culture shockI have always heard of culture shock. I have studied it and read about it. But the harsh reality of experiencing it is different.

We have now been in Nepal for one week. Yet, it feels more like a month. Nothing about life here is normal. In fact, everything seems backwards. From driving on the opposite side of the road, with the steering wheel on the left to the complications of daily life.

The stress of life on the mission field combined with culture shock can lead to many a melt down. In fact, today, I had two. One while in the pots and pan aisle at the store and once while out buying furniture. I know this seems crazy..but if you had, had my day you would understand.

I’m having to learn to let go. Let go of my mindset of how things should be. Let go of my high expectations. Let go of my concept of normal. In fact, it’s like learning my abc’s all over again. Letting go of all the things that seem so wrong and realizing that there are other ways of doing things.

I’m learning that my concept of time and doing things doesn’t work here. Life is on a much slower scale. And accomplishing two of the ten things on my list for the day is a great achievement.

Yes, culture shock is real. Adapting to a different culture is hard. Learning to let go and seeing things through different eyes takes time.

I’m also learning to give myself some grace. Seeking to let go of my own high expectations and realizing that the oppression of this land is real. The spiritual warfare a definite reality.

Tonight as Eric and I rode to the house on the bus, I looked about me and realized we were probably the only Christians on board. The utter lostness here is overwhelming and I wonder how God can use us to penetrate the darkness.

But,  I’m realizing that we can’t penetrate the darkness, only the Gospel of Jesus can. I’m learning that I must daily depend on the Lord. That I must walk in step with Him.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (I John 1:5)

This is my message, this is your message. May the Lord use us both to shine His light and be His light, pointing others to Christ.