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When your passport country is no longer home

Miriam Davis shares her reverse culture shock

When your passport country is no longer home Miriam Davis

SUDDENLY WIDE-AWAKE IN THE DARK I fumbled for my bedside light and checked my watch. It was 1am and I had slept for barely three hours. My jetlagged body refused me the refreshing sleep I desperately needed. Four days before I had arrived in the UK on a flight from Tokyo. My physical journey was uneventful but the emotional journey it represented was a different matter. This was not a return to the UK for a period of leave from cross-cultural ministry in Japan. I had invested my entire working life of 42 years in serving God in Japan and was now returning for retirement. A few hours later I turned the heavy metal ring on the wooden porch door to a chorus of “Welcome home, Miriam”. I am ashamed to say my response to my UK church family was less than gracious, even given the excuse of little sleep and grief at leaving the land I loved. “It doesn’t FEEL like home”, I said, while inside I was crying out “It ISN’T home!”

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