Missionary kids, pastor’s kids, third culture kids…whatever name they go by, they are unique. Kids do not have to have parents involved in ministry to “qualify” as third culture kids. Any child that has lived (or traveled extensively) outside of their passport country is a third culture kid. Military children often live inside the bubble of a military community. It’s a unique culture all its own even if they are never stationed outside the United States.
I love this story of colors. I don’t know where I got it originally so I can’t give credit where credit is due.
We all know that when you mix yellow and blue paint you get green. We also know that you can’t unmix the colors to get just yellow or just blue again.
This is a great image of what it is like for missionaries and global servants. You left your home country with its thoughts, ideas, traditions, language, etc and you entered another country with its own thoughts, ideas, traditions, language, etc. Over time the two countries and cultures mixed together in you, at times sweet and other times painful and still other times so silent you didn’t even notice they were blending.
You are green now. You are not fully your home culture and not fully your host culture. You are a beautiful blend of both (or more if you’ve been serving in many places). While beautiful this can also be isolating because you may not feel like you fit in anywhere.
We need to take care of these beautiful “green” children that God has entrusted to us. There are more and more resources becoming available. Here are a few links I have found.
TCK Training – I recently did an online workshop and it was fabulous! I learned so much and I really want to share it with everyone I know with a TCK! But don’t take my word for it, take the workshop yourself on May 2nd. It’s currently 50% off and use my code FEBLIVE to get another 50% off registration. That makes it only $25. Lauren also has a book coming out later this spring!
MK Harbor Project – For MKs between 17 and 24, these are safe harbors as they transition to a new place (or an old place that just doesn’t feel the same anymore). “…People who want to support you in your transition to a new country. They’ve volunteered to help you with whatever you might need, whether it be practical (like giving you rides, helping you set up a bank account, finding a church, teaching you some basic skills, etc.) or life-enhancing (helping you to understand your new culture, talking through decisions with you, offering you a place to get away, etc.)” And if you have a heart for MKs or TCKs, you can sign up to be a safe harbor!