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  • Which Ancestors? - On TCK Belonging

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    You know that TCK thing where you missed certain classes because you were gone that year? I somehow managed to get through Christian international school, Christian liberal arts college and almost all the way through graduate school at a seminary without either a World History class or a Church History class! Sneaky I guess, or something… I thought this was a gap in my education, so when I had the opportunity to take such a class, almost on my way out the door of my formal education (for now at least), I took it.

    I took a class called Early Christian Symbol and Ritual at Fuller Seminary where I was enrolled for my MFT degree. While taking this class, I was also working with my own therapist, also TCK, who was helping me explore my TCK identity. I am White, I have relatives from Chicago, my mother was born in Peru and was an MK there for a while, I have Swedish lumberjack ancestors, even a real pirate whose descendants ended up in Venezuela. But, none of their places ever became my home and their stories didn’t obviously dead end into me becoming a missionary kid. “Whose story did?”, I asked. Which group of people’s history made sense of how I ended up in Papua New Guinea?

    When I learned in my Christian Symbol and Ritual class about the plates early Christians served communion on, how they lit their homes, the symbol art they made in the catacombs to describe their faith, the early Christians started to feel like real people to me. They and their descendants, the people who kept the faith and spread it became my answer to my question ”Who are my ancestors.” The Christian missionary movement in all its faithful and flawed facets best explains how I ended up in Papua New Guinea.

    Of course, “How on earth did I end up brought up the way I was?” and “Who are my ancestors?” are just a couple of questions TCKs ask. I love having these discussions with the TCKs I work with now that I am the TCK therapist. If you’re asking these questions and want a guide in the process of discovering where you belong, where and who you came from, I would love to talk to you! Please contact me.