We arrived in Israel in late summer 1983 with five ingenuous kids in tow. Actually, not one of us knew what we were getting into. Culture shock set in quickly and lasted a long time. Although there was a kindly community of savvy Mormons there to help out (just as there was in Cyprus, Ireland, Malaysia, and every other country where we later traveled or lived), one still has to personally develop new tools to cope in a foreign environment.
Patience is a virtue. I had to repeat that phrase to myself many times this past week. Challenges come in many ways to families. A difficult child, physical limitations, financial struggles, mental illness, and other assorted trials in the form of learning how to deal with life on earth. Families from every walk of life find themselves saying the same thing to themselves as they seek to find joy in the journey.