When Missionaries’ Kids Become Adults – What’s Next?

Malik Dieleman
February 15 2021


As the years pass living in my home country of Canada, I have sensed a growing disconnection from my TCK (Third Culture Kid) background. My second, third, and fourth homes across the globe are more distant than they’ve ever been. Maintaining relationships from each of these places only gets harder.

And while I am deepening both my local relationships and my familiarity with Canada, I don’t feel I fully belong here, and probably never will.

There is a quiet but constant reminder that I am different; a gentle tug to be somewhere else.

My experience is not a unique one for missionaries’ kids (MKs). The truth is, the MK identity is not simply left behind when your flight lands. If you are an adult MK, your life has been full of incredible opportunities, cross-cultural experiences, and multiple transitions. You've made the transition back to Canada, perhaps multiple times. You've studied, worked, engaged in community, and you're wondering what's next?

Wilderness ReBoot

Wilderness ReBoot is designed for MKs in this stage of life; the in-betweeners who have been back in Canada for some time but feel like something is missing and are not quite settled.

This co-ed retreat for MKs between the ages of 21-35 is a great opportunity for like-minded MKs to review their life stories and be refreshed through worship and peer relationships, in order to navigate the on-going transition to Canadian life and culture with God's grace.

Through solitude, outdoor activities (horseback riding, hiking, white water rafting and more), relationships, and teaching, Wilderness ReBooters will:

  • review and celebrate their past experiences as MKs
  • refresh through worship, fun activities, and meaningful interaction
  • be empowered to reenter life with greater understanding and confidence.

What better place to embrace the complexities of life and faith than with peers - MKs with similar life experiences - all while enjoying the beautiful Alberta Rockies?

From Past ReBooters…

Not convinced? Hear from former Wilderness ReBooters themselves:

“I would recommend any MK go to Wilderness ReBoot. It is a place to find that you are not alone in the weirdness of being an MK and a safe place to share [...] It was great to take a break from the distractions of life and just focus on each activity or quiet time. Not only did we get to know each other, but each morning was dedicated to quietness. I enjoyed spending time alone with God.” -S.H.

“Wilderness ReBoot was a really cool experience. To get to hear others’ stories and feel heard myself. [The director] helped create an atmosphere in which everyone’s story, no matter if it was long or short, was seen as equally important. This, coupled with simplistic living at the doorstep of the wilderness as well as new experiences, made the week incredibly meaningful and memorable." -Virginia

“We come back to Canada and we don’t realize how disconnected we might feel. Even though we came from different parts of Canada, we were able to come together, encourage each other, hear each other’s stories, and understand each other better than some of our friends we’ve made in Canada.” - Chara

More Information & Registration

Wilderness ReBoot runs in July every year at Blue Bronna Wilderness Camp, a few hours SW of Calgary, AB.

To register or for more information on the next Wilderness ReBoot, visit Wilderness ReBoot. 

Malik Dieleman is an admin assistant with Outreach Canada, often creating promotional content for the various MORE Network events. An artist at heart, he is passionate about the relationship between art and faith. If he’s not creating graphics, videos, or photographs, you’ll most likely find Malik going on long walks, playing board games with his family, or catching up on reality television.



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