By Joy Wong
In an effort to expand the voices on our blog, we’ve been interviewing Asian American women leaders. In November 2010, we posted our first “spotlight interview” entry (and we’ve been posting one a month ever since). Then this past March, we interviewed for and posted our first “shared insights” entry, now also a regular entry on our blog. I’d now like to propose yet another addition: a “Question” entry. Let me explain why.
Last month, Young Lee Hertig and I went to various locations in the NJ & NYC area to present on Mirrored Reflections. While it was most certainly a privilege to introduce our book to new audiences, one of the most rewarding and striking experiences I had during our book tour was the conversations with young Asian American women leaders I had while I was there. The themes of “feeling alone” and “being without mentorship” were prevalent. Not only did it remind me of my own leadership journey and why I decided to go to seminary, it also reminded me of why AAWOL exists — the motto of AAWOL being “Never Alone Again.”
Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many Asian American women leaders in ministry still feel alone. They look about for mentors, but there are none to be found. I realize how blessed I am in my situation — to have access to evangelical Asian American women leaders who have traversed the path I’m on, who have left footsteps to follow, or at least guiding markers when I feel lost; mentors who can see the hand of God in my life when I cannot, and speak an apt truth or a timely word to point the way forward.
We are far from having enough mentors to go around. But to one particular woman at a NJ book event, I said something that I absolutely believe to be true: “Mentorship is hard to find, but even a little goes a long way.” I truly hope that this blog can be a resource to Asian American women leaders who feel alone and lost, and for now, while resources are scarce, be that “little that goes a long way.”
For this reason, I’d like to begin a “Question” entry that allows Asian American women leaders to ask questions of the other Asian American women leaders who read this blog. Despite the scarcity of public comments, I happen to know, according to site stats, that there are more readers than you all realize.
So I intend to ask Asian American women leaders for their questions (and perhaps I’ll ask some of my own as well), and despite the prevalent fear of speaking up and exposing ourselves to public criticism or contradiction, I hope — for the sake of other struggling Asian American women leaders — that you will dare to offer any perspective or wisdom you might have, and perhaps dare to ask questions of your own as well.
I happen to know that Asian American women are quite capable of conquering their own fears when it comes to the noble cause of helping another in need. I’m certainly counting on this, as I plan to post the first “Question” entry next week.
Might I add that for these entries, silence will not be golden — but your voices will be. I pray for the courage among us to speak — courage for you and courage for me — to dare to believe that our voices make a difference; and that to not speak might be withholding a gift that was meant to be given.