them and their comfy house there just isn't a place in this house to find peace. There's always someone coming in and out or a TV on or kids screaming and running through the house or something stealing my peace. We I was younger I loved this sorta life but after living in Croatia is and pining for peace.

Beyond the normal day to day differences between Croatia and America the spiritual temperature of Christians  seems to have changed a lot over just the last two years. The things that IFB churches chose not to participate in has changed. The average Christian seems to be so entangled with the things of this world that its hard to see a contrast between the church and the world. I know that it's not possible to make a comparison between Croatia that has only two IFB churches in all of the country and America who has been sending missionaries around the world for hundreds of years but I can compare America of 1990 with the America or today. Something is right folks! There a strange apathy here and I'm sure that this and the next generations will pay for our lack of fervency.

I know in my own heart I have grown a bit apathetic about souls and the urgency of our mission. I'm praying that the Lord sends true revival in my heart and that I return to Croatia a different kinds of Christian. Honestly my soul-winning effort hasn't been the same for a long while in Croatia. While I still do the work and pass out John and Romans, tracts and sometimes hold Gospel signs my heart hasn't been in it.

It's alway interesting to me how I never feel at home here anymore. I'm sure the Lord does that and changes our hearts so that furlough is easier and in not feeling comfortable here were not tempted to stay. As much as I love our family and country it's just not home anymore. I find my self missing the smells of Croatia, the people, singing in Croatian  and even my washing machine.  ;0)

I know I'm totally rambling in this post but that's about how my brain feels right about now. There are too many things occupying my mind and it just feels jumbled. Reverse culture shock is real and pretty uncomfy too. I don't like it at all but it is a fact of life.

Thank you guys, all of you who read my blog and take an interest in out lives here in Croatia. You've all made my little ring of friends so much richer.

siggy

13 comments:

  1. I'll be praying for ya'll. My family is in the ministry also, and I know what you mean. Right now we're taking a little break from traveling to help different churches. And while I love my home church, I feel uncomfortable with the comfortable. I guess it doesn't really make sense unless you experience it. I pray that ya'll will have a great furlough. :)

    http://trueelegance92.blogspot.com/

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    1. Kristen, I totally understand your feeling uncomfortable with comfortable. Makes sense to me!

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  2. I'm so happy that you made it home safely! Sounds like a great "jet lag buster" you've got. :) I agree, Americans are far too busy. I enjoy my quiet life - when the kids are napping. lol!

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    1. Valerie, when they're napping, so true!

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  3. Kilgore?!? You were just about an hour from where we are ministering now! You are so right about churches today. We are in a small town where there seems to be a church on every corner, but I'm afraid there are a lot of "professors" and not "possessors". Our church is the only IFB church in town and probably has the smallest number of people attending. People just want to be entertained these days and sadly many churches are catering to that.

    I'm sure your time here will send you home with a renewed desire to reach the Croatians with your heart. Your labor is not in vain!

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    1. Angie, wow, I wish we would have know, I would have swung by to say "hey". We were in Longview during the day and then Kilgore that night. I love going to the pretty part of Texas.

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  4. You are so right. I am here in America all the time and it's become to fast pace for me too. I like just living a quiet simple life. Good post!!

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    1. Jennifer,
      To top off all the rushing around, it seems like just to go get a loaf of bread you have to drive 30 minutes. Things are so far apart here in the big state of Texas. Driving takes up the majority of the day it seems.

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  5. You are very right about America! I live here and see it especially for the past three years it has gotten steadily worse! Apathy is rampant and worldly Christians are everywhere. I do believe that God changes the heart to have "home" be where you are called to minister. I will be praying for you as you leave a second child in the states and go back to your home! I know from experience how hard it is. except that I didn't leave the country they were in.

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    1. Thank you Tammy. Life is changing so much for us but as long as the Lord is leading and we're walking right where He wants, we'll be fine and our children too.

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  6. As always, I enjoy hearing your insight and perspective when you come back to the States. It's eye-opening to hear it from someone on the outside looking in to our world here. Sometimes, we don't always see the changes that have taken place just in the last 2 years. I love how God has changed your hearts so that Croatia is home instead of here. We love you guys and so excited that ya'll are here for 2 months. Can't wait to see you!

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    1. Thanks Barbie. You are always an encourager. We're glad to be back even if life is a little strange here. :0) We'll be with you guys soon, can't wait. BTW, Hannah said that she loved the way you greeted her when we was at church the other night. Thanks for making her feel so welcome. Oh yeah then she went on to tell Josh that you said you were glad he didn't come. Mean sisters!

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    2. Typical sisters! It was great to see Josh as well yesterday. I was excited to see him but I didn't greet him quite the same way. :)

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