1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Good friends of ours are just getting ready to go ‘home’ for three months. It is strange how sad we feel on one hand while being encouraged that they will be back again for another four-year term.

Most missionaries do have times when they return home, but the fact remains that we live under a certain amount of pressure which has often been defined as ‘culture stress’.

Ronald L. Koteskey says that ‘Culture stress is the adjustment stage in which people accept the new environment, adopting new ways of thinking and doing things so that they feel like they belong to the new culture. ’ He put the causes of culture stress into different categories. Over the next few days, we plan to take a look at those categories and give a little Hitchman perspective.

Involvement.

The more you become personally involved in the culture, the more culture stress you may feel. Click To TweetThe tourist, the business person or someone from the diplomatic corps not committed to being the incarnation of Christ in that culture, may feel little culture stress.’

We know when we travel that entering a new country and tackling a new language can actually be pretty exciting. A few greetings in the native tongue make you feel like a linguistic expert, and you only need to buy a native garment to think of yourself as one of them’. The reality of living in a culture which is not your own is:

The more you speak the language, the more you realise that you know very little. Click To Tweet A constant frustration is the inability to express yourself the way you would like to. Fluency will take more than a weekend!

The clothes you wear when you are in your new field, make you stick out like a sore thumb, and it is evident before you speak that you are not a native. Even if you try and blend in there are usually telltale signs that you don’t quite belong.

You have to learn to smile sweetly, when someone criticises you for not being a good parent if your children who have come from a cold climate are not wearing coats when it is 21°C, and we think it is summer time.

Involvement for us means sending our kids to Hungarian school. They are taught only in Hungarian and if we experience culture stress they experience it even more!

It is possible that now you expect some wisdom regarding how to prevent this stress. Unfortunately, that isn’t something we can give. Our wisdom is that we do have stress and will continue to have stress however we can learn what do do with it.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

It might seem simple, and for some it is just a cliché but for us it has been a relief to bring our cares and concerns to God, remembering not to pick them up again!

Bringing Worlds Together Book

Many couples struggle to get on the same page in marriage. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for years Bringing Worlds Together will help you blend together. Expect to learn more about your spouse, gain insight and be challenged.

Are you ready to move closer rather than drift apart?

Available in print and ebook formats.

Adjusting Expectations Book

No-one enters marriage expectation free. Adjusting Expectations helps identify how expectations were formed and whether or not they were realistic. Most expectations need some adjustment; they are often too high but can also be set too low. The good news is expectations can be reset!

Find out what you should expect and what God expects from you.

Available in print and ebook formats.

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