Mare Cris and I are delighted to be here with my family in the USA. We don’t know all the details, but we believe this country is where God wants us to begin the next phase of our lives.
I have been through some reverse culture shock–the experience of re-adjusting to one’s country of origin. I visited the States several times during my time as a missionary, but it’s different when you move back for good. Here are just a few things that have stood out to me:
Sticker Shock: It seems things are a lot more expensive than they were ten years ago. There is a natural tendency for prices to to up, but I think Keynesian economics and quantitative easing have exacerbated the problem (I’m not an expert on economics or politics, so you can take that for what it’s worth).
Super Size Me: We’re not used to such large portions of high-calorie food.
Speed Demons: My wife and I have really enjoyed the relative ease of driving down wide roads and interstates (if you’ve lived in the Philippines you know why this is such a big deal).
Technological Upgrades: Flat screen TVs and smart phones are now the norm. I don’t believe this was the case ten years ago.
Cultural Shifts: The social and political climate are very different than they were ten years ago (issues like gay marriage come to mind). I appreciate Russell Moore’s astute observation about Christians in American culture: “. . . we are no longer the moral majority. We are a prophetic minority.”
The Emotional Roller Coaster
The last few weeks have been a mix of emotional highs and lows. It started with the final approval of Mare Cris’ spousal visa. We packed up a decade’s worth of belongings, spent a few days in the province (with her family), and took the long flight to the USA. My wife finally met my family in person on July 24th.
Since then we have visited my Mom’s grave, spent a week or so in Florida (long story), visited Tuscaloosa (my old college town), baptized my nephew, and celebrated our marriage with friends and family here in Alabama (some people from my home church organized a beautiful reception for us).
Kahit saan, basta kasama kita
This Tagalog phrase means “anywhere, as long as I’m with you.” Mare Cris and I say this to each other frequently. It’s an important affirmation for us right now because we really don’t know what’s next for us (where we will live, work, etc.). We just know we’ll be together and God’s plan for us is good. That’s more than enough for us.
To be continued . . .
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