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Running the Race

Photo by Josiah Mackenzie

Photo by Josiah Mackenzie

By Jerrica Ching

On Saturday, October 4th, I ran a 5K in Portland.  Three months before this run I had told myself that I would run every single day to build up my stamina and to ensure that I would not burn out for the actual race.  My expectations for myself definitely did not meet reality; I think I only ran on the treadmill a total of five times during those three months, and two of those times had been in the week right before the race.  The other interesting thing about this 5K was that it was an outdoor night run, while I am more of an indoor-treadmill type of person.  I surprised myself however, by finishing that 5K a lot faster than I had expected, with the occasional bout of heavy-labored breathing, interfering side pains, a cramp in my foot, and the thirst for water.

I liken my 5K with my race to becoming a counselor.  Now entering my fourth month of internship, there is still a lot of running left to do until graduation on May 1, 2015.  There are bouts of “heavy-labored breathing” in counseling during the days when I feel weighed down by paperwork and “interfering side pains” when a new concern from a client seems to come out of nowhere.  There are some days where I am constantly shuffling clients in and out of the office door causing a “cramp in my foot” from the repetitive process, and sometimes I feel as though I am about to collapse from mental exhaustion as though from lack of water to rejuvenate.

Sometimes I forget why I began this race to becoming a counselor; there are some days when I absolutely love what I do, and other days when I wish God would remove some hurdles and obstacles in front of me so I can see where I’m going and run faster.  It would definitely be a lot easier if nothing unexpected happened.  I often forget that all of these small blocks in my race are part of the race experience.  Hebrews 12:1 says, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  I am comforted knowing that God did not place me at the starting line of this race expecting me to fail.  The obstacles that are set before me build endurance, strength, and wisdom that will carry over with me to many other races in my future.   Although I may try to train for a race three months ahead of time, I will never be fully prepared for what I may come across while running.  All I know is that no matter what I may encounter on this race, God is already waiting at the end of the finish line for me.

Jerrica K. F. Ching is in her fourth and final year of study as a Marriage, Couples and Family Counseling student at George Fox University.  She received a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Dance from The University of Hawaii at Manoa.  She is currently an intern therapist at Lower Columbia Mental Health Center in Longview, WA and Concordia University in Portland, OR.

Photo by Marcie Casas

Photo by Marcie Casas

By Melanie Mar Chow

In 1977, as a college student, the Lord had grasped my attention about what it means to “love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind…” and more.    Though I was my grandmother’s constant companion to church at a young age, I rededicated my life to Jesus in my latter high school years, and sought to serve and follow Him to the best of my capability.

During college, I participated in several campus ministry activities and went through a personal call to leave my grandmother’s church and then attend the church of my great-grandmother.  Continue Reading »

Warrior in Pink CoverBy Vivian Mabuni

When I finally made it home, I headed straight to our bedroom. I lay on the bed, pulled the covers over me, and closed my eyes. I tried to rest, but my mind couldn’t settle. My prayer in the food court about letting people in came to mind. I found myself at the same crossroads of deciding whether to muster up self-sufficient strength and go all Christian Rambo—just me and Jesus—or take the braver route to open my heart and let people into my fear. My Asian heritage and cultural value of “don’t rock the boat” or “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down” amplified my struggle of not wanting to bother people with my problems. I saw this dynamic played out over and over with my family and my Asian friends. One friend tweaked her back so badly she could barely walk. We had planned to have people over for a luncheon. I suggested we order out for pizza so she could rest.
Continue Reading »

Photo by Roe Utena

Photo by Roe Utena

By Eun Joo Angela Ryo

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.  –Dr. Seuss

Authenticity.  What comes to your mind when you hear the word?  It takes me back to when I was in eighth grade.  The first week of my eighth grade year, my counselor called me to her office and told me that I was missing one class.  Continue Reading »

In Praise of Women

Photo by Rama V

Photo by Rama V

By Diana Gee

For the life of me, I cannot stomach watching shows like The Real Housewives of Some North-American City. I find them odious and glorifying the worst in human relationships. Jealousy, envy, pride, and gluttony all mashed together in artificially constructed female fraternity. Please pass the trashcan. Other shows do marginally better in depicting
“real” women’s lives. But if I pay attention, I do not often find stories of strong female characters relating well to other strong female characters.

I am also hard-pressed to find examples of female friendships in the bible that is not somehow connected by a father, husband, or son. Continue Reading »

Made as a Woman

Woman's Silhouette in WindowBy Ann Chen

A well-known female preacher recently wrote some reflections about the treatment of women around the world, and recounted her own experience facing discrimination as a woman in ministry. As I enter a season of transition from being overseas to stepping into full-time ministry in the States, I’ve been recounting my own journey as a woman navigating a call into ministry.

I don’t think I’ve faced the type of overt discrimination I’ve heard others go through: women who were told that they had no place in the church except in the nursery, others who were hit back with 1 Corinthians 14:34 if they expressed any opinions, even others who were told that a desire to go into ministry was actually sinful and of the devil. Continue Reading »

Read more about Women of Color in Ministry in the Huffington Post–>

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