Tonight, we had our Thailand debrief meeting. Can I just tell you how excited I was for this meeting? I couldn't quite put my finger on why...I've definitely enjoyed my Sunday afternoons being free, but I was really excited for the meeting. When I walked into the room with all my fellow volunteers, it felt like I was home and I realized at that moment why I had looked forward to this meeting as I had.
We had several items of business to take care of and one of them was regarding what is known as "re-entry". "Re-entry is similar to culture shock. Sometimes it is called reverse culture shock. In re-entry, you may feel 'out of balance'. You're not the same as when you left so there are some adjustments." There are several ways that one copes with re-entry stress, such as fun or the honeymoon period where you are just excited to be home etc. But the one I identified most with was "Imitate (be re-socialized)" Our handout explained it this way, "This is where you go back to life as it always has been and ignore the changes and struggles you are going through. You resume life as if nothing happened."
Being a preschool worker on this trip, I was unable to participate in the worship services we did for the M's. I continue to hear others speak of how they were let down in our own Sunday worship services after being on such a high in Thailand. The M's rarely (if ever) get to worship like we at BBC do, so when we arrived with our orchestra and worship team, you can just imagine how they soaked up the opportunity. I'm sure it must have been something else to see and be part of. Unfortunately, those of us in preschool had only a 10-15 minute window on one day to see what that was all about. So I really can't understand the "missing worship" part of it or feeling depressed. To me, the worship at BBC was welcome as I'd been 2 entire weeks without it. Interesting that voluteers from the same church can see things totally differently. For me, I came home, went back to work and began my summer routine all over again. But it just doesn't seem the same somehow. Anyway...
They also asked what we learned or what we think God taught us through this trip. The biggest thing for me is being convicted of judging someone because of the way I think they are before getting to know them. I was asked last night who I got to know and like better on the trip. I thought of someone right away. And the funny thing was, I kept adding to the list, telling the inquirer about all the different people from BBC I had not known before, that I know now. Some, a LOT more intimately than before...and how much I LIKE them. People who I sat near in the service or saw in the choir who meant nothing to me are now friends in this journey.
And I think...this is why I felt like I was home tonight in that room. I have formed a family with many of this group. And I won't ever be the same.
And I hope I never am.