Meet Your Newest Neighbors: Asians

"And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat her/him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love her/him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God" (Lev. 19:33-34, NKJV)

 Who are Asians...?

There is much we can learn about our Asian neighbors, such as how they view themselves, what they believe about family, and why they have come to America. The more we know, the greater our understanding and enjoyment of Asian individuals-and the easier it is to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them. Below are a few facts about Asians in general.

The word 'Asian' refers to a race of people, not a language or a country

They prefer to be referred to as 'Asian' or, even better, to be identified with their specific country of origin ('Indian,' 'Laotian,' 'Korean,' 'Chinese,' or 'Indonesian,' for example)

According to the 2000 Census:

(1) The total Asian population in the United States  is 11.9 million and growing fast;

(2) Asians in the United States are from more than 30 different countries of origin;

(3) Almost half of the Asian-born population have a Bachelor degree or higher, compared to 27% of the general population; and

(4) About 15% of physicians and surgeons in the United States are Asian-Americans

Each country in Asia speaks a different language; some nations like India have multiple languages and dialects within their borders

Every country has a distinctive culture and its own unique set of values. Some countries have cultures and diverse set of values within their boundaries

One shared value among all Asian nations is strong family ties; parents are willing to sacrifice for their children's education and success

Asians come to the United States for a variety of reasons:

(1) Most immigrate seeking the American dream;

(2) Some come as refugees;

(3) Some arrive as foreign students ranging from short-term language students to college-level and higher;

(4) Some seek temporary job opportunities;

(5) Some come as brides or bridegrooms to US service persons;

(6) Some are simply tourists; and

(7) Many are second- or third-generation Asians who were born and raised here

Love Thy Neighbor...

Once Asians were completely strangers totally disconnected by the Pacific, but now God has brought them to US as neighbors and coworkers to the nationals. They bring rich cultures and strong values that add flavor to their new homeland-America, the most wonderful and multi-cultural nation on planet Earth.

Anyone who has experienced what it's like to relocate from one place to another knows how we feel like strangers when we arrive. God has brought to US new neighbors that would appreciate the kindness of the nationals to them during times of transition. Pray that God would lead the nationals to relationships with the Asian neighbors in which they can share the life journey to God's kingdom. Here are some wonderful ways to build relationships that will open up opportunities to share your faith in Jesus:

Be a Neighbor: Give Asians a warm welcome; show genuine kindness, for they are strangers

Be a Student: Be open to all they can teach you. You could be pleasantly surprised at the fascinating things you learn about your Asian neighbors that may well be contrary to your current perception. Learn who they are, where they are from, and discover all you can about their rich culture and the values they hold

Be a Friend: Accept Asian people as unique, God-sent opportunities to share your life experiences, especially your faith in Jesus. Offer your assistance in times of need or just to help out

MAP International can assist you in effectively sharing the Gospel with these people groups. We exist to assist churches, associations, and conventions with ministry evangelism strategies for reaching Asian and other ethnic communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.                                         

Indebted to NAMB