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Missionary Kid Care

Great Article on settling down for some Third Culture Kids

RT: @Libby_Stephens: “Living inside my scrapbook” – a new blog on –

Read it here:


THE LIES MKs BELIEVE #2: Holy Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is a topic we don’t like to address in the missionary community, mostly because of the unspoken lie that a little bit of deception can be good for ministry.  Deception by omission, mind you.  The harmless, distant cousin of outright hypocrisy.  Where does “putting your best foot forward” end and “misrepresenting yourself” begin? …….. (Read article)

This is an intro into a great post by Michele Phoenix who is a MK and TCK advocate.

“Welcome kit” to TCK-dom


This is a GREAT prototype “welcome Packet” for TCKs!

Notes from – MK Winter Retreat 2011

Camp Crosley
North Webster, Indiana
January 21st-23rd, 2011
Organizer – Paul Parsons
Speaker – Steve Swope (NTM)
160 MKs
58 Countries
16 Colleges
·        Observations –
o   These kids have seen huge things: people dying of hunger, illness that could easily be fixed in the states, Terrorist/guerrilla/political situations where people have been killed, etc.
o   MKs need a place like this to connect and fellowship (breath).
o   When an MK gets to know each other, they always seem very interested in talking about languages.
o   We need to help/encourage MKs by thanking them and their families for the sacrifice they made – because they were willing to be used by the Lord, there are others who will be in the Kingdom.
o   MKs worshiping is INCREDIBLE!
o   When the MKs hear “this weekend let your hair down – this is MK territory” they went crazy!
§  They also expressed that that meant we were NOT on “American Time” – time is relative.  Schedules are VERY loose.  The only “American Time” was supper because it was “Americans” making the meal.
o   Tonight is (most likely) the most internationally diverse meeting in Indiana… USA!
o   Most everyone in the group knew someone from some time in their childhoods.
o   One girl knew 7 languages!
o   Many there have lived in more then 3 countries.
o   Everyone of them was missing some kind of food from back “home”.
o   Most had been in over 50 churches in the states…
o   Most had been in more states then most Americans…
o   Good handful of 2nd and 3rd generation missionaries.
o   Family is EVERYTHING to an MK… then they are separated.
o   Heard an MK who was specifically struggling because he is separated from a family member who is dying and he can’t be there with them.
o   Missionaries know NOT to pay bribes! If they do, the country will take advantage and force all the other Missionaries to pay.  (We’re talking unfair Bribes… not fair payments)
o   It is customary for 3rd world countries to name their kids after Missionaries/MKs.
o   Country/Culture Observations –
§  South America:
o   Drink Terere all day long! Some countries use Hot water, some ice cold. 
o   Baggage carriers and taxi drivers mob you.
o   Latin music is played LOUDLY all the time.
o   Known for public protests.
o   Jungles usually RIGHT outside cities.
o   There is a strong fermented “purple drink” that people drink.
o   Soccer games in the streets are known to quickly get violent!  
·         Brazil:
o   VERY friendly (very touchy feely culture)
o   Known for gang violence.
o   Known for famous “Carnival”
§  They made fun of it in a skit by saying “this is the Carnival Censored version”… Then they did absolutely nothing. lol
o   They feel their style of futbol (soccer) is “perfection” – have much pride in Brazilian style.
·         Paraguay:
o   SUPER Chill when it comes to time. Nothing runs on schedule.  If you need your car fixed for a trip tomorrow… Good luck…
o   Very relational culture.
o   High importance on self-grooming.
o   If you take a picture of an Indian, they usually want money or copies of the picture.
§  Central America:
o   Chivalry VERY much a big deal.
o   Romance
o   Very friendly/Social culture.
o   Well mannered.
o   Birthdays are a huge deal! 
§  Especially the 1st birthday and 15th birthday.
§  Papua New Guinea:
o   PMV – Car jacking’s
o   Drunks common
o   Hit a pig… you owe a payment.
o   Tourists usually get taken advantage of.
§  South-east Asia:
·         Thailand/Philippines/Indonesia:
o   “Peace sign” in every photo!
o   Huge buses PACKED with no room. (smashed in)
o   Interesting foods like Duck Fetus…
o   Pick pocketers
o   Everyone wants to meet Americans.
o   Major Muslim foothold.
§  Asia:
·         China:
o   Super polite – They will give you a gift when you visit their home.  Gifts range, but can even be a new pair of socks.
o   Smoking (though not really allowed) happens a lot on airplanes.
o   Group exercise – even on flights on planes!
o   Rice, Rice, roman noodles, fish, more rice.
o   Baggage carriers don’t wait until asked to get your bags (for better or worse). – you must pay…
·         Japan/Korea:
o   Most tourists mistake all Asians as “Chinese”.
o   Public Baths (taken together) – time of fellowship.
o   NO ONE can talk or talk on their cell phone on the train.  It is a very quiet environment.
