As you may know, our two sons grew up, for more than half their childhood years, outside their home country. That makes them Third Culture Kids, or TCKs. Recently I have been thinking about how our sons react to their world. I wondered how much their experience as Third Culture Kids actually affects them today, now that they are adults. I was especially interested in how TCKs make friends, and how their experience differs from others in that area.
For a refresher, I looked at David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken’s textbook called, Third Culture Kids. The chapter on Relational Patterns discusses how Third Culture Kids (TCKs) make friendships and how that affects them later in life.
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Years ago a sending organization researched why first-termers failed to return and become veteran PWs. They found some causes in the first-termers themselves but, sadly, they traced other causes to the veterans already on the field. Each field is very different. Personalities, chemistry, roles, pressures- they all combine to make the New Kid’s (Newks) experience a huge challenge. We have lived through it and heard others tell their stories. The bottom line: it is never easy, but it can be less difficult if we all help each other.
We were the new-kids-on-the-block twice, in very different situations. The first time, we joined a well-established team in a multifaceted indigenous work. Being completely new to living outside our own culture, we needed and appreciated the help we received from the veterans. It was not all positive, but overall, we made a good adjustment to cross cultural work.
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Divine appointments, scheduled by God, come at some unusual times. Divine assignments often seem stranger than fiction. Beth Moore, a Bible study author, speaker, wife, and mother, wrote her Hairbrush story in her book Further Still
. Hearing others’ stories can help us tune our ears to the voice of our Father.
April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville, waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I’d had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego.
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