When I first started my journey with Cru I really didn’t think that I would be much more than a spiritual guide to college students. But after five great years with Epic Movement, I’ve come to realize that I am much more than that. I am to many of my Asian American brothers and sisters, a cultural guide as well.
I had that typical Chinese upbringing where the values imparted to me where education, job and wealth were to bring me life. A good education would bring me a job of status and that would equate into a large salary. Having the means to buy anything and to take care of my entire family, across multiple generations, would translate that I was a success. That I was the pride and joy of my family and that I had done my duty as a son, husband and father.
I know I am not alone in that story. Many of my Asian American family share in a similar upbringing. Many of us believe in that gospel and put everything we have in pursuit of the Asian American dream. I was on that path – until I met Jesus.
I did not pursue my medical degree. I did not become a doctor. I wanted to do full time ministry. My parents were supportive. Their main concern was how I would get paid and would I have enough? I am thankful, everyday that I do have enough. And that everyday that I don’t go asking them for money for anything is another day that I get to pronounce God’s goodness and faithfulness to them. But I also know that this part of my story isn’t common.
I know now that I wasn’t meant to be a doctor. I do not carry the passion nor the intellect to treat a patient. It was not what God intended for me and my life – I wasn’t made to save people’s lives (not in the medical sense). And as I survey the students that are involved in our movements and what they are studying, and what their career aspirations are, I can tell that they still cling to a dream that doesn’t necessarily reflect their passions or their own giftings. There is still that pursuit of education for the sake of a job that pays well.
My hope and dream is that one day we’ll see a generation of Asian Americans raised up by their parents not to just pursue a career for the sake of it. My hope is that we’ll see a generation of Asian American parents who will first and foremost teach their sons and daughters about Jesus and to help them discover their true calling in life, whether that would be to be a doctor or a fire fighter, an engineer or a secretary. I want to see that generation really and truly know who they are, who God intended them to be and in doing so, know who God truly is too. To know God is to know yourself and to know yourself is to truly know God.
I sense that we are on that we are already on that path. I hope I am alive to see that dream come true, starting with my own children.