I (DeAnna) recently sent out prayer requests to those who’ve said they would like to receive our raw prayer requests. We all need prayer and I think it’s important for His children to pray for one another, so I want to say that first before proceeding.
I recently shared via social media about a reverse culture shock experience here in Yaoundé. I won’t go into it all, but will explain what reverse culture shock is. When someone leaves his or her passport country and lives in another country he/she will experience culture shock waves because things will be different. It may be subtle things or injustices or stark contrast things. When that same person lives in their host country and gets used to certain things and it’s time to return to his/her passport country that person goes through reverse culture shock. It may be brought on at Wal-Mart where there are 50 million choices for a bottle of salad dressing and this person may not have seen a bottle of salad dressing in three years. That’s reverse culture shock. The symptoms are the same, feeling overwhelmed (head spinning), feeling judgmental, feeling out of place (not belonging anywhere), wanting to flee, etc… In thinking of this reverse culture shock, I started thinking about an experience we had a year ago when we helped a missionary leave a bad situation. She was sent by an organization I won’t name, to serve with a person who made her believe he had an established orphanage, hospital and church, but in reality, he didn’t and she felt stuck and scared. She asked us to come get her and we did. She stayed with us a few days and we helped her. I’ll never forget what she said when she walked into our home and how coming to our home was reverse culture shock for her. Ouch! I’ve made someone else’s head spin with the stark contrast in how she was living compared to how we live.
Something struck me as I’ve thought on the prayer requests sent (cries for help), sharing about the reverse culture shock – they are self-focused. How many times just in this blog post have I used the word “I”? If I truly look deep within, I’ll see that I’m a selfish person thinking of self a lot. So often, I think that I’m putting others interests before my own – raising children, wifehood, helping others around me, etc…, but deep down I’m still selfish. I tend to think of the impact of something on me before saying yes to helping or get perturbed when something/someone disrupts my schedule or get frustrated when the power is cut when I want to watch something or hold my breath when someone just coughed or sneezed in my direction and the list goes on and on.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Phil 2:3b-4