A local church relationship can mean a world of difference to a TCK’s college experience and transition. It’s an exciting and much-needed mission field right in your own community
Become a TCK-friendly Church
Help a TCK during the Coronavirus Pandemic
As many universities have already closed their school for an indefinite of time, consider hosting a TCK or international student that can’t go home.
Connect your church with a MuKappa Chapter
As part of the local church, you can create a relationship with your area’s college and university’s third culture kids [TCK] and international student population through MuKappa, making them feel welcome and surrounded by a caring community of adults and resources.
Begin by looking on the chapter map to see if a group exists near you, and then make contact with the faculty advisor or a student either in person or through the email provided.
Along with the MuKappa chapter, determine how best you and your church can serve the TCKs throughout the year. Areas of support often include:
- Transportation such as airport pickups or Walmart runs
- Hosting meals or events at your church or family homes
- Hospitality and lodging for TCKs over breaks
- Guidance and support with shopping, obtaining winter clothing or even getting a driver’s license
- Providing a place for them to store things over the summer
All of the MuKappa staff members have experience talking to churches about TCKs and how to care for them well. Contact the MuKappa team for informal or formal training, or any questions related to caring for TCKs.
Provide financial and practical support for a TCK
Sponsor a TCK at a summer Transition Seminar
The transition to college in North America for TCKs is huge. While all young people find significant adjustments as they move from high school to college, the transition to another culture at the same time makes this transition particularly challenging.
MuKappa is a ministry of Barnabas International, the sponsor of an annual TCK Transition Seminar. Designed for TCKs who have just completed their high school experience overseas, the seminar provides helpful tools that prepare students for the transition back into life and college in North America. This is an opportunity to build relationships with other TCKs and at the same time learn and discuss various issues related to the transition experience.
Consider a spot in your missions budget or allow adult classes to sponsor the registration fee for a TCK to attend.
Discover the details at Transition Seminar.
Donate a Car
At some point in college, most students need a car. Some need it to get to internships or student teaching or off-campus employment. Others don’t need one until after they graduate.
Consider helping a TCK buy a car, which is difficult for them when parents are on another continent. You could help them with a down payment or perhaps donate a car so they do not have to take out another loan along with possible student loans.
TCKs beginning college usually have not had the opportunity in their countries to have a job and save money for college. Your church can bridge that gap by providing funds for college scholarships for one or more years of a student’s college experience. These students may be from missionary families your church already supports, or students arriving annually and referred through your MuKappa Chapter.
Sponsor A Trip “Home”
The holidays, in particular are difficult for college-age TCKs as they are usually separated from their parents and siblings. While they have extended family (grandparents, aunts and uncles) who can host them, it’s really not the same. Consider a gift to help them with that plane ticket “home” for a visit.
Offer a “Home away from Home”
Make sure your college student TCKs have a place to go for breaks or even a weekend off once in a while. If you are close to the college they attend, invite them to be a part of your church family. They need a place of community, and as you have built a relationship with their family over the years, be sure to include the TCKs at this important time of their lives.
Remember that when you help their kids, you are an incredible encouragement to their parents, often enabling them to stay on the field and involved in the ministry that you already participate in as a supporting church.