We recently went to visit Country Christian EFC in Scotts, Michigan. They warmly welcomed us to present in 2 services and gave us a great opportunity to share during their Sunday School hour a biographical history of missions and the 8 shifts in missions. It was wonderful in every way to see a church that understands their responsibility in missions and is genuinely excited about the ministry we're a part of in Costa Rica. Here is a really cool story from our trip:
During our presentation, we showed our short video that defines a Third Culture Kid (TCK): someone who grew up in a country other than their parent's passport country. TCKs fit into a neither/nor culture.... they are neither fully a part of their parent's culture nor the one in which they were raised. We do this so that people can identify with the importance of the youth group as being a place where TCKs feel like they belong. Belonging-- one barrier down, now we can work on the other struggles of teens.
After our presentation, one of the members of the congregation approached the pastor. "I finally know what I am!" She had grown up on the mission field many years ago (I don't know her exact age, but she was somewhere in her 60s or 70s). She had always felt like she didn't belong and always struggled with her identity. But now she knows; she's a Third Culture Kid. She's not alone in her feelings. She's not alone in her identity struggles. There are thounsands out there in every generation who can identify with her. What a blessing for her to know that she identifies fully with a culture!
This was a huge encouragement to us, and something we never would have thought to pray for. We never imagined that our ministry to TCKs, which we're eager to do in Costa Rica, would be a blessing in Scotts, Michigan to another TCK!