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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner


The final stage of culture shock comes when we feel comfortable in the new culture. We have now learned enough to function efficiently in our new setting without feelings of anxiety. We not only accept the local foods, dress, and customs but actually begin to enjoy them. We cherish the friendship of the people and can begin to feel constructive in our work. If we take time to think about it, we realize that we will miss the country and its people when we leave.

We can adjust to the new culture in a number of ways. We can, for example, keep our distance and build a Western ghetto from which we sally forth to do our work. Or we can reject our past and try to "go native." A third possibility is to identify ourselves with the culture and work for some type of integration with our own. (We will look at these alternatives and how they affect our ministry in the next chapter.) Paul Hiebert, Anthropological Insights for Missionaries

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