Monday, February 8, 2010

a little late: Imago Dei

hello! i'm sorry for the lateness but i wanted to mention that i was at Imago Dei this past weekend in ohio! Imago Dei was Great Lakes East's first Asian American student leadership conference in 5 years! i was involved with the planning up until i left the region, and i was delighted that i was able to participate as a small group leader. i also helped with the print materials/graphics. :)

Asian American ministries in Great Lakes East has been growing in the past 5 years. back in 2005 when we had our last conference, there were only 2 Asian American specific chapters and a few full-time Asian American staff. now there are 5 chapters and about 8 staff! God has really been at work in building up this ministry.

the conference focused on leadership development, because the planning team had discerned that this was the greatest need for our students. we wanted to emphasize that as Asian Americans, we have unique gifts and opportunities to be leaders in our communities and in the world.

kathy khang, multiethnic ministries director of Great Lakes West, was our main speaker. we were also blessed to have james choung, newly appointed National Asian American Ministries director with us during the weekend to share and speak. along with about 20 staff and volunteers, there were over 100 students from Lansing, Ann Arbor, Columbus, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

(Imago Dei staff and volunteers!)

this conference felt different than the many others i have been to. there was an energy of openness and enthusiasm that was perhaps generated from the group being predominantly Asian American. students were affirmed in their identity as Asian Americans and for some, it was the first time they had been told that their Asian American-ness is a reflection of God that is unique, purposeful, and very good. students spent time repenting and receiving healing prayer; they were challenged to make the choice to identify with Christ even while walking the line between differing cultural values.

overall, Imago Dei was a time to affirm who we are in Christ as Asian Americans, to celebrate God's gifts to us, and to decide to take the next step of using all that we are, including our ethnic identity, for the glory of God. i am overjoyed at what i saw God do in individuals and communities! praise God with me for changing lives and empowering students to be leaders. (a special praise for a new young sister in Christ from MSU!)

you can continue to pray for Asian American ministry in Great Lakes East. pray that students who attended Imago Dei would follow through in the decisions they made, and also that the chapters they represent would grow in their awareness of ethnic identity, resulting in further development as leaders and world-changers. and pray that new Asian American staff would be raised up from this generation of students!

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