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Missionary kids/Third Culture kids: Investing in the future

7 Jul

The children of our missionary staff are some of the most promising future leaders for Christ.  Raised in a culture that is not their own and belonging to a home country that they’ve rarely seen, these kids develop their own culture that connects them in a way that those of us on the outside cannot understand.  I have seen these third culture kids (TCKs) meet for the first time and immediately connect due to this shared life experience.  They are often bilingual, accustomed to making friends quickly and saying goodbye often.  They use the Internet to stay connected with friends in many countries and cross borders like most people cross a street.  Most of them have flown in more airplanes and visited more countries by the time they are ten than most people will in a lifetime.  They regularly give up their rooms for guests and enjoy crashing at other missionaries’ homes wherever they may find themselves.  Their worldview is much larger than their non-TCK peers and they are perplexed by those who don’t understand the value, size and incredible diversity of the world God has made.  And they are smart…not necessarily in academic achievement (though many are), but especially in the area of reading people, adapting to their cultural norms, and engaging with them meaningfully. They intuitively pick up on unspoken rules of behavior that can make or break a relationship.  These kids are treasures.
I have the privilege of knowing many of these kids through my own children’s relationships and in my travels where I stay with missionary families.  Despite a busy schedule, it is always worth investing time engaging them at their stage of life no matter what their age.  Many of them know they are welcome to stay with us and we have been blessed by those who do.  I am thrilled to be a part of what God is going to do through them and what they will become.  These are VIPs.  Would you like to interact with a future leader? Get to know a TCK.  It will be well worth your time and hospitality.