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Asian American InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (AAIV) is a fellowship at the University of Washington. We look to empower Asian Americans to transform the campus.


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I know that God loves me unconditionally, but there are times I just don’t feel loved.

It’s been hard for me to accept that God is sovereign over all my pain and yet allows the thorn in my flesh to remain. Why does He allow my thoughts to torment me day and night when I cry out for help? Why does my heart feel crushed with sorrow and anguish when I seek for peace? Why does my soul feel so weary and restless?

Where are you God? Why is it that whenever I try to seek Your presence, You keep telling me to trust you without giving me an answer? You are my refuge and strength, yet You stay silent as my enemies wage war and crumble my world apart. I feel tired, I feel frustrated, I feel overwhelmed.

But regardless of how I feel, what You keep doing for me surprises me every day.

The more that I want to give up and let go, the tighter that Your grace holds onto me. It amazes me that after all these years, You are STILL chasing after all me. You don’t expect perfection from me in the slightest. You see all my flaws and shortcomings and you STILL want me. All that I have to offer to You is a broken heart, and yet You hold each piece so tenderly in your hands. You eagerly embrace my pain and brokenness with open arms, wanting nothing more than to make me whole again.

You’ve never once given up on me, so I’m not going to give up on you either. Even if I can’t always feel Your presence nearby, I know that you’re fighting my battles for me. There is nothing in this world that can stop Your love, and I know that You’re going to set me free one day. I am YOUR child, and there is no brokenness, no sin, no darkness that could separate me from the love that you have for me. You have called me by name, you have redeemed me, and you have given me hope for a future that the world could never give.



What has God shown you over the course of this past year?

This year, God’s really revealed his love for WOMEN to me. Over the summer, I studied all of Jesus’s interactions with women, which was so powerful. We all know that Jesus loves everyone and had a very special relationship with his disciples, but we tend to gloss over the tender, unique, and beautiful interactions he had with women. Time and time again, Jesus went to broken women: women who were adulterous, prostitutes, foreign, bleeding, cheating, hurting etc. and he EMPOWERED them. He set them apart, called them by name, and offered them something so much greater than what the world and man had given them. He offered them a place in HIS kingdom, where there would be no room for brokenness and tears. When a woman anointed Jesus with expensive perfume, Jesus states that what SHE did will be remembered when the gospel is preached throughout the world. When the disciples peaced out after Jesus got arrested, the women stayed, and watched as the horrible crucifixion of their King took place. They never left His side. And when He rose again, they were the first people in the world to receive the GOOD news that is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and were commissioned to GO.

THIS is the kind of woman I want to be and what I want to push the powerful women in my life towards. I want to be so close to the heart of Jesus. Being able to learn that Jesus loves and empowers me so uniquely in who He’s created me to be has been so healing to the brokenness in my life. I put so much of my self-worth and identity in what others think of me, and hide my insecurities and past hurts so deep that I don’t think anyone will notice. I think I’m way stronger than I actually am and I continuously get wrecked when God calls me to give up my own fake strength and allow Him to empower me with His spirit. The more I walk with Jesus and realize that I’m seriously scum and so undeserving of His love, the more He affirms me in my identity as His beloved daughter, and that’s SO crazy hahaha.




I have always struggled with understanding God’s love.

I knew how great and how amazing His love was for me, but for some reason my heart and my head never matched up. It wasn’t until recently, I was constantly reminded that God is SO REAL and that He has been purposefully placing people into my life.

This quarter, I have constantly been praying about how I can use the gifts that He has given me to help reconnect people with God. However, I was stuck and I was afraid. I did not grow up in a Christian household, and I felt like I was not knowledgeable enough to be mentoring someone else. I had no experience with worship, yet I felt God calling me to serve there. It was not until after church one day, I felt compelled to go up to the Pastor and say hi to him. We greeted each other, but instead of asking me how I was doing, or how my day was going, he started talking about an analogy.

