I’ve been told that for every four years you live overseas, it takes one year to adjust when you move back to your passport culture. Having served in East Africa for 26 years, that means 6 ½ years for Connie and I to make that transition. Having moved back in April, 2014, we are now at the 5 year mark. These are my new transition points from this past year:
- It’s ok to have fun and spend money doing it. After spending so many years working with the poor, and not having lots of discretionary money beyond regular vacations and eating out, it’s taken me all this time to think I could spend extra money on extra things simply for the fun of it.
- Two-income households (including us now) earn a lot of money. What do people do with all their extra money?
- Technology addiction is a real thing. I feel the draw, don’t you? My daughter visited a technology addiction center as part of her masters studies, which tells me it can trap a person if not used judiciously.
- Not all adults can come up with their own good answers, even when led well. Sometimes they have to be told. This has been hard for me to embrace, but it’s true. All of us do need an answer or decision from someone else at times, because we all have limitations. The challenge is discerning when those right times are, for others and for ourselves.
- Government matters. Faith matters more. Having traveled to countries governed very differently (Kenya, India, Indochina, Guatemala, Turkey, Egypt, Zimbabwe and more), I’ve seen the importance of a functioning government. But in every one of those places, I’ve seen that how people live their daily life as followers of Christ is what matters more, especially when public policy and perception is against them.
- Connie and I still get homesick for Kenya. That will never change, and that’s OK. We still enjoy where we are now and that will always be true of us.
Til next week,