o   Group exercise is apart of life; group environments and even at work.
o   You treat the boss as a master and you must bow.  DO NOT greet like you do in America (handshakes/hugs)
·         Pakistan/India:
o   Guys hold hands.
o   Indians infamous accent.
o   Bollywood dancing.
o   Parent planned (Forced) Marriage still a major tradition.
o   There is an ongoing problem between Pakistan and India… Youth get in relationships and it’s like Romeo and Juliet.
o   Family is the CENTER of life.
§  Tradition to have MANY babies.
§  Europe:
·         Europeans:
o   Known that American woman LOVE men with British accents.
o   Most Europeans are BIG on recycling.
o   Most Europeans greet with kisses on the cheeks.
o   The bathroom is known as “the Lue” and many of the public bathrooms cost a fee.
§  Africa:
·         Africans:
o   Slaughtering Goats is still a common practice.
o   Drums, Dancing, Singing is a HUGE part of culture.
o   Bride price practice:
§  Goats, money, Tabasco Sauce, Deodorant…
o   Violence/Stealing
§  Scam artists
·         Boss man uses Physical Violence to keep people in line.
§  North Americans –
·         Staff Kids:
o   Tend to compare each other in how “multi-cultural” they are.
o   Have a tendency to think they are experts on all cultures.
·        Speaker – Lesson notes from Steve Swope’s talk –
o   Purpose of weekend:
§  1. Time and a place to come together… FREE to be a MK!
§  2. Thank you and your family for your sacrifices.
§  3. Instill a pride in being an MK.
§  4. To encourage you (not preach to you)
§  5. Some of you (in a group this size) are at the end of your rope.
o   Your identity is MORE than being MK…
§  Mks area very unique group where you are known for your parent’s occupation!
§  “You belong to a VERY select group of people.”
§  Some REJECT that they are MKs and some make their soul identity in being an MK. (not identity in the Lord)
o   “We need to look honestly and find whether we are suppressing our Identify or if we have forgotten it.
o   “Most of us have only known Christian Culture…
§  Not just through my parents, but through ALL out “Aunts and Uncle”.
·         We can sometimes feel like with that surrounding, we can’t make mistakes.
o   THEN we go to the states…
o   “We have the ability to create our own identity, so that is what we tend to do…”
o   Tenth Avenue North – You are more – Great song that helps MKs in Identity crisis.
o   “The world is before us… There is much you can “do”… but what does your heart beat for?”
o   “I will not assume that just because you are an MK and have heard the Word that you are a Christian…”
o   When we put our identity in “circumstances” we enter an endless cycle of disappointment.
o   Chicago “silver bean” illustration
§  Reflected image is distorted and not real.
§  What is your mirror you use when you look at yourself…
·         Mirrors of our world? (friends, culture, enemies, etc)
o   You are ADOPTED into God’s family…
o   Great video with Chuck Bomar that points out that like we only truly see the “good moments” (however few) when we think of a daughter… and the bad moments “are not really her”. 
§  That is how God see’s us.
·          RESOURCES –
o   Michele Phoenix – MK Advocate/Blogger – Black Forest Academy  – Wheaton, Il
§  Awesome Blog called “Lies MKs Believes –
·         Why Kids hate America
o   Chuck Bomar – College Ministry – Great for MK college students.
o   Donna Messenger – MuKappa Rep
o   Perry Bradford – Barnabas International Director – MuKappa Director
o   MTI (in Colorado)
o   Gatehouse – Redding, Ca
o   Books for MKs:
§  Christian Atheist – Craig Groshel
§  Broken down House
§  Crazy Love and Forgotten God– Frances Chan
o   MK Group Games/Activities:
§  Ask the group to raise their hand if they have eaten…
·         Doesn’t matter what bug/animal you name… at least 10 have eaten it!
§  List countries represented and ask them to yell something crazy in their language!
o   Verses I heard MKs hold on to:
§  Matt. 19:29
§  Isa. 42
o   Tenth Avenue North – You are more – Great song that helps MKs in Identity crisis.
o   “MK Song”
o   Chuck Bomar DVD series “Who AM I?”
·        Paul Parson’s Story –
o   Comes home from Ghana, flew back to the states will all the African MKs returning to states, enjoyed the trip immensely, got to JFK Intl’ airport… and boom everyone when different directions to different planes.
§  Has not heard/seen 70% of them since. (30 years)
o   Was incredibly hurt even when he thought he was well rounded.  He was hurt and mad his parents for a long time for the situation “they put him into” and hated America for a long time.
·        Conversation with Donna Messenger –
o   Works with Colleges in Ohio/Indiana area to develop MuKappa Chapters.
o   Coordinates MK Reentry Retreats.
o   Talked about Perry Bradford – Barnabas/MuKappa Director.
§  Lives 40 minutes from Waukesha.
o   Talked at length about issues behind MK ministry.
§  Encourage and inform churches about the need and tangible ways to get involved.
§  Connection/networking opportunities for MKs.
§  MK transition care
o   The MuKappa Rep. role
§  Mukappa needs in California.

