New Updates on My Journey


Dear Friend,

Much has happened in my life for the past six weeks. And today, I can finally type my own blog post. The last article was drafted in June actually. The draft and the two guest posts helped me when I needed it. Thank you for your articles, Katja and Breanne, and I thank the Lord for His perfect time. If you haven’t read Katja’s personal writing journey and Breanne’s TCK article on citizenship, please do so.

Currently, I have a mountain of writing projects and non-writing related tasks waiting for me. I’ll thus be posting blog articles twice a month starting from this week. If I can’t, I’ll post as and when I’m able to. Here are quick updates on where I am in my journey:


I’ve returned to blogging, and Book F (written to maintain contact with my close friends). God willing, I may resume my fiction projects after I completed several letters for Book F. Other than that, I’ve resumed drafting articles to be submitted to other channels.

TCK Email Ministry

It’s continuing as usual by God’s grace. Any other update will be sent through the emails. Although they’re for Christian TCKs, any Christian would find them applicable. You can read sample letters here. If you want to receive emails every month, you can register here.

Content Editing Lessons

The editing lessons I’ve been taking taught me significantly in both crafting and editing. Also, I’ve been reading other writers’ projects, and giving them tips to help improve their craft. I subsequently learned a lot from all of these, especially from my mistakes. Funny how that works.

And there you have it folks! How about you? How are you doing in your journey? And do you need me to pray for you?

Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo Choo Train

P.S. You may be wondering why I post in letter format. I started using Dear Friend and Very Sincerely Yours in the letters I wrote to my close friends (Book F). Then I decided to use the format in my blog, and articles published elsewhere.


Clarissa is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she’d lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds, and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry. Or read more posts.

Guest Post: Citizens of Heaven

Guest Posts, TCK's Articles

Dear Friend,

This week, we have TCK guest writer, Breanne Eckman! She contributed this encouraging piece for the TCK Email Ministry.

When someone asks you where you are from, what do you say?

My answer looks something like this: Well, ethnically I’m from X country, and both my parents are from there. But actually, my dad grew up in Y country, and I grew up in Z country. 

I have a passport from a certain country, therefore I am its citizen, but I’m not very patriotic. I don’t share many similar views with the people of that country. Thus, I don’t feel like I belong there. Instead, I live in a different country. I adore it immensely, love the people, and yet I’m not its citizen. I don’t belong there either. So,

Where do I belong?

That’s the question every human tries to answer. Many do find their answer. However, TCKs tend to not really know. This can be frustrating to them. But for us Christian TCKs, it’s different. 


Because the Bible tells us that our identity is in Christ, and our citizenship is in Heaven.

Our Identity: If We Don’t Belong, Who Are We?

As TCKs, we’re different. Some people love that, and others hate it. We can tend to find our identity in our TCK-ness. We try to tell people that they don’t get us because we’re different. We wrap up who we are in the fact that we’re different. As a result, we can be defensive. We can have self-pity because we don’t belong, or we can get rebellious when people talk about our passport country as home, since to us, it isn’t. 

Where is our identity first found? Are we first TCKs, or first Christians? 

The answer is pretty simple, but it’s important. First and foremost, we belong to Jesus. 

How does that change our relationships? 

If we belong to Jesus, we love others who belong to Him as well. That includes the person who hasn’t left their town their entire life. That includes the person who seems to know nothing about the “outside world”. That includes the billionth person who asks you how life is like where you live.

We love them completely. Christ gave His life up for billions of people who can never understand Him. He is God, and we’re not. If Jesus could love like that, we need to love others who honestly, can understand us more than how we could understand Jesus. 

Citizens of Heaven

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” 

Philippians 3:20-21 KJV

The old English meaning of conversation is the place where one lives (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2020). In Greek, conversation is politeuma, meaning community or citizenship (Bible Study Tools, 2020). In the context of this verse, the idea is that there are two spheres: the earthly world, and the heavenly world. Returning to the verse which reads, “For our conversation is in heaven”, we conclude that we don’t belong here. Our community, our citizenship, our home is in Heaven.

Most Christians aren’t TCKs. Whether they are Canadian or Kenyan or Turkish or Singaporean, they’ve grown up in the same place their whole lives. They have roots. They have a culture, an ethnic or patriotic community. They have a sense of belonging. 

But the thing is, all Christians are citizens of Heaven. None of us truly belong here. We have a better Home. 

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

Hebrews 11:13-16 KJV

This passage comes after the “Hall of Faith”, as many people call it in Hebrews chapter 11. It lists the numerous heroes of the faith from the Old Testament. The passage is talking about them. They sought a better country. A heavenly country. A country where every nation will come together and will be one people. God’s people. 

What Our TCK Lives Teach Us

I think TCKs have an advantage. We don’t belong, anywhere really, on this earth. I’ve heard many TCKs call themselves “global citizens”. However, Christian TCKs don’t belong anywhere on this earth. Being a Christian TCK is a blessing. Because we’re not attached to any country 100%, we long for a better one. Thus, we can comprehend better that our citizenship is in heaven as compared to someone who has never left their town their whole life long. 

