Serving Third Culture Kids (TCKs)

Get involved! OMF Boarding Home Ministry in North Thailand

TCKs spend a significant part of their childhood away from their parents’ passport culture. They grow up incorporating elements of several overlapping and sometimes conflicting cultures into their identity.

The sense of relationship is often to this “Third Culture”, the experience shared by others who have a similar background.


Opportunities to Serve TCKs

Find out how you could serve in a dormitory, education or team conference role.

TCK Stories and News

I Was a Grandfather for a Week

As a grandfather, I didn’t think I would fit into missions.

My short term ministry trip feels like a vacation

Evelyn came to Japan to serve families by taking care of their kids.

Missionary kids struggle too

We often hear that kids adapt quickly to a new culture and language, but it is not necessarily easy, for them or their parents.

Challenges faced by a Third Culture Kid returnee

Every now and then, we have missionaries returning home with their families for good, for one reason or another. Is it plain sailing for these children, often known as Third Culture Kids (or TCKs)? One such TCK, JB, shares her story on returning 'home' to the Philippines with her parents after living most of her [...]

Blessed to Be a Blessing

My coping mechanism was to build walls. If I didn’t care about people then it didn’t hurt as much when they left.

The kid from Japan

The reason that I never wanted to be introduced as a “the kid from Japan” was because I didn’t want to be labelled as that kid and be forced to slowly push through the stereotypes.

Caring for missionary children

As a short term worker helping with child care, I thought I was just going to be babysitting.

God answers prayer for our kids

A mother’s prayers. A young daughter’s prayers. Look what can happen when God answers our prayers.

Something precious

What is most previous to you? How would you decide what to take with you when you go to school? How do you deal with saying goodbyes? Meet Scratchy the Turtle!

A missionary kid’s perspective

It’s all very well for adults to decide they’re going to go overseas for the sake of the gospel. But what about their children? What’s it like for them?

Being a Third Culture Kid: Hannah Chapman

I would say perspective is the thing I am most grateful for as a TCK. Perspective on life.

When missionaries’ children grow up: learning to let go

‘Mum, I’m in hospital’. When I heard these words from my son, my heart sank. All sorts of scenarios raced through my mind until he continued. ‘I ate a pork bun at the university café and started feeling sick. I got so sick and dehydrated I decided to go to the hospital’. I found out [...]

How Life’s Painful Experiences Prepare Us for God’s Work

If He allows it, He will open the door. If you can go, just go!

From Third Culture Kid to Serve Asia Worker

Perspective is the thing I am most grateful for as a TCK. Perspective on life. I don’t want to waste my life.

How Does a Third Culture Kid Answer the Question: ‘Where Are You From?’

Home is no longer a physical location, but the presence of God, because where He is, there too is His kingdom.

Jacq and the TCK’s: A Photo Journey Of Third Culture Kids

We have confidence God is working in the lives of these Third Culture Kids according to His purpose.

Reflections of a Graduated Third Culture Kid

Often when we hear stories or testimonies from a Third Culture Kid (TCK), it's a reflection many years down the road. We rarely get to hear from one who is living it. Judit graduated from an international school in the Philippines this June, and she shares with us how it feels to be a TCK: [...]

Who is OMF Japan? What are we doing?

Find out the needs of the church in Japan and how OMF Japan are seeking to meet those needs in the coming years. Maybe you could be an answer to our prayers…

Evie’s Mission Story

Evie was raised in a Christian family and remembers being fascinated by missionary stories: “my favourite missionary story was Gladys Aylward’s. I remember watching the movie, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, as a little girl and turning round to my mum, and saying ‘Oh I want to do something like that’ I must have been about nine at the [...]

Visit to Mount Mayon

Without a doubt Third Culture Kids (or TCKs) get life experiences most of us only hear about on documentaries. It has been said they are “citizens of everywhere and nowhere” and they often grow up with a love for travel. In January this year, Mount Mayon was on the local and worldwide news as once [...]

Third Culture Kids – Moving

How does moving countries affect a third culture kid? "I didn't know anybody... and all they could do was make fun of my funny accent" Different third culture kids at different stages of life share their stories. Parents from one culture + growing up in another culture = third culture kid. Find out more about [...]

Unwanted attention

I could hear the whispers as we walked past other shoppers. Comments echoed all around me: “Look at all of those kids.” “Do they have four? Wow!”

Third Culture Kids – Moments

Interesting moments in the lives of some third culture kids. " 'What did you say?' ... I realised I hadn't spoken to him in English" Different third culture kids at different stages of life share their stories. Parents from one culture + growing up in another culture = third culture kid. Find out more about [...]

Third Culture Kids – Fitting In

How do third culture kids feel about fitting in? "I look like I should fit right?... but I don't really" Different third culture kids at different stages of life share their stories. Parents from one culture + growing up in another culture = third culture kid. Find out more about TCKs at: Click here [...]

Reflections from a home-school mom

At The Urban Billion, we firmly believe that when God calls you into cross-cultural ministry, He calls not just you, but your whole family.  We spoke to a mother about the joys and challenges of living among The Urban Billion with young children. What are the joys and challenges of living in China with children? […]

Celebrating the Past

  “Chefoo School Museum Exhibit, Yantai, China”   Chefoo School was established in 1881 by Hudson Taylor in what is now the City of Yantai, China.  The School was closed at the original site in 1942 when students, teachers and staff were interned by the Japanese following their attack on the United States at Pearl […]

Providing educational options in Japan

How do missionary parents provide schooling for their children? The Christian Academy in Japan provides one English-speaking option for families in Japan.

