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22: Third Culture Kids

Guest: Michèle Phoenix

Michèle Phoenix is known around the world as an advocate for Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and the children of missionaries. Listen in for a glimpse into the world of TCKs!



  • “Passport culture plus adoptive culture(s) equals Third Culture Kid (TCK).”
  • “Because I have those two cultures in me, my closest sense of belonging is with others who are, like me, multiculturally formed in their formative years. There’s a misconception that third culture is actually my individual third culture that I form out of the two that shaped me [...] but actually the term means that we find belonging with others who are also third cultured.”
  • “My differences were similar to their differences, and that I wasn’t weird; I was a TCK.”
  • “Mostly belonging in multiple places increases their skillset; it makes them bridge builders.”
  • “To ask them to figure out what is uniquely one culture and uniquely another in the way they think and in the way they think, even in the way they speak, is going to be a real challenge for them.”
  • “Something that feels fairly minor to a monocultural adult who has lived multiculturally for a while might feel like this tidal wave of all of these emotions coming back to the TCK or MK.”
  • Article: Nine Tips for Living Well in a Season of Grief
  • “The enormity of the blessing and the strength that comes from growing up as a TCK is immeasurable.  You have blessed them in ways that you probably won’t ever be able to fully realize.”
  • “Generalizations about TCKs are not always entirely helpful, but knowing what the majority of them tend toward I think can be a really helpful thing in mentoring them and walking with them.”
  • “Because of our experience seeing things done differently in other parts of the world [...] we can start to draw people from their highly selective clusters toward each other.”
  • Learn more about Michèle’s ministry here!
What's changing our lives:
  • Keane: Reading more than one book at a time
  • Heather: The Next Right Thing Journal by Emily P. Freeman
  • Michèle: Four Tiny-Small Questions for the Quarantine-Weary
    • What small thing can I do that will make me feel alive in this moment?
    • What small thing can I do to take some sting out of this day?
    • What small thing can I do to make today feel purposeful?
    • What small thing can I do today that will connect me with God?
We'd love it if you would subscribe, rate, review, and share this show! And as always, you can reach us at podcast@teachbeyond.org. See you next Friday!
05 Mar 21
by kfine