Have you ever felt uncomfortable in a new place?
For most of us, life is pretty consistent. On a daily basis you experience the same sights, sounds, smells, and routines. Sometimes, though, life takes us somewhere new, and it can be jarring. New sights, sounds, smells, routines, customs, expectations, and values can leave you wrestling with what is “normal”, “comfortable”, and “safe.”
While most of us experience this infrequently, many in YWAM find themselves invited into this often and in major ways. It’s not uncommon for a young adult or family to leave everything they know, sell all they have, and start fresh in a new country. This loss of normalcy, consistency, and predictability could be too much, but these YWAMers know an important truth: God knows how to navigate culture shock.
There’s no better example of God’s divine understanding of culture shock than Philippians 2:5-8:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Jesus, in very nature God, left the culture he knew to humbly serve in ours. Though this new cultural experience would be costly for him — it would cost his life — he knew that taking the form of a servant and sharing the Good News would bring full life to many.
There are believers around the world that know the same. They have counted the cost of going into new spaces, and know that taking the form of a servant and sharing the Good News will bring full life to many.
Often the culture shock can feel like too much, bringing deep homesickness or eliciting fear or confusion, yet they persevere because there is something greater than their comfort or security before them. God has given them — given you — an invitation to be an Ambassador of Christ, to go where invited to represent Him no matter the space. An Ambassador may travel alone, but never is alone, because they have the backing and support of those who sent them. When we accept the invitation to be Ambassadors of Christ, we do not go alone either; the Spirit is with us, and we have a spiritual backing and support that can accomplish “immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.”
Enjoy the video above, as Rebeca shares her own experience with culture shock.