He said, “Imagine yourself flying a kite. When you fly a kite, you have to control and make sure the kite is a certain distance away from you, right? That’s you right now, but that’s not what God wants. You are afraid of letting go and you keep a safe distance away from Him. Instead, think of yourself as a child holding a bundle of balloons. Like a child thinking that they can float if they jump with the balloons, YOU need to just jump." 

Right there and then, this heaviness in me that has been built up over time was lifted and I felt God’s presence. I think we all need a reminder sometimes of how unwavering and unconditional His love is for us. 1 Corinthians 13:7 says “Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits."

So at the end of the day, what is there really to fear, when you know that you have Him by your side?



Growing up, I have always struggled with being vulnerable. I found it difficult to open up to people, and I felt like I had put up walls around myself to protect myself from being hurt and judged by others. I often dealt with my emotions and struggles on my own and avoided talking about them as a way of having control over my life. However, these walls that I built up were barriers preventing me from becoming closer to God and others on a deep level. By closing myself off, I struggled to give God control over my life and accept myself for who He made me to be.

The weekend before spring conference, the girls in my accountability group did a listening prayer for me. One of the images that stood out was of me sitting chained to a chair, alone in a dark room with a single ray of light. At the time I did not understand what this image meant; however, at conference I was reminded of this image as I reflected, and I realized that like in this image, I was chained down by invulnerability and trapped in a dark place because of the walls I put up around myself, and the light was my hope for a way out. At conference I learned that I did have a way out – through vulnerability. By opening up to my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, I can face my struggles head on and seek them for prayer, support, and mentorship. By being vulnerable in front of God, I can lay down everything – my worries, insecurities, and brokenness. I can give Him control over my life and trust in His plan for me. Being vulnerable is definitely not easy and is an ongoing learning process, but I want to challenge all of us to be more vulnerable with God and with each other, because we will be able to grow in so many ways and build deep and meaningful relationships with the people in this community.



I feel like I’ve known God for most of my life. I guess He’s just been one of those constants that’s been there since I was young, like grape-flavored Hi-Chews, ice-cold Yakults, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and my parents slapping me with a rice paddle as a punishment.

But there was something missing. I believed that God was there looking out for me, but it felt like I couldn’t see Him. It was like being in a dark and endless room playing Marco Polo.

Whenever I would ask for a sign, I’d expect like a huge, once-in-a-lifetime moment where the sun would shine directly on me. Choirs would sing as God would reach out. That never happened.

I can’t specifically name a specific turning point, but I will name a passage. 1 Kings 19:9-12

I scarily related to Elijah: a man scared and outcast from the world, looking for God. But here’s what really struck me. Elijah knew where God was. It wasn’t in the big storms or earthquakes, but instead He was in the soft whisper.

I feel like I’ve been looking in the wrong places for God. I’ve been looking at the heavens when God is here with us. Sure, God works in the big things like miracles and life-changing experiences to call us. But I feel like we forget that God is personal and works in small ways as well.

When I experience the love of people during worship, the laughs I get with the friends, and the compassion and sacrifice that many of my friends and family give to help me, I see God in all of it.

It’s not easy to see God in today’s world with all of the chaos we go through, and it’s so easy to get caught up in it. We ask to see God’s glory in the world, but where are we looking for it?

Take a look at your life, and not just your past but on your daily life. Look past the bad and look at what you have to be thankful for. Did you smile? Did you laugh? Did you somehow manage to do all 50 pushups during small group? I’m happy to bet that God is somewhere in there.



Humility is the catalyst in which we become discipled as followers of Christ.
Pride is a spiritual cancer that prevents us from recognizing God amidst our lives. Author and theologian, C.S. Lewis even goes to the extreme of saying “As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people, and of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” Pride and humility are dichotomous and can’t be present at the same time. The battle between the two is a silent one that rages within one’s own mind. While humility acknowledges and lives out who we are and who God is, pride sings of its own righteousness and glory over others. Pride claims achievements as purely its own and fails to see the grace God has poured out.