And just think about it! A country where all ethnic groups, all cultures, all languages will live together, as neighbours, praising God! Is that a comfort to a TCK soul or what?


Image by Breanne Eckman

Breanne Eckman is a 16-year-old writer, artist, sister, TCK, and Jesus-follower.  She wrote Painful Goodbyes Are Good. In the future, she will have a section in her blog dedicated to TCKs. You can also find her on Instagram @breannewrites.

Want to receive TCK letters in your email and access all letters? Register here.
For more sample letters, read here.


Conversation. 2020. In Online Etymology Retrieved August 17, 2020, from

Politeuma. 2020. In Bible Study Retrieved August 17, 2020, from

I Lived My Whole Life Through Grief

TCK's Articles

Dear Friend,

Grief is not a stranger to me. It followed me since I was a child. It contacted me hundreds of times. I’m exhausted. Sick of crashing into It. Whenever I move, It hits me.

But staying put in one country doesn’t avoid it for it’ll occur again. Either when someone close to me leaves Earth, or when another trigger happens. Flooding me with past memories of countries I used to live in.

I’ll be moving again this year. Which means Grief will again fill me with pain and sorrow. It probably started already. But there’s Someone else with me,


I accepted that I’ll continue to live through grief. I accepted that He allows it for a purpose (Romans 8:28). That grief will fill me with sorrow only for me to empty myself to Him.

So that He’ll fill my life with Comfort, Love, Hope. . .

and Joy.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows …”

Isaiah 53:4 KJV


“… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Psalm 30:5 KJV

Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train


Clarissa is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she’d lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds, and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry. Or read more posts.

My Home Is Not Here

TCK's Articles

Dear Friend,

Today, I encountered a well-written article describing TCKs such as me in a nutshell (Mayberry, 2016). I hope it would give you a better understanding of people who grew up in multiple countries. While reading it, I stumbled upon a quote from a fellow TCK:

“Everyone knew everyone and no one knew me.”

(Tapp, 2016)

That was exactly how I felt when I moved to Singapore, my birth country, in 2010. Being born there, I felt the expectations of society and myself that I need to fit in because I was born a local, but I couldn’t. I could try to fake it, but that meant lying to people and to God. So I presented myself sincerely.

However, my different accents and behaviors possibly made some locals think I’m faking it or that I’m too proud of my background that I refuse to change myself. My lack of patriotism to Singapore (I’m not patriotic to any country) made me feel guilty, and that I shouldn’t even have a local identification card.

It took me two years to adapt to the place that was supposed to be my “home” partly because I was caught in between these: being foreign and being a local that I should be. I struggled with my identity.

My long adaptation also resulted from this preconception: I already have an established social community there. I didn’t. I moved out of Singapore when I was five. I didn’t attend their local schools nor did I grew up in the same socio-cultural environment as them. In other words, I didn’t share the same childhood.

Thus, I barely had connections outside my relatives. I eventually decided to treat Singapore as I would to other countries I’d lived in. By simply adapting without changing myself. Then I made new friends (again) by being the friend Christ wanted me to be.

My irregular puzzle shape doesn’t fit in not only Singapore, but also any other country. I may not be completely a Singaporean, a Korean, a Chinese, a Czech, or an American (I say this due to my education). My accent and behavior may consist of five cultural parts, but I’m not any of them. I’m a person just like you in God’s eyes.

My rootlessness ultimately drove me to depend on Christ instead on my “homes” and the “national identities” I picked up. That being said, I formed the two statements:

I may be rootless, yet my root is in Christ. I may not call any country my home, yet His Home is my Home.

His Home is the best Home because I will be with Him for eternity (Hebrews 11:16). After all, everything on earth is temporal, including countries and national identities.

Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train

P.S. Friend, regardless of your being a TCK or not, where is your home? And what is your identity?

Mayberry, K. “Third Culture Kids: Citizens of everywhere and nowhere.” November 19, 2016. In BBC Worklife. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from

Tapp, G. 2016. Quoted in Mayberry, K. “Third Culture Kids: Citizens of everywhere and nowhere.” November 19, 2016. In BBC Worklife. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from


Clarissa is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she’d lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds, and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry. Or read more posts.

An Invitation for You

The Invitation

Dear Friend,

I’m giving you an invitation enclosed below to join me and others our journeys as TCKs and ATCKs. Once accepted, I will email you a letter twice a month starting from July. Upon receiving it, you will travel with God and us through times of grief & joy, uncertainty & certainty, the past & present, and introspection & observation.

Boundaries are boundless, and cultures are clothes in my world.

Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train

P.S. “A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture. The third culture kid builds relationships to all the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the third culture kid’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of the same background, other TCKs.” (Pollock and Van Reken, 2009)

P.P.S. Curious to read sample letters? Click here.

~ Invitation ~

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Success! You’re on the list.

Pollock, D.C., & Van Reken, R.E. (2009). Third culture kids: The experience of growing up among worlds. Boston: Nicholas Brealy.


Clarissa is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she’d lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds, and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry. Or read more posts.