LEGACY 2023 (Asian American Ministry)
Asian American Ministries
Swarthmore has a Christian Fellowship group that works closely with the InterVarsity community. Due to this, whenever there's an event hosted by InterVarsity that's close enough, we (the people of the Swarthmore Christian Fellowship) are the first to be notified.
A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with my prayer buddy, Isabella. While we were on the topic of activities related to our faith, she told me that there was an Asian American Ministry happening and that I should sign up for it, too.
The dates and times of the event aligned perfectly with everything else going on in my life, which meant that I was able to go. There were three other students from Swarthmore going there with me. Students from different schools came over -- some even drove two/three hours in the morning all the way from Maryland to join the ministry. There were also some neighbors, too, for example, someone from Bryn Mawr and the University of Delaware.
The fact that 30-something students were all gathered under the name of God to worship Him and learn about the Bible made my heart warm. We were at the Trinity Community Church of Delaware. It was such a beautiful place -- the church itself was quite big but also, the hills and river that surrounded the church were a pleasant sight to see.
We had lunch and dinner there, and both meals were phenomenal. Lunch was all homemade, with the most magnificent mac and cheese, pulled pork sandwich, and cake. Dinner was very special because the people of the Trinity Community Church had made their specialty Asian dishes and brought them over so that we could enjoy food that reminded us of home. I really liked the Kimchi they had, since I was craving something spicy and sour.
The worship team, only composed of two people, was amazing. They poured their heart and soul into the praises which made the start of the event much more blissful. I learned some new worship songs that I immediately added to my playlist!
We had a speaker come in to talk about what it's like being Asian American, but also, Christian. The Bible verses we focused on were the whole of 1 Samuel, Chapter 17. This part, for those who might not be familiar with the Bible, is when a young boy, David, volunteers to confront the giant Goliath in a one-to-one battle.
Goliath swore that if someone from the army of Israel were to defeat him, Israel would rule over the Philistines. But if it were the other way around (and it sure seemed to be the likelier option), the Philistines would make slaves out of the people of Israel.
When David went over to the battlefield to give his brothers some food to eat, he heard that there were no volunteers. Without a moment of hesitation, he decides to go ahead. The fact that David chose five stones and his sling over a full suit of armor that King Saul offered shows his unwavering faith in God.
And the speaker focused on the fact that David knew exactly who he was. A child of God, a boy whose faith was much bigger than the biggest soldier of the enemy. The key takeaway from this talk was that sometimes, it's hard to truly be who we are -- Asian/Asian Americans, Christians -- when facing the world. But if we take a step forward in God, there is nothing that can stop us, as God will personally see us through whatever we do.
One little adventure that I had was when I went outside for a walk with my newfound friends. I was up and down the hill when I found something. Along the slope of the hill, there was a particular ditch that seemed to hold a lot of rare-looking pebbles. These were shiny, too, instead of the dull, black pebbles that are more common. I was very excited to find these and took back a few to show my friends. After a few hours, towards the end of the event, I took one of my friends down to where I found those pebbles but even after going around the hillside for 20 minutes, I couldn't locate it! It seemed like the ditch covered itself up so that no one else could find the remaining pebbles. And I couldn't have been mistaken about the place because I really did search for it thoroughly (it was a noticeable ditch). That whole thing was such a weird experience.
On the car ride back home, we were doing some worship-song-carpool-karaoke. It made the whole ride go by much faster. I was grateful that I had a group of friends like these to worship God together even during my school year. The LEGACY event happens every other year, and I'm already excited for the next time I'll be going there!