Join us this month in taking some Next Steps to engage and learn during

Asian American Pacific Islander Month.

Pray

Heavenly Father, thank you for the beautiful mosaic that is your creation.  Help us to see not just our piece of the picture, but the whole beautiful portrait.  Help us to remember that everyone is your child, and should be loved, as you love.  Lord help us to remember that despite our different languages, heritages, beliefs, or skin colors, you will meet us where we are and that those differences are tiny when compared to your grace and love. Lord, we ask you to protect our Asian brothers and sisters as they continue to deal with cowardly, hateful, and ignorant attacks, both mentally and physically.  Lord, as we celebrate AAPI month, help us open our ears, eyes, and hearts to their contributions, not only on earth but also within the body of Christ. Father for this we thank and praise you. 

In the Name of Jesus, 

Amen 

Examine

The first Asian immigrants arrived in the U.S. in 1587 when Filipinos first began migrating to California. Immigrants continued to come from the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands through 1920 when the first Samoans were documented in Hawaii. 

However, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are most known for the key role they played in American history since the first Chinese immigrants arrived in the U.S. in the 1850s following the California Gold Rush.  

Then in 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and the contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. Finally, in 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration that is now known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. 

We celebrate alongside our AAPI brothers and sisters the many ways they have impacted our history. Take some time to get quiet with the Lord and ask Him to examine your heart and remove anything that would disconnect you from our Asian & Pacific Island brothers and sisters. 

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.

 

Act

Make a difference in our community by joining us to supply books that reflect the faces, impact and history of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month for Mary Castle Elementary.  

Learn

Learn more by listening to some helpful voices that work in the area of racial reconciliation via the Podcasts below.

If you want to continue learning about other perspectives so you can embrace God’s heart towards all people, we suggest these books: 

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott 

Crying in H-Mart by Michelle Zauner