It’s hard to believe that we’ve been back in America for 5 months. I kept waiting for the reverse culture shock to hit, but I can’t say that it has yet, and I’m tempted to believe that if it hasn’t happened yet, then it simply won’t. Time will tell.
Honestly, I didn’t experience culture shock in Bangladesh either. I’d like to think that this is a helpful personality quirk that I’ve been blessed with in order to serve Christ as a more flexible missionary, but it’s probably just a result of some unconscious process of “letting go” that I developed as a result of constantly thinking and praying about leaving everything behind.
I was surprised to discover how naive the assumption was that I’d have to say goodbye to friends and family, like it’s suddenly the 19th century again. I quickly learned that in today’s technological age, I had brought everything – or rather everyone – with me! Email, Facebook, Skype, etc. brought America before our faces daily, whether we liked it or not.
Perhaps that’s another reason why I don’t recall any culture shock. Home never disappeared beyond the horizon. The faces and voices of loved ones never suffered forgetfulness.
Also, just as I was able to bring America with me overseas, I’ve likewise brought Bangladesh back home to America! The world wide web really does keep us all stuck together! For now, suffice it to say that the Linville family has found a moment to rest.
What’s next for us? Well, through prayer, fasting, and the counsel of fellow believers, I know that we are to stay in Raleigh and remain faithful members of our local body, Treasuring Christ Church. My hope is that after a year, TCC will be able to affirm my calling to full time vocational ministry and ordain me as a Minister of the Gospel. Also, through the same means mentioned above, I know that the the Lord is leading me to work for the church through a Baptist para-church ministry. I don’t know what that job is yet, which stresses me out at times, but as I strive to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7), I find that being His is better than seeing tomorrow. After all, my King is sovereign over yesterday, today, and tomorrow.