Wednesday, February 08, 2012

thought for today...

In my wildest dreams I never thought that I would ever stand in Red Square.
  I never expected to see St Basil's Cathedral.

2005 was the year we sold our house, packed up our belongings, and moved our family to Russia.  We invested five years of our lives among the Russian people.  Learning the language, studying the culture, ministering where needed along the way.  We worked hard to understand life around us.  We worked hard to fit in with how our neighbors lived their lives.  We made friends that came to feel like family.  All the while  knowing we were foreigners...each and every day of those five years. 

The reality is that our journey as foreigners began long ago.  
Tom came to Christ at 13.  I came to Him at 10.

And I am reminded of the words of an old song from my church growing up. 

"I am just a stranger down here. 
This old world is not my home.
One of these morns you're gonna look for me, 
but praise God, I'll be gone on home".

For each of us, those who follow Christ,  we live abroad.  This earth is not our home.  We don't fit in here.  We don't belong here.  And much of the stress of daily life could be attributed to culture shock or culture stress.  

I have learned a great deal from our seven years of living outside of the US.  
Here are five of the lessons I have learned that I think we as Believers can apply to our lives:

I Must Adjust My Expectations-
I should not expect the people from another culture to act, think, or conduct themselves exactly like me.

I Must Moderate My Behavior-
I must remember that my actions are seen as representative of my home country to everyone I interact with.

I Must Give Thought to My Words- 
I teach others about my home country every time I open my mouth.  

I Must Adjust My Attitude-
I must learn to live in this environment and not expect it to bow to my values or my way of seeing life.

I Must Remember My Position-
I must remember that I am not a citizen of the country I am living in...I am just a stranger down here.


How do you see yourself as a foreigner where you are?

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14 comments:

  1. nice verse and totally make sense. we don't belong here, true. thanks for sharing!

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  2. Thanks Alida so true !! Even creation is groaning...looking forward to frollicking in the garden upstairs with you...no cultural divisions !!I've learnt the more I go deeper with God...the less it matters.Still along ways to go..but there is hope !!

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  3. What an awesome story you could tell! WHew. sandie

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  4. I LOVE your "I MUST" list...If we ALL would learn those lessons what a much nicer world it would be...thankful there are those like YOU out there being the hands and feet of Jesus!
    peace,
    lori

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  5. A great verse and so well written.

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  6. That must have been such an awesome but frightening experience!!

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  7. such a great post and i love that verse.. :)

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  8. Having lived as an expatriate myself in three countries for seven years, I understand exactly what you are saying. I learned a lot about myself and my world then. Interesting that you and I took different approaches to similar concepts in our recent posts. Always a stranger v. no strangers!

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  9. I am also a foreigner where I am and I felt encouraged by the words you wrote in this post. God bless you.

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  10. Christians are foreigners wherever they are!!! We're just different, aren't we? Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  11. Where do I see myself? The words of an old hymn express where I am:
    I am a stranger here within a foreign land - my home is far away upon the Golden strand - ambassador to be from realms beyond the sea - I'm here on business for my King! Beautiful post today, my friend.
    ~Adrienne~

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  12. A great WFW, thank you. Blessings ~

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  13. Thank you for that great reminder that this world is not our home and that we are God's ambassador abroad and what we do reflects upon Him.

    Daily, I long for my heavenly home.

    Blessings in Christ...Susan

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