Third culture kids
“I FEEL LIKE I’m in a foreign land. People can’t understand me. I’m not used to the food and I miss ‘home’ all the time.” Sound familiar? These are often the thoughts and struggles of the children of Missionaries (MKs) or Third Culture Kids (TCKs) – not of their parents’ field of ministry – but after returning home to their country of birth or their ‘passport country’.
Most have grown up in developing countries. Many are multilingual. Some have personally seen miracles of God’s provision and healing. My own experience was immensely challenging when I returned ‘home’ to finish school and do tertiary study. But upon realising that my unique upbringing was an asset, not a liability, I found that no challenge was too difficult. I met other MKs who showed me I wasn’t the only one like this and a heart for a ministry to migrants developed.
In future issues of the Nations magazine we plan to share more stories and insights about MKs or TCKs and the struggles they encounter and adjustments they have to make when settling back into their ‘passport’ country. And for more insights please check out a Facebook group I started called Third Culture Connection.
Stephen, the eldest son of John and Mary Elliott, is married to Julie (also an MK) and together they have two children. They are based near Brisbane.