I met Chu-En very randomly at a young adult gathering at my church. Within the first minute, we learned that I had lived in Thailand while he had lived in Taiwan. We laughed at the fact that Chu-En is often mistaken as being Thai, not Taiwanese, while people often confuse me with being born in Taiwan, not Thailand. What shocked me the most was the fact that Chu-En actually knows what a TCK is!
I’ve learned that Chu-En has a lot of great insight into life, so I was eager to feature him on this blog so you can meet him too. Here is Chu-En:
Name: Chu-En (meaning God’s grace)
Occupation: Resident ER Doctor
Places Lived: Taiwan (birth-age 1), Boston, and Maryland (age 1-7), Taiwan (age 7-18). After 18, Washington, Indiana, New York, & Pennsylvania
What kind of advice do you have for TCKs?
“Try to be enthusiastic about that culture.” and “Interact with people.” .
For TCKs who are Christians, Chu-En says, “Always depend on God as your primary source [of guidance]. ” As reflected in his name, which means “God’s Grace”, Chu-En speaks often of God’s grace towards us during all seasons of life, and His constant provision for us. One of Chu-En’s hopes in life is to speak into the lives of young adults and help them know how to listen and hear God’s voice.
“Don’t try to depend on other people for what God is meant to supply,” he says, “If you always want to be a people please-er, you will lose your identity”
What do you wish you had known or done as a younger TCK?
“That God is way more involved in every area of my life, more than just the spiritual stuff.” Chu-En further explains that it is important to know that God is also involved in our work, our school, our relationships, and our daily life. “It [our relationship with God] is not just about life and death.”
What do you wish people you meet would know about you?
“That I’m more multicultural…”
In Asia, confrontation is done by hinting and being indirect so as to avoid any unnecessary conflict.
“In the States, people don’t get hints. It’s more confrontational”
Chu-En explained that while he is in the States, people consider Chu-En less confrontational, though when he is in Taiwan, he’s considered by those around him to be more confrontational.
“If they knew I came from a different culture than them, they would know why I do what I do”
What have you noticed or learned about keeping healthy relationships with friends or family while you are transitioning?
“Find a few friends, and try to be really good friends with them. It’s better to have a few close friends than to have a lot of friends that you are superficial or shallow with”
Chu-En explains that seeking close friendships is important because those friendships will last. But trying to be friends with many people will result in more superficial
relationships that simply won’t last.
Later in our conversation, social media came up. Chu-En believes that social media is great for keeping relationships up, and then he adds, “But you can’t depend on those relationships…the only one who is portable is God”.
Having spent all of Middle and High School in Taiwan, and with your family still there, how do you feel about Taiwan right now?
“I still like it, I like the people, and I appreciate it…because I’m more invested here [in the States] I consider it more of a vacation destination where I can regroup and catch up [with family]”
Chu-En then added that he has not considered moving back to Taiwan. Instead, he sees his future here in the US.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and insights with us Chu-En!
If anyone has any questions for Chu-En or any reflections on his responses, please feel free to comment below.
I already have some great people in mind for further TCK Spotlights, so stay tuned!