With this all being said, I struggle with pride. It is said that God humbles the proud and exalts the humble. In my own experience, the humbling part has happened way more often. At Mark Camp, with the people, scriptures, and conversations, in His providence, God humbled me, breaking apart my hard heart. I couldn’t help but resonate with the Pharisees and their hard hearts and how they heard and saw, but couldn’t perceive. Long story short, God softened my heart during Mark Camp and compelled me to want to lead a small group next year, something I never expected.

But what do I know about pride? My battle isn’t quite over, it’s a daily one. I aim to submit daily, recognize the grace I have been apportioned and carry my cross daily, not perfectly, but with faith that Jesus grants me humility.



Reflecting on my time in college, I recently realized that for a long period of time, I wasn’t doing okay. Even now, I feel like I’m constantly being hit with feelings of loneliness, unworthiness, and dissatisfaction with how I was created to be. However, God has faithfully been pouring out truths to replace those lies. I wish I could say that this is the happy ending to the story, and that my walk with God will be filled with constant rainbows and sunshine, but we can all agree that our temporary lives here on earth will bring on more trials and tribulations. We can also agree that enduring these difficult times can be SO painful.

Earlier in the week, I was asking God why He was making my time here in college so difficult and painful, and why I always feel sad and unsatisfied. I was reminded of the passage in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 that says “…I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest of me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in hardships, in difficulties for when I am weak, then I am made strong.”

It blows my mind that God allows pain, and that He purposefully doesn’t take it away at times. Reading this passage made me realize how selfish I was in my walk with God, and how I forgot that when I gave my life to Him, it meant that my life really isn’t mine anymore, including my pain. My life doesn’t exist for my glory, but His. Obviously, this is easier said than done, and even now I am struggling with accepting this as truth in my heart. However, I want to encourage everyone including myself to take heart and keep on fighting the good fight! It is in our weaknesses that God’s strength is made perfect, and that same strength dwells in us.



What is a barrier that hinders you from fully surrendering your life to God?

A lot of times I'm afraid people will slow me down. I'll choose to study by myself or eat a meal by myself because I want to move on to the next thing as quickly as possible without distractions. I believe it’s important to have some alone time, but I think this mentality to do things by myself negatively manifested in my relationship with God. Instead of inviting him into my thoughts and decisions, I began striving for my academic and professional goals with my own hands. I was studying the values of companies more than the values in the Bible to make sure my cover letter was just right.
Recently, I scheduled QT with one of my accountability partners. I remember right before our meetup I felt really stressed about meeting an application deadline and was tempted to call it off. I went anyway, and felt God speak to me through 1 Peter 1. In verse 13, God calls us to have "minds that are alert and fully sober”. To me, that means preparing myself by learning more about the Bible every day so that I can defend my faith and know why I believe what I believe. It means having a mind clear from distractions, ready to listen and follow where God leads. It means making time for Him even when it feels like there is none. In verse 17, God says to "live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear". When I think of being a foreigner here on earth, I think of being a guest in someone else's home. There is a politeness and carefulness when moving around in a home that’s not yours. In the same way, I think that it’s important to remember that the dream job, the degree, the cute pair of shoes—all these things are of this world and not our own. I’m reminded to be grateful with what God has given to me and remember that my visit is short. 
Let’s continue to push each other to be faithful ambassadors of Him and not get too comfortable because this is not our home. Greater things have yet to come!




What is a barrier that you wrestle with that keeps you from being fully confident in who God made you to be?

Throughout my entire life, I have never doubted God’s existence, but I have often questioned His intentions while creating me. Growing up, my self-image held me back from being fully confident in who God made me to be & believing that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

From middle school to even college, I was constantly ridiculed and shamed for my body. Guys would tell me (both in-person and over the internet) things like “Sara, why are you so flat?”, “If my future wife had your body, I would make her get plastic surgery”, and “No guy would ever want to f*ck you”. But several of those same guys would also try to physically take advantage of me.

