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A Wok With Jesus: Saving Souls in Chinese Kitchens July 31, 2006

Posted by peterong in Chinese American, Immigrant Church.

“My friend Erika sent this to me…As I read this, my eyes were welling up with tears…because often times, we don’t really see these people as people of any worth outside of serving us our meals…and yet, here they are, on the margins. This was part of a ministry that I was involved in in my days at Chinese Christian Herald Crusades in NYC. Esther Louie is an amazing woman with vision and compassion for these “forgotten” Chinese Americans. Please read this article….it is an important one to remember the next time you are out getting Chinese…”

Thousands of Chinese kitchen workers live on the margins. A former restaurant owner tends to a subculture most Americans never see.

By John M. Glionna
Times Staff Writer

June 14, 2006

MILPITAS, Calif. — The dining room lights are dimmed at the A&J Restaurant, a tiny strip-mall eatery where a handful of Chinese kitchen workers relax at tables during the lull between the lunch and dinner rush.

The customers gone, the owner away running errands, the place is as quiet as a chapel. The only noise is the hum of the cooler chilling the green bottles of Tsingtao beer and slabs of brown tofu.

It’s time to pray with Esther Lou.

She breezes in saleswoman-friendly, a onetime Chinese restaurant owner turned religious crusader who knows her way around a professional kitchen and the exhausting lives endured by legions of low-paid food workers.

Pulling up a chair, she zeroes in on chef De Bin Hong, a thin man in a dirty white shirt and pants, a gold chain around his neck. She asks about his health and family. Then it’s down to business: How is he coping with his gambling addiction?

Over time, Hong says, he has lost enough money “to buy two Mercedes.” He has left work to gamble all night, returning just in time for the next day’s shift.

In a flash, Lou’s Bible is out, her glasses discarded onto the Formica table. Along with volunteer Li Xun, she lays her hand on Hong’s shoulder. The three clamp their eyes shut.

“Please, God,” Lou whispers, “when the urge to gamble comes again to this poor man, protect him from himself.” (more…)

Holy Toledo July 31, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Politics.
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I was referred by Rage about this New Yorker Article…Ohio Gozai it maitz!!



Ohio’s gubernatorial race tests the power of the Christian right.

Pastor Rod Parsley stood on a flag-bedecked dais on the steps of Ohio’s Statehouse last October and, amid cheers from the crowd below, proclaimed the launch of “the largest evangelical campaign ever attempted in any state in America.” A nationally known televangelist and the leader of a twelve-thousand-member church on the outskirts of Columbus, Parsley had gathered a thousand people for the event, and attracted bystanders with a multimedia performance involving a video on a Jumbotron and music by Christian singers and rappers broadcast so loud that it reverberated off the tall buildings south of the Statehouse. TV crews from Parsley’s ministry taped the event. “Sound an alarm!” he boomed. “A Holy Ghost invasion is taking place. Man your battle stations, ready your weapons, lock and load!” In the course of the performance, Parsley promised that during the next four years his campaign, Reformation Ohio, would bring a hundred thousand Ohioans to Christ, register four hundred thousand new voters, serve the disadvantaged, and guide the state through “a culture-shaking revolutionary revival.” (more…)

Stop Dreaming July 31, 2006

Posted by peterong in Personal Ministry Thoughts, Uncategorized.
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“Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream….But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and if we are fortunate, with ourselves….Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God’s sight begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it….He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“God the Creator arranged things so that we need each other” Basil of Caesarea

I am happy to be back on this blistering hot Monday afternoon to invite you to another edition of my web prayer update. Community arrives and I am seeking to find that elusive community that I am seeking in the midst of this pilgrimage. There has been its good and the bad and even the bad has moved me to a deeper sense of moving beyond the surface of community…it begins with the simple exchange and similar passion for God and people. In this season of life, I realize more that the grace of community comes in our sharing and in unity.

“one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.”

Acts 4:32-33.

I think I have experienced some good and bad here in Syracuse. The good are the encounters with people who love God in their broken ways…often imperfect…a bit messy but nevertheless with great hope for the continuing work that God is doing…at the worst, I have seen isolation where people are hurting and are seen through the lens of their shortcomings rather than the hope in Christ. (more…)

Disowning Conservative Politics, Evangelical Pastor Rattles Flock July 30, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Politics.


New York Times

Most members of Woodland Hills Church near St. Paul stayed after the Rev. Gregory A. Boyd urged an end to sexual moralizing and military glorification and said America should not be proclaimed a “Christian nation.”

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — Like most pastors who lead thriving evangelical megachurches, the Rev. Gregory A. Boyd was asked frequently to give his blessing — and the church’s — to conservative political candidates and causes.

The requests came from church members and visitors alike: Would he please announce a rally against gay marriage during services? Would he introduce a politician from the pulpit? Could members set up a table in the lobby promoting their anti-abortion work? Would the church distribute “voters’ guides” that all but endorsed Republican candidates? And with the country at war, please couldn’t the church hang an American flag in the sanctuary?

After refusing each time, Mr. Boyd finally became fed up, he said. Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called “The Cross and the Sword” in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns.

“When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,” Mr. Boyd preached. “When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.” (more…)

Barack Obama “Call to Renewal” Keynote Address July 27, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Politics.
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‘Call to Renewal’ Keynote Address

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Washington, DC

Good morning. I appreciate the opportunity to speak here at the Call to Renewal’s Building a Covenant for a New America conference. I’ve had the opportunity to take a look at your Covenant for a New America. It is filled with outstanding policies and prescriptions for much of what ails this country. So I’d like to congratulate you all on the thoughtful presentations you’ve given so far about poverty and justice in America, and for putting fire under the feet of the political leadership here in Washington.

