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I thought I would take a few blogs to chat with you about TCK’s. TCK is the shortcut for the phrase, Third Culture Kids. It refers to children who live and grow up in a country other than their passport country. Virtually all missionary kids are TCK.

The best way to explain it is with color. Imagine a child from the land of Blue. All of the people are blue and all of the systems are designed for Blue Life. His church, relatives, and friends are Blue.

His parents are called to the mission field. They leave to the land of Yellow. It is so strange. The people are Yellow. The government and social systems are Yellow. Church is full of Yellow people singing songs about a Yellow person’s understanding of the Bible. The boy feels so lonely and different. He doesn’t speak Yellow. Life is simply upside down.

They live there for a while and he begins to adapt. Over a period of time, he looks in the mirror and notices something which shocks him. He is not Blue any more! He isn’t Yellow either. His Blueness combined with the new found Yellowness. He is Green. He is no longer a Blue person in the land of Yellow. He assimilated a lot of Yellow and is now Green.

Either he grows up, or his parents move back, either way he finds himself back in his passport country of Blue. You would think he would love it. Finally! The Blue Boy is home in his Blue world! How exciting.

It isn’t. You see, he isn’t Blue anymore. The Yellow which he assimilated is permanently a part of his soul. He doesn’t think like a Blue. He doesn’t have a Blue worldview. He isn’t Yellow.

He is both.

He is neither.

Blue people consider him Yellow.

Yellow people consider him Blue.

He doesn’t know what to think.

That is a TCK.

It is a hard life.

I know a lot about it, because 10 of my 11 kids lived as TCK.

As a Green Person with Green Children, I know how hard it is for me. It is even more difficult for them.

Pray for the children of your missionaries. They have a unique life with specific challenges along with the normal growing up stuff.

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