Readers – I’m sending you to A Life Overseas today to a post called “When People Hate Your Home.” If there is anything that convicts a third culture kid it is a post like this! Because it’s not easy to love our passport countries and sometimes we fall into the category of the biggest criticizers. And that’s why I love this post by Lindsey Lautsbaugh – because she walks us through what it means to both appropriately love our passport countries as well as how to respond to those who don’t. It can also be transferred however to those countries we were raised in that people in our passport countries hate – say Pakistan for instance. Or Iran. Or other places. Take a look and weigh in through comments either here or at A Life Overseas.
I was 19 and just beginning to explore a future in missions. An internationally diverse group of us traveled all around Namibia doing presentations in local high schools. To begin our presentation, each team member would introduce themselves.
“My name is Lindsey and I am from the United States of America.”
As the only American in the group I secretly revelled in the loud cheers and applause that I got each and every time. No other person got that sort of response for their nation.
Fast forward 10 years… how times have changed.
My husband and I, on a Sunday morning, were listening to our local church pastor. He was preaching out of 1 Peter on how to live in an anti-God society. I remember the moment so clearly. Our pastor was really finding his groove.
“What do Christians do when their nation is so corrupt or so violent… completely opposed to the Kingdom of God? God has strength for those who live under rulers of nations like Iraq, Zimbabwe and the United States!”
We stared straight ahead but could read each others minds instantly. “Did he just compare our President to Saddam Hussein and Robert Mugabe?”. Yes, he did.
We were not blind to the changing perception of our home country. If we did have any doubts that times and perceptions had changed, this church service erased them.
A few months later we had a prayer time with all our staff and students at our Bible School. For some reason, those leading the time felt to pray for America… not something we had done before. The prayer topic was not well received to put it lightly. As everyone broke into groups to pray, a strange silence enveloped the room (not normal for a prayer time in Africa!).
After 10-15 minutes the leaders spoke up, “What is going on? Why is no one praying?” Finally someone broke the silence, “In order to pray for a nation you have to have something good to say about them, I can think of nothing good to say about America.” Person after person admitted this was true for them too. This awkward-ness was compounded by the fact that their were several Americans in the room.
The reality is, people from many nations other than America have these similar stories and worse. No matter where we go in the world, there is a high likelihood that one nation or culture is despised or looked down upon by another nation or culture. Read the rest of the post here.