It is no secret that the prosperity gospel in booming globally. Although many Western Christians may brush off prosperity preachers as fringe hucksters and con artists, anyone who has ministered in churches in the global South is aware that health and wealth preachers are a major force to be reckoned with. They are gaining huge audiences and exerting tremendous influence on shaping the beliefs and practices of large sections of the church worldwide.
About one week after our family returned to the United States after spending the last four and a half years living and working in Bangkok, Thailand, I wrote a blog about "20 Things I Have Noticed Upon Returning to America." Those were my initial observations. But now that our family is more than two months into our stay in the U.S, I have noticed a bunch of other things that I didn't run into during my first week here.
Reverse culture shock is the gift that keeps on giving, and while I don't walk around every day feeling stressed, there are still a lot of things that make me think, "Well, they don't do it like THAT back in Thailand!" Sometimes, that is a good thing. Sometimes that is a bad thing. But sometimes it is just neutral. Not good - not bad - just different.
So, without further ado, here are...
After spending the last four and a half years living and working in Bangkok, Thailand, our family recently came back to the United States for a six month home assignment (furlough). My wife and I grew up here, though our kids have spent most of their lives (so far) in Thailand. For all of us, however, there have been many new or not-as-familiar-anymore aspect of life in America to get used to.
Many people have heard of culture shock, the experience of unsettledness and uncertainty when you experience a foreign culture. Fewer people, however, are familiar with reverse culture shock, the experience of unsettledness and uncertainty when you re-enter your home culture after being in a foreign culture for a long period of time. But I can verify that reverse culture shock is a real thing because our family is experiencing it. Although “shock” might be too strong of a word for it, there are certainly a lot of things to get used to again. Here’s a list of several things that I have noticed this past week about life in the United States, after having lived in Thailand for a number of years.