Listen - Q&A with E91 Member Michelle Ho
What does Asian Pacific American Heritage Month mean to you?
In the busyness of life, it's easy to forget the sacrifices and trials that many in the AAPI community have made and endured to this point. The very struggles that have broken down obstacles and stereotypes and strengthened the resolve of the generations ahead to keep moving forward towards acceptance and progress. This month reminds me to be mindful and not to lose hope for a more accepting future.
How do you connect Asian Pacific American Heritage Month to your spiritual life?
Living in a predominantly white/caucasian area, I am almost always the minority in the room. Spiritually, it is becoming more common to be the only Christian in the room too. This can be uncomfortable but it is also an opportunity. We are called to live countercultural lifestyles; to be a light. I think it’s possible to be a light that shines for Christianity and for our God-provided ethnicity. I believe we can advocate for both through love and acceptance, overcoming the darkness of rejection.
What do you want your brother and sisters within the church to know and/or do about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month?
My only ask is to have respect for the differences that other cultures have. Differences can sometimes lead to conflict and division. I’m hoping that a focus on Asian heritage can lead to unity. Finding appreciation for the good in other cultures helps to build that appreciation. There are many things I could say about the positive advances that Asians have made, but I’d prefer not to preach. I’d prefer that everyone befriend an Asian and get to know them on a personal level. Respect and understanding begin at the individual level, and building a one-on-one relationship is a fantastic way to accomplish that.
If you have a close friend who is a person of Asian or Pacific Island descent, take this time to ask them what this history month means to them. Remember to be an active listener, listening to understand, not to respond. If you don’t have anyone you can ask, we've included some video links below.