TCK Voices: An American-at-Heart South African 

Today we have Kristianne with us! Welcome, Kristianne!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the different cultures you are part of?

My family has been missionaries in Africa from the time I was very young, and we’ve lived in South Africa for the past eight years. I’m the oldest of five siblings, and I’m a senior in high school. As for my interests, I enjoy reading, writing, blogging, and playing piano and violin. 

My family is originally from the United States, but I identify with South African culture quite a lot. Although I consider South Africa my childhood home, I also don’t feel like I totally fit in here because I’m still American at heart.

Kristianne Hassman

What is an advantage of being a TCK?

One big advantage that comes to mind immediately is that it has helped me to be more understanding and compassionate toward other people who are struggling. Because I can understand what it’s like to be lonely, insecure, and anxious, I’m able to empathize more with others and reach out to them with the love of Christ. 

What is the hardest thing about being a TCK?

I’ve really struggled to make friends over the years. Because I’ve moved around a lot, there are very few people I know well enough to be good friends with. And most of my friendships are long-distance, which takes a lot of energy and commitment to keep up. It can be really discouraging when other people don’t try to keep up their side of the relationship and so often, I’m tempted to just give up.

What is one thing you learned from being a TCK?

I’ve learned to appreciate different cultures and people more. As I’ve been able to experience cultures that are different from American culture, I’ve discovered that each culture has something beautiful to it that we could all learn from.

How has being a TCK influenced your faith?

I’ve discovered what a faithful Friend God is. I’ve grown closer to Him, especially during the times when He was my only true Friend. I’ve also come to realize how weak I am and how utterly and completely I need Christ to sustain me. I understand 2 Corinthians 12:9 better now because of my experiences as a TCK: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

What is one thing you would like to tell your fellow TCKs?

As a child of God, you can rest in the fact that your identity is grounded in Christ alone. You no longer have to be insecure about your identity. You don’t have to worry about fitting into a certain culture, or what people might think of you. The only thing that matters is what Jesus thinks of you, and He loves you just the way you are. Isn’t that so wonderfully freeing?

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Kristianne! 

Have some thoughts?

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