“Mom, when we get back home, I’m gonna kiss the ground.”
Those were my words as an eight or nine year old, when we were leaving the US to go back overseas. My mother was delighted when I did not do that, but she understood quite clearly in that moment that I loved our new home, and that it belonged to me. I wasn’t going to end up American… at least not completely.
Fast forward nine years, and I’m still in love with the metropolis I live in. My life has been a blessing, and I wouldn’t ever trade it off.
The struggle I have with my “home” is that I’m still a stranger to its people. I will never be, completely, a local. I sound like a local, and some even say I look like one. But the fact remains that I’m the “American”. I’m the one who moved here.
It’s hard sometimes. The life of a Third Culture Kid is a patchwork quilt, a tree with roots that span continents, a network of bridges. The quilt’s squares are added, but sometimes ripped off. The tree’s roots are deep in some soils and wide and shallow in others. The bridges burn and are built again.
Yet the complexity that we call life is ultimately beautiful and good.
Sometimes, the complex stories and losses and experiences feel like too much. We need people to come alongside us and tell us we aren’t the only ones. We are understood. We are seen and loved.
That’s just one of the many reasons why I started Truth4TCKs. It’s an online conference for teenage and young adult Christian Third Culture Kids, whether Military Brats, Expat Kids, Business Kids, MKs, Diplomat Kids, etc. It’s happening in four days on the 22nd and 23rd of May 2021.
Truth4TCKs strives to bring biblical truth and encouragement regarding the cross-cultural and highly mobile life to TCKs – especially those that might not have easy access to it.
I am so excited! This is for all types of TCKs. Our excellent speakers come from many backgrounds: military, business, diplomatic, ministry… Also, the conference is organized by teens and young adults, who have a passion to do hard things while they’re young and to serve their TCK peers. That’s pretty cool.
The 2021 Theme is Global Citizens of Heaven. Here’s what that means: TCKs often feel an identity crisis and a lack of a home. However, as Christians, we are given an unchanging identity in Christ and a home in Heaven. Once the TCK is grounded in their identity, they can go out to live their lives as global citizens, using their giftings to the glory of God and the good of others.
Speakers include names like Kate Forbes (the Cabinet Secretary of Finance in Scotland), Megan Norton (Intercultural Trainer), Chris O’Shaughnessy (Author and Comedian), and more. We will also have a special message from Ruth Van Reken (the author of Third Culture Kids, she’s also known as the matriarch of TCKs).
This conference is totally worth it. It’s not on Zoom, but rather Airmeet, an interactive platform that offers a fresh experience for online events. So if you’re Zoom-weary, no worries.
I have been working, along with my wonderful team, on this for the last five months. We’re so glad it’s almost here. We hope to see you there.