But today I’d like to talk about the connection between religion and politics and perhaps offer some thoughts about how we can sort through some of the often bitter arguments that we’ve been seeing over the last several years. (more…)

Arrival through Departure July 26, 2006

Posted by peterong in Personal Ministry Thoughts, Uncategorized.
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“”Man may have forgotten how to listen.” From the film Lady in the Water

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for visiting and reading this week’s edition of my prayer update. As I write this I just enjoyed the merging of community as friends from New York City and Syracuse. As they arrived at Lake Placid, each of their faces stirred in me the joy of community as we hiked in the rain for 6.5 hours. As we concluded the day and sat around a dinner table, I saw their stories and how much they have enriched my life…Pam & Jeff (their similar journey towards with Jamie and I as we shared our first year of marriage together…They also share similar love for nature and ministry-they are former Campus Crusades for Christ staff), Joanna (who is discovering her entrance into community again), Linda (who reminds me of my days of leading a community growth group that centered on discovering Christ through scripture), Harvey (who has been one of the most important brothers through one of the most difficult seasons of my life), Amy (this sister is one of the greatest blessings of my life as I see her grow in her faith and how God is working in her) and of course my beautiful wife who continues to support a simple man who stumbles and have little to offer her except my devotion to her and to this unfolding fulfillment of this ministry. I love that God has given us this and how much He provides through community. I feel so free through this expression of community and friendship and I hope that we will have more moments of gathering together, breaking bread and giving thanks. (more…)

A Community’s Ethnic Tradition in Transition July 26, 2006

Posted by peterong in Asian American, chinatown.
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L.A.’s old Chinatown of family shops and traditions is grudgingly giving way to galleries and lofts. Even Quentin Tarantino is buying in.

By David Pierson
LA Times Staff Writer

July 25, 2006

During the day, the faded red lanterns that crisscross Chung King Road in Chinatown dangle listlessly above a row of Chinese antique and trinket shops that have seen better times.

But on a recent Saturday night, after the gates on the Chinese shops were pulled down, another Chinatown sprang to life near L.A.’s downtown.

Modern art galleries that have filled Chinatown’s storefronts in recent years opened, and the red lanterns were illuminated. A mostly bohemian crowd jostled to view abstract drawings and photographs of Brazilian prostitutes. Amid the fashionably dressed visitors drinking Mexican beer and smoking cigarettes, an elderly Chinese woman scoured the street for empty cans, even accepting ones out of the hands of art patrons.

These days, there are two Chinatowns — one on the rise, the other on the decline.

To Know You Is to Love You July 26, 2006

Posted by peterong in Asian American, Korean American.
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This is my own picture for some “hee haw”

A Korean-born reporter’s embrace of an egalitarian English pronoun freed her from the hierarchal strictures of her native tongue.
(From the LA Times)


It’s all about you.
I fell in love with this English pronoun when I first met it on my father’s knees more than half a century ago in Seoul. Initially, it was the sound that captivated me.

Later, as I continued to study English under my father’s tutelage — he was a pioneering scholar of English and German at South Korea’s Seoul National University — I began to love this three-letter word for the way it made me feel.

“Good morning to you,” I said with emphasis whenever American and Canadian Presbyterian missionaries visited our home.

When they responded with a big smile and “Good morning to you too,” I was in heaven.

You was an ally that empowered me.

It freed me from the encumbrances of my mother tongue, which is one of the world’s most complicated and nuanced languages, laden with honorifics. You pushed me out of the confines of Confucian-steeped, hierarchal Korean language into a world of egalitarian impulses.

Asian, Pacific Island Catholics in U.S. gather for first Convocation July 26, 2006

Posted by peterong in Asian American Ministries, Christ and Culture, Christian News.
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By Alfonso Aguilar and Julie Asher

Hundreds of Catholics of Asian and Pacific Island heritage from all over the country gathered in Arlington June 30-July 3 for the first National Asian and Pacific Catholic Convocation.

“We are witnesses of a historic moment,” said Paulist Father Ricky Manalo from San Francisco, who was master of ceremonies for the event, which drew religious and lay leaders, diocesan ministry directors, social workers, theologians, educators and youths.

“We gather together to give thanks for the many gifts of the Asian and Pacific cultures and traditions,” added Father Manalo, also a published liturgical composer. “This weekend we gather to praise God most of all, and the power of the Holy Spirit.” (more…)

American Home Schoolers to the Rescue in South Koreas Churches July 25, 2006

Posted by peterong in Asia Ministry.

(this is not an endorsement on homeschooling by Peter Ong)

As reported in the Christian Public Relations website

2006-07-24 —

(AgapePress) – A family ministry is encouraging home-school families to take the ultimate fieldtrip and move to South Korea. Family Mission International is looking for families to lead a brand new home-schooling movement in South Korea as part of an effort to save the next generation of Korean Christian leaders.

Family Mission International (FMI) was founded just one year ago in June 2005. But the mission behind it began years ago when FMI founder Brad Voeller was just eight years old, serving with his missionary family in the Philippines. Since that time, Voeller — who has a passion for foreign missions and for families — has served in various Asian locations. To minister to families all over the world, he founded Family Mission International. According to its website, FMI “is engaged in mobilizing and equipping churches and families to share the message of biblical family, family discipleship, and home education worldwide.” What better way to reach families than through families? FMI decided to send home-schooling families to countries around the world. Step one is South Korea. (more…)