10.13.2012

Inter(national) (Di)Varsity

http://content.eyeslipsface.com/upload/images/skintypes.jpgMost of my grade school friends were Asians.  Among my outsized 13-person high school crew was all Asians except one white guy.  It was what I was most comfortable with. 

Heading off to college, at a school that was less than 10 percent Asian the year before my freshman year, I decided to apply for housing on the "East Asia House" floor of one of the high rises.  Again, it was what I was most comfortable with, so I figured that if I was going to go to school 2,500 miles from home, I'd want to make sure I found other Asians.

My freshman year, in addition to being my first extended time away from home, was also a significant year in my spiritual journey.  Having just become a Christian in high school, after not growing up anywhere near a church, I wanted to make sure I found other Christians and so got involved in a Christian group called Intervarsity.  There were a handful of other Christian groups to choose from - most notably Campus Crusade for Christ and a few Korean and Chinese churches that had on-campus meetings - but I ended up at Intervarsity.

By the end of my freshman year, it was my primary social network.  And it could not have been more ethnically diverse.  Sure, there was a heavy concentration of Asians.  But there was also white, black, Hispanic, and innumerable international students representing a United Nations of countries.  I particularly recall an end-of-year gathering in which it seemed attendees were arriving in precise one-minute increments, each from a different nationality: Brazil, Nigeria, Spain, Japan, Mexico, England, and on and on. 

Sure, for this Taiwanese kid from suburban San Jose, there was the cool factor of having so many friends from different parts of the world.  But it also imprinted on me that the family of believers is indeed multinational, and not only multinational but together.  It's a fact and a blessing I experience to this day. 




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