One Thing I Want to Tell Third Culture Kids

by Rachel Pieh Jones on November 15, 2019

This week a university student and I connected over Skype to talk about Third Culture Kids. She is one, working on a really cool project about TCKs, and I’m the mom of three. 

We talked about how valuable things like courage, vulnerability, and curiosity are. We talked about the gift that I believe TCKs are to a world that is fearful and divided. Then she referenced my blog post from years ago (back when blogs and lists were like a thing) called 15 Things I Want to Tell My Third Culture Kids, and asked, “What is one thing do you want your kids to know?”

One thing. Just one. I didn’t have to think very long and it something I would have said to my kids whether they were TCKs or not:

You are loved.

You are so loved.

That is who you are.

Third Culture Kid. Expatriate. Immigrant. Refugee. Student. Mother. Father. Child.

Loved.

Loved by a creative, good, beautiful God. 

Loved by family, the family you grew up in, the family who raised you, the family you share blood with, the family you share history with, the family you have left as you make your own way in the world, the family who will always make room for you.

Loved by a community in which you have always been the minority. The religious, racial, language, nationality minority. And they have loved you, welcomed you, taken delight in you, taught you, fed you, challenged you, inspired you.

Loved by a community you don’t know as well, the one behind in the passport country, the one who listens to updates and asks about your life, school, friends, language lessons, daily routine, the one who prays for you.

You might not quite know where you fit in your new place, or in your old place, or in your future place. That will be hard and painful, probably lonely and scary, hopefully exciting and hopeful.

But you can know this.

You are Loved.

You might not know how to address an envelope in the United States or how to flag a taxi in Beirut. You might not know that the cream-filled cardboard-flavored cake tube thingy is called a Twinkie and that it is a local delicacy and you might not know if you’ll ever get to eat delicious fried liver and onions for breakfast again.

But you can know this.

You are Loved.

You might not know the culture cues or the inside jokes or the “right” sports team to cheer for. You might not know when you’ll go home again or where home will be next year or what home even means.

But you can know this.

You are Loved.

You might not know how to fall asleep without the sounds of the desert winds or the morning parrots or the hum of a rickety ceiling fan. You might not know what time it is without the call to prayer sounding throughout the day.

But you can know this.

You are LOVED.

If you could say just one thing to the TCK in your life, what would it be?

{ 0 comments }

All the days ordained for me

by Anisha Hopkinson November 12, 2019

How such an awful day can start with so much promise, I’m really not sure. The sky shown high and a glorious sapphire blue, and the air so calm and clear it seemed to magnify the beauty of the mountain ridges behind our house. I left home the morning of September 23rd feeling thankful and […]

Read the full article →

Mountains of Transition

by Marilyn November 11, 2019

Northern Iraq is a place of mountains. From our front balcony in Ranya we looked across at the snow covered mountains of Iran. At the back of our apartment, beyond the mosque, were the rugged Kewa-Rash or “black mountains” famous in our region. Beyond those mountains were more mountains. We never tired of looking out […]

Read the full article →

I Got a Job

by Editor November 6, 2019

by Rachel K. Zimmerman I got a job. This is a big deal. Is this the step that means I have reintegrated (in some fashion) back into my home culture? I don’t know. But I do know that this job seems like a really good fit for me and my priorities post ‘mission field’ (i.e. […]

Read the full article →

For the Times When You’re Exhausted, Discouraged, and Tempted

by Jonathan Trotter November 3, 2019

Some truth is just worth remembering. These musings about discouragement and temptation spilled out six years ago; perhaps they can encourage people even still… We moved to Cambodia about two years ago, and it’s been good. But it’s also been very hard. I’ve had my days of doubt, fear, and deep discouragement. I’ve looked around at the poverty, […]

Read the full article →

How Equipped is Equipped Enough?

by Amy Medina October 31, 2019

I recently read an article about a young woman who moved to Uganda at 19 and started a center for malnourished children. This ministry grew over the course of ten years. Some of those children died, and she is now being sued for deceiving parents into thinking she was a trained doctor running a medical […]

Read the full article →

In Praise of Care Packages

by Craig Thompson October 28, 2019

Two months ago, I wrote about used tea bags in care packages, which led to reader comments about less-than-optimal gifts, including a single roll of toilet paper, ribbons from graveside floral arrangements, and pencil stubs. But “philcott,” reminds us of the joys that gifts can bring, by pointing out what can happen when they are […]

Read the full article →

4 Myths About Missions Preparation

by Editor October 23, 2019

by Naomi Johnston Preparation for the journey has not been all I thought it would be. Here are four myths I’ve slowly found my way through, as we prepare to leave one way of living for another.   1. Speed signifies the favor of God. This is so subtle, and yet so incredibly overwhelming in […]

Read the full article →

5 Tips for Newsletter Writing

by Amy Young October 21, 2019

Last night at dinner my friend asked me if I had always loved writing. Ha! I was a math person. Math came easily to me. My lowest scores on standardized tests were always in English. For the life of me my brain cannot crack the code of If milk is a liquid, then a car […]

Read the full article →

6 Reasons to Add a Nanny to Your Village

by Editor October 18, 2019

by Jenny Scheer The notion that I would offer up parenting advice is laughable considering the way I struggled with the transition to motherhood when I had my firstborn in Uganda 20 months ago. I considered writing a blog post about how hard the first 3-4 months were. Not one of those posts about how […]

Read the full article →

The Role of the Family Abroad

by Rachel Pieh Jones October 15, 2019

I’m on a whirlwind trip in the USA and am not going to waste your precious reading time with blathering nonsense that I summon through the mist of jet lag and book stuff, combined with medical stuff because When in the USA Thou Shall See the Doctor is one of the commandments for people living in the developing […]

Read the full article →

On Scarcity and Abundance

by Marilyn October 14, 2019

I’m sitting on my couch, feet stretched out. The mosque next door has just begun their Friday sermon, broadcast loud in a language that is still unfamiliar to me. The electricity is on and I am trying to be grateful instead of fearful that it will go off.  In recent weeks, I have thought a […]

Read the full article →