Press Release: February 23, 2021

A Cultural Conundrum

Michaela spent her childhood in Ghana, growing up as a third-culture kid.

Mission service is not about just one person traveling overseas to do God’s work. It often requires a commitment from an entire family—husband, wife and children. (Not to mention the extended family back in the U.S.) Over the years, dozens of children have been brought up on the mission field: many have been born overseas. Children who are raised in a culture other than that of their parents are often referred to as “third-culture kids”.

Because the health, education and welfare of these third-culture kids is of paramount importance to Lutheran Bible Translators (LBT), care is taken to make sure they have a safe, secure home environment while growing up. But eventually they return to the U.S. What happens then?

Michaela Federwitz, the daughter and granddaughter of LBT missionaries, grew up in Ghana, West Africa, but returned to the U.S. to attend high school. Following graduation in May, she will travel to Cameroon, West Africa, to care for the children of LBT Canada missionaries Rev. Mike and Kara Kuhn.

So how do you adapt as a third-culture kid when returning to live in the U.S.? Your passport says you’re a U.S. citizen, but you’ve never lived in this country. How do you relate to your American peers when you have no shared or common experiences? What do you say when asked ‘where are you from’? Just where is home?

Listen to LBT’s podcast, Third-Culture Kid Perspective, to learn the answers to these questions and more. And consider supporting Michaela or one of LBT’s missionary families. Click here for a list of giving opportunities.

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