Junk Food – MK Book – Chap. 2d

Financial Management

  • One major gab between MKs and their peers is job experience.
    • Teach your MK practical skills as they grow up that will translate easy into the home country. (typing, yard work, baby-sitting, etc)
  • Suggestions to help kids prepare better for financial management:
    1. An allowance can be a great teacher.
    2. Help MKs become familiar with currency in home country.
    3. Practice details of preparing a budget.
    4. Practice making a checkbook balance.
  • All young people (not just MKs) need to be taught how to use Credit Cards, Bank cards, bank accounts, saving, and budget.
  • Credit Cards will open a whole new world for an MK fresh from the mission field.
  • The most significant lesson on money is the importance given to it by the family.  This will permanently influence the children’s value system and, to a degree, determine their priorities.  “We can’t afford that” is a very destructive phrase that can hurt MKs.  Since we say we live by God’s grace, the phrase makes God seem stingy with us.  A better response might be “We don’t have that in our budget now, but let’s pray about it and see what happens.”  Don’t demand, but be sure to ask God to show you if this is His will.
    • Encourage your children to go to God with their requests, and remember to thank Him.


  • MKs often have a special burden to carry.  Either their parents expect perfection from them, or they think their parents, extended family, and church look to them as a holy model.
  • In an MK’s mind, this could be extended to become what God demands, and, not being able to live up to such a standard, some MKs crash.
  • As a whole, high expectations and a focus solely toward christian leadership does surround MKs.
    • They are often pushed rather then encouraged, without the adult ever realizing what they are doing.
  • Sharing expectations and keeping them realistic, helps family members support each other.
  • Suggestions for sharing Expectations:
    • Teens and parents can periodically finish these sentences and then share them and discuss issues.
      • Teens:
        • My parents expect me to…, God expects me to…, I expect my parents to…, when I leave home I expect to…, As an adult I expect to…
      • Parents:
        • My children expect me to…, God expects me to…, I expect my children to…, When my children leave home I expect to…, When things are not as I expect them to be, I expect to…

Crisis Handling

  • Teach MKs what to do in tough situations (sick, discouraged/depressed, etc)
  • Teach MKs about sensitive topics prior to coming to the home country (sex, abortion, homosexuality, drinking, drugs, pride, etc).

