Thoughts on Entry, Reentry, and Third Culture Kids

Every summer I begin thinking about change and transition, about reentry and culture shock. With the first warm breezes of the season, I am transported to places and times where this was my reality. And I begin to hear stories from others who are going through these transitions. The stories are told in photographs and … Continue reading Thoughts on Entry, Reentry, and Third Culture Kids

Culture Stress, when There’s No Hook to Hang It On

When most people open up their closets in the morning, they usually ignore the out-of-style shirts on the edge, the wrong-color sweaters, the too-tight pants. Instead, as much as they can, they grab something that looks right, something that fits right, something that feels right. When you transition between countries, your cultural closets get switched. Your choices become limited, and you often have to put … Continue reading Culture Stress, when There’s No Hook to Hang It On

What Missionaries Need Today (a summary of the 2023 FieldPartner survey results)

by Christine Paterson At FieldPartner International, we believe that anybody who serves in the field cross-culturally should be properly trained, well-resourced, and wholeheartedly supported by their sending church. In 2023 we ran a survey to gain insight into the challenges and needs of cross-cultural workers worldwide. We heard from 137 respondents from 21 different countries … Continue reading What Missionaries Need Today (a summary of the 2023 FieldPartner survey results)

How many years abroad is safe for kids?

At what point do families need transition prep and repatriation support? How many years overseas is safe? At what point does it become dangerous? As we analyzed the data something quickly became clear. Those who spent the least time outside their passport countries had the highest ACE scores. That is to say, living a shorter period of time abroad was associated with higher levels of abuse and neglect.

The Untold Stories of Returned Missionaries

You’ve been back in this country for a little less than three months and you’re just wrapping up another talk at one of your sponsoring churches. People walk up to you after the service and shake your hand to welcome you back. “You must be so happy to be home!” they proclaim with earnest and … Continue reading The Untold Stories of Returned Missionaries

4 Ways Parents Can Help Young TCKs in Transition

by Hannah Flatman We enjoyed setting up home in Brazil again. We had returned to our host country after a year away, eager to settle back into life at home. Discovering all their old toys felt a bit like Christmas for my children. However, as gently and slowly as we took things, our little ones … Continue reading 4 Ways Parents Can Help Young TCKs in Transition

The Unchurched Missionary

Some in the West have defined the “unchurched” as people who are Christians but who are not connected with a church. Sometimes I feel like I’m an unchurched missionary. Our mission organization has a specific focus: fill the gaps in the Bible translation movement to reach the Bibleless and church-less people groups around the world. … Continue reading The Unchurched Missionary

Rice and Beans and the TCK Hybrid Identity

by Hannah Flatman Rice and beans: the perfect combination! Where we live in NE Brazil, beans are often served first, with rice on top. That seemed strange to our family at first, coming from the UK where most people put their rice on the base and ladle the beans on top. One of my TCKs … Continue reading Rice and Beans and the TCK Hybrid Identity

A Pocket Guide for Talking to Missionaries: Dozens of Missionaries Open Up About Questions They Love and Questions They Don’t

“Soooo…..how’s Mongolia?” Let’s be realistic here. There really is no perfect way to start a conversation in the church foyer with someone you haven’t seen in three years. Especially if that person has been living in Mongolia.  Uh, Mongolia’s good. All good. Cold, but good. Cue awkward silence while both parties are nodding and fake … Continue reading A Pocket Guide for Talking to Missionaries: Dozens of Missionaries Open Up About Questions They Love and Questions They Don’t

Toxic Positivity in Missions

What is positive toxicity? Is it something that Christians, and particularly missionaries, need to be wary of? What about our call to be light in the darkness in this troubled world? Toxic positivity is not just an optimistic or hopeful outlook on life. It is the insistence that, despite the gravity of a situation or … Continue reading Toxic Positivity in Missions

You know about jet lag. Do you know about heart lag?

Jet lag, sweet terrible jet lag. It leads to entire chocolate bars consumed at three in the morning or entire novels devoured in the first three days after an international flight. Might lead to sickness, crabbiness, headaches, complaints, arguments. Every expatriate knows about jet lag. But do you know about heart lag? Every time I … Continue reading You know about jet lag. Do you know about heart lag?