Another week here in St. Louis at the International Center, the second week of our mandatory orientation. While last go-around focused on helping prepare people to make presentations to congregations, this week focused more on considering and preparing for the monumental shifts that come in relocating to another country. Spiritual and emotional health need to be watched carefully as everyone deals with varying degrees of culture shock which may exhibit different and varied symptoms. We received some good resources we look forward to going through with our family. While you can’t completely eliminate culture shock, you can help one another to recognize when you’re dealing with it and be there for one another until it passes.
We also got to hear firsthand experiences from others who have lived overseas in various capacities working for the church. We were grateful to make contact with a couple who spent nearly a decade in Sri Lanka and India, and were also able to make good connections with some of the other orientees. It’s good to know you aren’t in this alone, and to know there are people you can reach out to for mutual support and encouragement!