“Holding on to memories of a place once called home and knowing things have changed since, can be a challenge,” says Josh Gibson, who has produced a powerful video from the perspective of a Third Culture Kid (TCK) growing up overseas.
In 2000, Josh, aged three, moved to Burkina Faso with his sister and their parents, Mark and Cheryl Gibson, who were serving with SIM UK. Josh also spent some time at boarding school in Niger, before the family returned to the UK in 2015.
“Friends often find it difficult to understand when I talk about my upbringing, which consisted of living on the edge of the desert in 50-degrees Celsius heat with water shortages, daily power cuts and the threat of terrorist attacks,” says Josh.
“This was all part of normal life for me, but it’s difficult for them to relate to as they will probably never see where I grew up. They know me now, but there’s a part of me they can never understand.”
The 23-year-old made his video, A Different Time, while working towards his degree in Theology and International Studies at All Nations Christian College in Hertfordshire.
The video features snapshots of Burkina Faso as Josh delivers a poignant poem about his experiences and memories.
“I think the hardest part is not the memories themselves, but it’s searching for the box of memories and realising how far under the bed it is hidden, and how far away that world has become.”
His video has also resonated with many TCKs around the world, who admit to forgetting or dismissing memories and experiences of their multicultural childhoods as they struggle to fit into adulthood ‘back home.’
“Sometimes it’s important to remember, even if it hurts,” insists Josh. “It’s learning to let go, whilst not forgetting and that there was a time for that and now there is a time for this.
“I don’t expect others to understand, but it’s remembering that God understands; God has seen, he was there. He’s collected those memories – the good ones and the tough – and that’s more than okay; that is enough.”
Mark and Cheryl Gibson currently work for SIM UK as the Mobiliser for Wales and our TCK Coordinator, respectively.
Watch Josh’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8z2dQR98bA
By Kerry Allan
- For TCKs to know they are just as important to God as the people group(s) their family is serving.
- That many TCKs will be encouraged by Josh’s video not to dismiss and forget their childhood experiences.
- That God will make it clear how Josh can use his videography skills after he graduates.