I am still new to this country and culture. For the first two years that I lived here, Desire, my neighbor-friend, held my hand.
She called a locksmith to unlock my door when the key could not be located. She helped us open a bank account. She went with us to open a phone account. Desire told me were the cheap groceries were, and when I couldn’t find the store, she walked two blocks and pointed “there”. When our kitchen flooded, she called her plumber. She showed me the short cut to the metro station.
Desire gave me endless cultural tips: fill the tea glasses to the brim (not three quarters full), keep the door open wide until the guest is out of sight, don’t put lipstick on in public(!), and paying back fifty cents to a friend is an insult.
My dear friend was often at my door checking on me. When Lilly got sick, we all loaded up (husbands, Desire, me, and son) in her car and went to the clinic. Where to buy meds at midnight? She took me there also.
We have cried together, laughed much, worked on language, strolled, shopped, and knocked on the each other’s doors in our pajamas. Such a friend is a gift from God. I could not have survived here without her…truly.
Our TCKs need such a friend, as they make the cultural jump back to home country. I call it the hold-my-hand-for-two-years friend.
I am on my third year here. I can actually go out the door and accomplish a task without my dear friend’s help. But it took two years.
For each of my children, as I sent them back to the States, I prayed for them to find such a friend. And they did, or rather, God gave them that special friend just as He gave me my dear friend Desire when I needed her the most.
They had Aunt Kathy, Aunt Donna (not real aunts, but certainly functioning aunts) who were there on the ground checking, helping, advising, and loving….God bless you each one. And as you send your dear one off, God will provide a hold-my-hand friend.
Jehovah-Jireh: He will provide.