Posted by: macahajo | July 5, 2014

Facebook, Culture Shock, and S’mores!

Yesterday, I checked my Facebook page, and I saw a picture of friends in the States getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July weekend! I thought, what a cute picture! They are going to have a great weekend! They are going to have so much fun!

And here we are… In Cameroon, Africa. We’re making friends, but our close friends aren’t here. My parents, and other family, aren’t here. We were just going to have a normal day on July 4th. No fun time with those we love. No fire-works. No celebrations.

I was feeling a little down. I missed home.

When a person moves to a foreign country, like we have, he or she will experience culture shock. There are four stages of culture shock. The first stage in culture shock is Fun! During this time, usually the first few days or weeks, a person is eager and excited! Yep, I have experienced this stage! In our case, we finally arrived! We finally got to Cameroon after our long journey here, after many years of preparation and waiting on the Lord! We are getting settled in our home, getting to know new people, and getting to know this city we live in! What a fun time! We are  so excited to see what the Lord has in the months and years ahead!

The second stage of culture shock is the Flight Stage. During this time, symptoms include difficulty sleeping, exhaustion, home-sickness, and sadness. Hmm… yep, this sounds familiar. I have had some days lately where I have been so tired. There have been some times where I have felt just a little down but I couldn’t really explain why.

Well, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning!  Today was a new day!  Mark and I recognized that we need some fun time with our kids, so we went to the coffee shop that Mark found a few weeks ago. It was such a nice time to be together!  While enjoying a little treat at the coffee shop, we played ‘Banana Grams’ and ‘Thirty-one’. After a tiring week, the Lord used this time to refresh our hearts!

After the coffee shop, we went home for lunch and then went to Josh’s school for a belated 4th of July celebration with other expats. We met and got to know some people we hadn’t met before, we played ‘bags’, the kids played tag, and we all enjoyed a good barbeque! Someone even brought marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers for S’mores! ☺


Josh enjoying S’mores! July 5th, 2014

I’ll tell you more about the last two stages of culture shock as I experience them!… but it’s important for us to recognize that we will go back-and-forth between the stages throughout our time overseas. And what’s really important for us to know is that we need to keep holding on to Jesus each and every day, looking to Him to be our Strength and Help!

Check out this video from our pre-field training with ReachGlobal where we all learned about culture shock, in a very fun way ☺

Thanks for praying for us as we continue to adjust to life in Cameroon, Cathy Lynn


  1. I remember. Probably Thanksgiving was the hardest for me in Japan because, like July 4th, it’s an American holiday which you spend with family. The fun part of living in another culture is learning their holidays and celebrations. New Year’s took on a very different look as it’s the most important holiday in Japan. I really enjoyed celebrating it there. Lots of special food. Hopefully you’ll find that true of new celebrations there.

    • Thanks for your words, Darlene! I like the memory you shared of learning about and celebrating Japan’s different holidays.

  2. Hello Katos!

    The Lord has put you on my heart to pray passionately for you all!
    Thank you for sharing your ups and downs with us!
    I have had some down days,too, as of late…..I can’t explain, but rely on His Strength and know that He loves me and is with me…..always!
    Was thinking about our trip to Mexico. The frogs and the spiders! Any creepy things in Cameroon?
    Love you!

    The Schuette Family

    • Hi Schuette Family!
      Thank you so much for your note and for praying for our family. We are praying for your family too. Have you thought about down-loading Viber?.. the free texting/calling app?… I miss you & would LOVE to talk to you!! Love you, Cathy
      PS We have termites (that we can’t see), and we’ve had major ant problems and a few cockroaches. Thankfully, our home doesn’t have too many creepy crawling things in it!

  3. Hi Kato family,

    Keeping you in prayer today – trusting that God will use the transition to school starting and the continued walk through culture shock phases to mold you all into what Christ has called you to be. Miss ya’ll!

    Jared & Bethanne

    • Thanks so much for praying for us, Jared & Bethanne, as we continue to adjust to life in Cameroon! We thank the Lord for you & for your friendship! We wish we could enjoy conversation together over another delicious Italian dinner!.. what a fun time that was! We’ll look forward to that again, Lord-willing!

      Love in Christ,
      Mark & Cathy

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