OC hosts Global Reunion for missionary children

Last year's Global Reunion brought families from all over the world to OC.
Last year's Global Reunion brought families from all over the world to OC.

Children of missionary families from 30 countries will attend Global Reunion 2013 at Oklahoma Christian University, July 24-28.

The camp is for children, commonly referred to as Third Culture Kids (TCKs), who are in a stage of cross-cultural living.

“Third Culture Kids are not re-entering the U.S., rather they are entering a culture that may be ‘home’ to mom and dad, but is actually unknown to them in many ways,” said Nancy Hartman, camp director and former missionary to Australia. “Often, the children who have American parents look and sound like Americans and are expected to ‘know and understand’ an American culture that is foreign for them.”

At Global Reunion, campers learn to deal with the grief, hidden losses, identity confusion and divided loyalties that can accompany cross-cultural moves. Hartman said the camp is also filled with fun activities that will help the campers embrace their situation and thrive in it.

“The biggest highlight is being able to share with people who understand. I always leave feeling encouraged, understanding myself better and having made more friends who understand what it means to be me, knowing I'm not alone in my troubles,' said Michelli Ford Keith, one of the camp coordinators and a TCK from Brazil who will graduate from Oklahoma Christian in December.

Parents may attend concurrent sessions designed to help their children adjust to a cross-cultural lifestyle.

This is the eighth year for the camp that this year brings almost 100 participants from Brazil, Chile, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Rwanda and other countries.

Global Reunion is co-hosted by OC along with InterMission, a group of former missionaries committed to missionary care, and Memorial Road Church of Christ.