Unexpected Training

Throughout our fist semester of training here at New Tribes we have learned a lot. We have had classes on foundational bible teaching, learning styles, teamwork, phonetics and a plethora of others that have educated us in many areas of overseas tribal missionary work. We are grateful for all the training that we have received thus far and look forward to the last two semesters here.

Oddly, some of the greatest training that we are receiving is simply moving away from California and away from friends and family. Let me just tell you, Roach, Missouri is way different than California. I know what you are thinking, “Duh, Emily!” But David and I were really unprepared for this. Unprepared for the different sights, smells, languages, weather, grocery stores, household pets, you name it it’s different here in Missouri.

When we first rolled up to the great state of Missouri we looked out our windows and thought, “Wow look at all the green! Look at those funny looking round hay bells! OH MY WORD IT’S A COW!” It was all pretty interesting and new for the first few hours and then reality of how far from home we actually were set in.

Here are a few Cultural differences we have experienced thus far:

  1. There are no sidewalks

  2. There are no palm trees

  3. You pump your gas, THEN go inside and pay! That wouldn’t fly in California.

  4. Instead of looking out for crazy pedestrians crossing the roads I am now on full alert for deer, cows, billy goats and stray dogs.

  5. Speaking of deer, they are not seen as some majestic creature to gaze upon as they are when you see one munching on some grass in the mountains of CA. Here deer are not so loved. Lets just say I have seen more dead deer here than I have seen alive deer in CA.

  6. There is this thing here called humidity

  7. MO has different pests like ticks, mosquitos, brown recluses, and big black wasps the size of turtles.

  8. The skies here are actually blue year around! GASP!

  9. We have experienced rain, sleet, snow, freezing rain, roaring thunder, howling winds, ice and below zero weather. All the while Riverside is sitting at a beautiful 75 degrees.

  10. Wal-Mart is the number one source of entertainment.

(P.S. These things are not wrong just different)

The thing is we are actually enjoying all these differences but not how you might believe. Trust me, we miss the city, we miss our family and friends, we miss TRADER JOES! But we are enjoying these differences because it is giving us a tiny glimpse at what it will be like to transition into an entirely different culture overseas someday. We know that once we step off that plane into Papua New Guinea our world will be turned upside down. There is no Trader Joes in PNG, instead of deer and cows they have snakes and centipedes, instead of freezing blizzards they have blazing heat and ridiculously high humidity. And instead of being a few states away from family we will be a complete day ahead of them thousands of miles away.

So yes, we are thankful for these tiny reminders now of what it feels like to be in a different culture. Knowing that we feel Gods grace here comforts us because we know that He will also have grace on us when we are finally there.

I am thankful that I can learn now how to rely on Jesus for contentment when I wish I could see my friends deliver their first baby. We are thankful that we can rely on Jesus for peace when our closest friends tie the knot and we are unable to be there. We are thankful that we can learn how to find comfort in Jesus when a loved one is hurting and all we want to do is be there to wrap our arms around them. We are thankful that we can find joy in delivering our precious baby here in Missouri even when that means our family and friends wont be able to meet her until a few months after.

This is a part of training we weren’t prepared for but we are so thankful for. We know that what lies ahead is way more intense of a culture shock than we will ever be able to imagine or experience here, but we are truly thankful for this small glimpse.

Until all hear,