What is CHIPs Compass?
Your entire family has been called to serve in cross-cultural ministry. Whether they will work directly in ministry or not, your whole family—including children, no matter their ages—will face significant changes and challenges as you work for the cause of the Gospel in new cultures. MTI understands the unique issues that kids face and we’re ready to equip your entire family for your calling.
While parents attend Compass, CHIPs objectives parallel the Compass objectives. This creates natural talking points and allowing families to continue the learning process together in the evening…all while having fun!
Giving Kids & Teens Language to Express their Experiences
When kids embark on cross-cultural experiences that are too hard to explain to others who have never “been there,” they often shut down or lock up relationally. Although this is also true of adults, it can be especially paralyzing or confusing for kids. Learning with other kids who have “been there,” along with CHIPs facilitators who put names to common reactions, often liberates and unlocks the child’s positive outlook on life and the sense of being loved and cared for by God.
Answers Common Questions from Kids & Parents
For 60 years, Mission Training International has been helping parents prepare their children for what lies ahead. Kids ask a million questions. Why are we going? Why us? What will it really be like? Will I like it? Who will be my new friends? Will I still fit in? How will I talk when I don’t know the language? What can I bring with me when we go? There’s days I don’t want to go… is that OK? Is it OK to ask these questions again?
CHIPs will help you find answers to these and other typical behavioral responses from kids. Our goal is to empower parents to value their kids’ questions and internal world, responding in ways that will keep the family close and unified. After all, perhaps the brightest beacon of witness in any culture is a family in which Christ’s love, grace, and forgiveness is readily evident.
What Others Say:
I went through the CHIPs program and learned that I am a Third Culture Kid (TCK). CHIPs helped me to understand what it means to live in one culture and be ‘from’ another. I found that it’s okay if I don’t fully understand the culture of my parents. My culture is my culture and it is a combination of my parent’s culture and the culture where I have grown up.CHIPs Alumnus
The CHIPs team gave us more ideas, resources and insights of our children. The program was wonderful, giving both the kids and us vocabulary to identify feelings.Compass Parent Alumnus
Our certified CHIPs teachers facilitate the program in five different age-clusters, maximizing the effectiveness for each age group. Age groupings may be adjusted per program according to the needs of the children coming to Compass:
Nursery (6-week-olds through 1 year-olds)
While parents participate in training sessions, loving, experienced caregivers establish a warm and stable environment for the 6-week-olds through 1-year-olds. Parents can be called readily as needed or, in coordination with adult training staff, infants can spend some time with their parents during the adult training. (For the health and welfare of infants, we request that they be at least 6-weeks-old before attending Compass.)
Beginnings (2 and 3 year olds)
Toddlers will have an opportunity to debrief through age-appropriate play and activities. Books, crafts and objects with memory triggers will be used to help them process what they experienced living overseas. The program includes napping facilities.
Discovery (4 to 6 year olds)
This age group will have made connections with the people and culture in which their families have served. Activities and crafts will help facilitate processing their experiences and feelings. Each child will be given specific time to share their unique story.
Breakthrough (7 to 12 year olds)
Breakthrough kids are experiencing and beginning to put together their own unique story. They are seeking to be heard and to find others who have had similar experiences. Daily modules will facilitate their stories within frame works of make and break issues that TCKs face in transition.
Teens (13 year olds to High School Graduation)
For teens, the transition from one culture to another is complex. They are grieving losses, wrestling with their identity and seeking to find their own place to fit. Our goals are to provide a safe place to process where they are in their journey and to validate their experiences and feelings. The modules are designed to help teens process their experiences, relationships, and feelings within complex transitions.
No Program for Young Adult Children (Those who have completed High School)
MTI does not have a specialized program for young adults exiting high school. It is much better for them to debrief with others their age! Please contact email@example.com for information on alternative programs designed especially for young adults.