In our seven years of working among those serving cross-culturally, we have had to see many others leave before us. Some come for weeks at a time and then go. Some, we think, will stay for a life time; and they return to their passport country in a year. The average foreign assignment lasts about three years. No. Living cross-culturally is not easy. There are bumpy, pot-holed roads to deal with, heat, sickness, fear of being robbed, political unrest, etc.. All things people all over the world go through. But the truth is, the reason most people leave their assignment prematurely is RELATIONSHIPS with other expatriates. Relationships are hard. We’ve been there! They are!
Therefore, finishing well in your relationships as you close up a season of overseas work is very important, perhaps more important than how you start. But it will take some purposeful planning and prayer to end well. By God’s grace, we were able to end well. Here are some suggestions: Continue reading