The value of short-term workers

“The short-term team was reaching a demographic of people that I, someone in my 30s, was unable to.”

Bilingual kids

We have a new rule in our house: No Japanese at meal times. Our two oldest are in Japanese school and kindergarten, so most of their playtime in the week is spent in a Japanese environment and context, and so their play language is Japanese. Even when they are at home they spend a lot [...]

What’s your ministry in Japan?

It’s easy to list what we do in our jobs, but the context of our roles is vital to understanding why we do what we do. We're missionaries with OMF International. OMF has over 1,200 missionaries reaching out to East Asians. In Japan OMF has about 125 missionaries working in church planting, evangelism, training, student [...]

Sei dabei! Einsatz in OMF Schülerwohnheimen – Nordthailand

Get involved! OMF Boarding Home Ministry – North Thailand

Find out how you can serve families in mission at

TCK Gap Year in China

Claire grew up as a TCK in China and Thailand. She went to boarding school in Thailand for eight years. Before attending university in Germany, Claire decided to take a gap year, spending half of it in China. She wanted to bring her years of childhood and youth in Asia to a good closure and […]

As A Parent of Kids in Preschool

“Yes, yes, but you are a foreign family. We have our own traditions.” Ten years ago, I never dreamed that such a thing would be said to my face at my future children’s pre-school in my own country. But then I married a Canadian, we became “foreign missionaries,” and a new layer of complexity was […]

Encouraged, Inspired, Challenged. . .by Boarding School

  “Some people may think that parents who send their kids to boarding schools are mean and simply want to get their children out of the way. I did not feel this way because the people at my school made me feel like I belonged, as I was cared for and loved.  Most importantly, I […]

A Ministry of Receiving Help

We flew back into Tokyo after a wonderful but exhausting three-week holiday in our home country. It was the first time we’d visited there in the three and a half years we’ve been in Japan. On our return we had used our generous luggage allowance to the max, and were now wondering how we could [...]

He Knows My Name.

What happens when excited missionary kids are finally released from a long car ride and welcomed into a big room with other missionary kids to play with? Energy. Ideas. Creativity. Noise. Games. And a bit of chaos. Especially add to the mix that these children live in an isolated area and do not have many [...]

Chefoo Reconsidered-The Story Continues. . .

Grieve what you’ve lost;  Rediscover what you haven’t;  Know who you are;  Love who you are becoming. A movement of OMF TCK/MK Alumni called Chefoo Reconsidered continues as more adult TCKs engage with each other, processing their experiences – particularly in boarding – and the effect these have had on their lives.   The hope is […]

OMF Missionary Kids

Have you ever thought of praying for the children who have accompanied their Mum and Dads to this harvest field, or have been born here? Dotted along the 1,000 km trip I got to see 11 of these missionary children and to hear about many more. In fact, in the not too distant future there [...]

Home of Love

Kathy was born in the USA but moved to China when she was three.  Her parents serve as Christian professionals with an organization that ‘seeks to be a part of China’s economic and spiritual development by shining the light of Christ through the utilization of professional skills.’ Kathy tells us about her Chinese school: ‘Hi, […]

Standing out in the crowd.

Jonathan has only had two full years of Japanese education but already he is immersed in speaking, writing and reading Japanese.  English is proving a challenge to develop and maintain. Fitting in – or not He is currently the only totally non-Japanese child in his school and along with that comes the culture that he […]

TCK Education-A Page from History

  Chefoo School in China was started in 1881, in the earliest days of CIM/OMF.  The dedication of teachers and resilience of students was tested to the limit during the war years.  In a fascinating BBC article, Mary Previte shares her experiences of being interned by the Japanese, sharing the prisoner of war camp with […]

Reaching the Unreached-Through Teaching

Reaching unreached peoples with the good news involves a long term commitment, often living in remote and challenging areas.  For families, creative ways of providing education are needed.  One solution is the East Asia Modular School, where Middle and High School students travel (often long distances) to attend an intensive school program for one week […]

To the Ends of the Earth

  I will also make you a light to the Gentiles that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth. —Isaiah 49:6b “It took three days of driving on bumpy roads over high mountain passes to reach the places Father God has put on our hearts. We spent four nights sleeping in […]

Home School Week

“TCKs have a precious time of learning together to supplement individual studies.”

Preparing Children for “The Big Move”

Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. —Matthew 18:5 The Orientation Course is a four week long program that new missionaries attend away from their sending country. As a part of this course, KidZone is geared to help prepare their kids adjust to the different cultures that they will encounter. […]

A Home Away From Home

 As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.  —Joshua 24:15 ‘Loving and discipling the kids of those loving and discipling Asia.’ This vision statement is how those working in the OMF Boarding Home Program in Chiang Mai, Thailand, see their ministry.  They support missionaries serving in Asia by providing a loving and […]

Education for the Kingdom | OMF Millions Magazine Jan -April 2016

As an inescapable part of life we must consider education’s place in mission, not just as it affects the lives of those in the field, but also as an opportunity through which the good news of Jesus can be shared. Contents News – CIM/OMF 150th, Refined for the Future,  Chefoo Reconsidered. Lessons from Longsuffering – […]

Chefoo Reconsidered 2016

Chefoo School once again came alive with the sound of excited voices arriving from around the world in October 2014.  A week of OMF sponsored events in Malaysia saw more than 50 former students return for a time of joyful reunion as well as processing the separation and loss experienced in their childhoods. Some had […]

Introducing Rahel

“This year blew my mind in seeing what God has done, seeing Him at work.”