Stories of Multiethnicity
Updated: 3 hours 35 min ago
Assimilation is a powerful force, and hard to resist. I learned this watching Star Trek. Turns out it’s true, even in our culture that professes a love of diversity and individuality. There are forces out there working hard to make us think alike, act alike, talk alike. All too often our culture only pays lip service to diversity; it’s secretly been backing assimilation all along.
The last thing I want to do is perpetuate a stereotype. Every now and then I meet someone who still thinks Native Americans have a “special connection” with the earth—that they can talk to animals or put their ear to the ground and hear a herd of buffalo coming from ten miles away.
Each of us wears cultural lenses.
Our culture lenses shape our worldview, our relationships, our behavior … even the way we read the Bible.
Think about that: your cultural lenses may distort your reading of the Bible. But your cultural lenses may also serve as a gift to your community. They’re wild things, these cultural lenses.
I felt a thrill when I heard the news, and dashed off a couple of Facebook messages to my Argentine friends. I also clicked the Like button all down my newsfeed. Like. Like. Like. Like. Comment. Like. Share.
On February 9, Richard Twiss left this earth and entered his true, eternal home. We know he is now in the physical presence of the Lord and Savior he loved so deeply and served so well.
He left behind a legacy that is very much alive. It's impossible to measure the breadth of his ministry, and the number of ways God worked through him. On Sunday, many who knew and loved him will give testimony to his influence by gathering to celebrate his life.
Even though I am Navajo, I didn’t grow up in a household that practiced the traditional ways. I was raised believing in God and going to church every Sunday, but I never took any of it to heart. I was just listening to my parents, doing what I was told. I never questioned them or had the urge to search for God on my own. God wasn’t a big deal to me.
Reverend Dr. Soong-Chan Rah worked for a number of years as an InterVarsity staff member before joining a church-planting team in Washington, D.C. He is formerly the founding senior pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, a multiethnic church committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context.
My first encounter with racial reconciliation occurred at Duke University. Black students coordinated a sit-in at the administrative building to encourage dialogue around racial issues on campus. Some of us who weren’t Black joined them.
“Papa, can you tell me that story again about the big ships?”
Maya is four years old, and she loves to hear stories. They can be about the gospel. They can be historical. They can be made up. They can be completely outrageous.
They don’t even have to have a happy ending.
When you hear the word multiethnicity, what comes to mind?
Your childhood neighborhood?
Your college circle of friends?
The ethnic sections of the grocery store?
People often ask me what my ethnicity is. Usually they assume I am Chinese—or Korean, if they have never met a Korean person before. When I reply that I am Vietnamese, they go on to ask why my last name is Lee instead of Le.
This week, news broke about a fraternity at Duke University who hosted a racist theme party. When I read the article from Duke and the subsequent blogs and comments, many emotions ran through me: shame, anger, frustration, and sadness—in part because I am a sorority woman and on staff with Greek InterVarsity. My calling is to serve Greek students and help them encounter Christ within the Greek system.