Gordon, Alma Daugherty. Don’t Pig out on Junk Food: the MK’s Guide to Survival in the U.S. Wheaton, IL: Evangelical Missions Information Service, 1993. Print.

Expert: “What Type of Work is Best Suited for Third Culture Kids?”

Donna Musil took seven years and 500 interviews of Third Culture Kids/Army Brats and shares her wisdom with TCK Academy.

* Many TCKs want to do something that has a service and mission aspect.
* Over 80 percent of TCKs are professionals, semi-professionals, executives, or managers/officials.
* Occupational choices reflect a continued love of learning, interest in helping, and desire for independence and flexibility.
* Fully one quarter work in educational institutions as teachers, professors, or administrators.
* 17% of TCKs are in professional settings, such as medical or legal fields.
* 17% of TCKs are self-employed, one-third of these as presidents of their own companies. The self-employed, in particular, reflect the creative and risktaking streak found in so many TCKs.
* One won’t find many TCKs in large corporations. Nor are there many in government. Two-thirds of the small number (6 percent) in this sample who have government Jobs are in foreign service/AID or in branches such as the Bureau of Wildlife and Fisheries, or national parks.
* “Do what you love and the money will come.”

Info from article on

Junk Food – MK Book – Chap. 2c

Chapter 2-

  • Decision Making
    • Young people living overseas are often in closed communities in which people think alike.  General decisions are made by the group (such as what clothes are acceptable) and most other decisions are dictated by parents or the sitiation (such as saving my allowance because there is no store in which to spend it).
    • At a secular college young people from Christian homes expect behavior to be very different from the standards with which they grew up.  At a christian college they can be caught unawares, and do things that arn’t the best because they were not prepared; they didn’t expect it in that setting. (I have heard this expressed by almost EVERY MK I have talked to that attended NTBI or a christian college)
    • For MKs, it’s crucial that they be equipped to make a majority of sound decisions by the time they enter another culture.
      • They did not spend their childhood years in their parents’ home country and, therefore, do not have automatic responses to that culture.
      • The world has changed drastically since their parents’ youth, and the family has not been there to see the change.
    • Those facts, taken togehter with adolescent transition and learning to live on their own, can create havov in the lives of MKs. (Makes sense!)

  • Decision-Making Process-
    1. List your long-range goals.
    2. Identify your values / Number them.
    3. Determine what needs to be decided.
    4. Gather information.
    5. Think of all the possible actions you could take.
    6. Concider the consequences of each choice.
    7. Make a choice.
    8. Take action.
    9. Be ready to take responsibility for your decisions.
    10. Evaluate your decision.

Quote – “If your MK is going to college, does he/she know why your family considers this important?”

Gordon, Alma Daugherty. Don’t Pig out on Junk Food: the MK’s Guide to Survival in the U.S. Wheaton, IL: Evangelical Missions Information Service, 1993. Print.

MK Engaged Couple

Bree and I had a fantastic time of fellowship with a young MK couple from Paraguay who are engaged to be married this summer.  One thing that stuck out was the fact that they were really concerned with some of the things that they had noticed  in the average American home smart such as a TV in the bedroom.  It was cool for me (a American kid) to see hear that because as MKs, they see things about our culture in America and our standard habits that are not healthy.  Then it is easier for them to avoid those traps.  For me, growing up in America with TVs apart of everything… it is not as easy for me to spot an issues such as that.

MK Ministry Quotes

I just rewatched the “a TCK Story” Film trailer and heard some great quotes from Mitra Remy Jordan, a TCK expert (

“When we are experiencing grief on our own and their is no mirroring of that grief in others around us, we feel very alone in that experience, and there is no way to work it through.”

“Then when you move to a new place, you carry that lose with you and it becomes very difficult to engage in your new home.”

“When you move around a lot, you’re not just losing connection to a place, of course, you’re also loosing connection to the people in that place.” 

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