Look at the picture in this blog. What do you see? I see St. John’s face, the one he described in Revelations 7:9, “ I looked, and there before me was a great multitude, that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language…” He wasn’t talking about downtown New York, or Los Angeles, or Houston, or Chicago – or San Jose, California. Butt he could have.
Rev. Terry Chan was brought to America from Hong Kong as an infant. Raised in San Jose, he grew up speaking Chinese as his primary language. The interesting thing is his family had been in California since 1869. His grandmother was born in San Jose and went to high school there. After his grandmother married, her husband took her back to China, where Terry’s mother was born. When the Communists took over Terry’s family fled China for Hong Kong, and eventually northern California.
Pr. Chan became a Christian as a teenager – when a Chinese-American friend of his invited him to a youth gathering at church. The youth worker-deaconess, Carol Halter, was instrumental in his career choice – he became a certified youth worker in the Lutheran Church, and, eventually an ordained pastor. After starting several Chinese churches, Terry was called to a low income area south of San Francisco – a multi ethnic area with immigrants from China, Africa and Latin America. A “United Nations” church, and a church that demonstrates Christ’s love through weekly food distribution program – where over seven hundred people are fed each week.
I can see a multitude of different races and nationalities, being fed by a multitude of different races and nationalities. This parallels the multitude of missionaries from every area of the world – black, white, brown and yellow faces – bringing the gospel to America. is this the new face of mission?
In the last century we in America saw “mission” and “missionaries” in monochrome white. The new face of mission is a rich, vibrant hue of many colors. Psalm 96: “The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory.” And, as amazing, all peoples proclaim his glory.