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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Culture shock

There has been a reorganization in our prayer community with some moving upward and some coming in from another group. There really is not much problem with those that move upward since it was sort of expected by the community but there seems to be some difficulties with the new group that joined.

Last week, I have seen some interactions between our new chapter head and the new unit head that came from another group and I immediately sensed some problems. I realize that both of them wants the best for the group but they have totally different ways of running a group and it was sort of sad to see them showing conflicts in front of the group.

Tonight, during our prayer meeting with our unit head, she voiced out her assessment of the new unit head. Even is she tried to sweet coat her assessment it still boils down to a negative assessment of the other head since she is different.

I guess on her part, she also feels frustration with her new group since to her we too are different!

Well, yes, she is different and we are different too.

She used to belong to a materially affluent prayer community. As my unit head says "lahat ng lider de kotse" (all the leaders have cars). They have resources so they also have to control the funds. Majority of our groups have no or very little resources, we have very meager funds and often time our chapter head (now our cluster head) would shell out from her own pocket just to be able to shoulder group expenses... so there was no fund to control!

Their prayer meetings are in comfortable places, away from the noise of the children running and shouting. Our prayer meetings are held in homes that are too small you wonder how you would fit and there's no one to take care of the children so they go running about while the prayer is going on. There were even some that had no homes since they were demolished or the typhoon snatched away part of their homes.

Their chapels are big and they have different function rooms to accomodate several groups. Our chapels are small and could accomodate only little functions.

In a way she is experiencing culture shock. To her, our ways are not the proper way to run a prayer community, and since wants so much to improve our community and she has an assertive personality, she wants to impose her set of ways which to her mind is the right way. But our leaders have also been used to different ways of running things... different ways of interacting, of expressing their views and they are shocked at the way she "puts her weight around" (that did not come from me but my unit head) and wonder if it would have been better is she was not transferred to our group.

I am a small voice in our organization but I couldn't really let each others notion persist. I have already gently expressed my views to my unit head.

It is fairly simple.

She is different because she got used to a different set of ways, that doesn't mean she is not good or that she is wrong, but that she's just used to different things. There's a reason for her being transferred to our group. Maybe she needs to fix somethings in her life as we do too and each of us would be an instrument for that change. So in a way her coming is a blessing for us and I'm sure being in our group would also be a blessing for her. For sometimes that's the way things go... you have to be moved... shaked from your comfort zone to grow! So I believe that the shocks on both sides would only be temporary. The current problems are just opportunities for growth especially since our community teaches LOVE...

so in the end with love being the center of all, what can go wrong?


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