Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Nothing like a good acronym for my title!

"A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents' culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any." David Pollock

For the past twenty three years, Dave and I have been raising TCK's/MK's (missionary kids). Except for short visits to the States, Tyler, Caleb and Claire spent their entire lives outside Dave's and my American culture (though Dave is also an TCK/MK who was born in the Philippines and raised in a missionary family...I'm the only mono-culture person in the bunch!).

Of course now Tyler and Caleb are in the States for college, and Claire is headed there in August. So we are nearing the end of our daily parenting of TCK's.

But we have over 90 Josiah Venture Kids on our team now! So there are a lot of new TCK/MK's in our midst.

We want to do all we can to help our JV parents as they raise their own TCK's here, as the health and well being of our families is super important to us.

So we brought in a wonderful woman with expertise in this area to talk with us yesterday and today (our annual family spring conference starts tonight so we tacked this on at the beginning before conference gets started.)

Michele Phoenix is an MK herself, having grown up in France, and then worked as a teacher for Black Forest Academy in Germany (a boarding school for MK's) for twenty years.

But God has led her further over the past two years to, as she writes on her website:

"...happily lay the foundations for a ministry that will both assist MKs in their transition back to the US and educate the American church about TCK identity and the preventable causes of growing missionary attrition. My prayer is that my lifetime as an MK and my two decades in MK Care will be used to bridge the gap of incomprehension that exists between well-intentioned American believers and the misunderstood missionary families they send to the field. It’s a tall order, and one I pursue with anticipation and vigor."

Although I'm nearing the end of my journey - at least the every day journey - of parenting TCK's, my heart beats firmly for our JV families who are living and ministering here with their children. I want to see them flourish during their years of life here...whether that's for two years or that when their kids leave, they have a strong identity of who they are, despite (or rather, because!) they lived in a culture that was not their parents'.

With some new tools and thoughts behind us from this seminar, we head into our family conference this evening. It's a FULL HOUSE up at Malenovice, with literally every nook and cranny filled to the brim! Dave's teaching our JV staff, we've got a great children's program and it's going to be a great time!!

1 comment:

  1. And my heart beats for those TCK's too...wherever they may be! ;)