This is our last entry in our three part series explaining the strategic goals of Global Youth and Family Ministries. If you missed our last two blog posts on serving the local church or equipping church leaders feel free to go back and check them out. Now we’ll take a look at the third and final area of ministry with GYFM, which is to minister to mission families serving with our missions organization: Mission to the World.
Are you familiar with the phrase “Third Culture Kids?” TCK’s are kids who have left one culture (the passport culture), spend a significant part of their “growing up years” in a second culture (the host culture or cultures), but find they’re home in neither. Their primary sense of identity resides in a “Third Culture”—a culture not defined by nationality or geography, but by the experience of growing up cross-culturally. Missionary kids clearly fall within this category.
Here are a few numbers for you…
Our goal is simply to encourage these students through the unique challenges of growing up overseas, celebrate the unique opportunities that come along with the TCK experience, and be a support and resource for their parents and team leaders. As members of the Third Culture, one of the best ways we can serve these students is by giving them opportunities to be together, where they’ll find a place of belonging within the Third Culture community. So far, we’ve had the opportunity to attend several retreats in Asia where we’ve developed relationships with missionary kids and their families, led Bible studies, worshipped together, and had tons of fun. In the coming years, as we provide more frequent discipleship for these students (Area retreats currently only happen every four years), we hope to contribute to their spiritual and emotional growth, and increase the health and longevity of the entire family system.