This created so much conflict, shame, and confusion for me that still impacts me to this day. The same body I was being degraded for was the same one being lusted over. I never understood why people felt the need to say or do these things to me. There were far too many nights when I would simply cry and ask God, “Why did you make me like this? Why can’t I just be beautiful? Why do people have to hurt me like this?”

But the more I cried out to him, the more strongly He told me that I AM beautiful and that I don’t need to seek anyone else’s validation when HE is the one who created me. How could I possibly think that God, who creates the most detailed and beautiful art in this world, didn’t give me the same care when He formed my body?

Since then, my self-image issues have resurfaced at times, but they’re short-lived. I cast out any lies that the enemy is trying to hurt me with and instead proclaim my identity as God’s beloved daughter. I have accepted that while beauty is fleeting, my legacy will remain. So, I don’t want to be remembered for superficial things anymore. I realize that God has given me specific gifts and that I am called to be someone who expands His kingdom. Knowing that I will forever be loved and pursued by the LORD is the only identity I will hold onto.




What are things you wish people knew about mental illness?

One little-known aspect of mental illness is that it affects more on a scale than a switch. There are days I feel great, and there are also days when the only thing I can bring myself to do is get out of bed to pee. But most days the thought of a panic attack haunts me in the back of my mind, or I can feel the depression weighing on my shoulders.

However, while there are many different ways that people receive support for their mental health, the most important way people have supported me is through consistency. If people want to be involved in my life, plan on staying involved. Feeling abandoned by people who have promised to stand by me is amplified during depressive episodes or anxiety attacks, making me feel even more alone. Another important way people have supported me is by validation. When you’re listening to someone, don’t give them advice (unless they ask for it) and don’t try to excuse their feelings. They feel what they feel and it’s real to them.

How did you overcome mental illness?

I don’t think that people ever overcome mental illness. Healing is a long journey and I’m definitely still in the process of finding the best ways for me to cope and heal. I know that these feelings will be present my entire life, but it’s how I choose to cope that’s important. I started to see a counselor last year. Being able to talk about my mental health with someone whose job is to listen and help without judgment was so freeing. It’s extremely hard and I’m always nervous before my appointments, but my counselor is always understanding and willing to listen. Counseling has a stigma that needs to be broken down. It’s not for “fixing problems” – it’s a place for talking without judgment, and processing through life and all its challenges in a healthy way. 

I just want everyone to know that it’s okay to feel what you feel, and that you don’t have to go through it alone. Talk to a trusted friend, your small group leader, a counselor. You are lucky to be surrounded by a community embodied by Christ’s love. And if all else fails or if you just have questions, talk to me! I’d love to talk and help in any way I can.



I came into UW with only academic expectations for myself — I never thought much about the location or the weather, or even about my social or spiritual development in the novel setting.

Coming into AAIV and the faith last year was honestly like that moment in lecture when you realize you don’t even know enough to comprehend how much you don’t know about the material... 

College had always been just a stepping stone for me on my way to a future career, but being in this community of unapologetically faithful Christians has taught me so much more about intentionality and purpose.

Cultivating friendships requires an intentional investment of time and effort. I asked myself, how can I expect to know God if I’m not willing to invest in the relationship? I feel like I learned more about Christianity in the past year than in all my pre-college years — having Christian friends around me and seeing others praying, singing, and proudly proclaiming their faith without hesitation completely changed my perception of Christianity.

Watching my mentors and role models in AAIV inspired me to incorporate these fundamentals into my daily life, but even now I’m still not exactly sure where I am in my faith. After all, how do my prayer and scripture readings apply to my relationships? My career? My end goal in life? I see God’s work in my own life, but I know I still need to do more than just thank God for the gifts I have received from Him.

In the last year and a half, this is probably the most important thing I’ve learned: Having faith is an ongoing process that never stops teaching us more about God’s glory, and I will dedicate myself to being an eternal student.

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Matthew 7:14 ESV




When I joined AAIV, I didn’t know anyone. I thought that was normal until I looked around the room and saw that everyone had their own friends and their own circles, and I was just alone. Large group was the worst. It’s crazy feeling alone in a room of 100 happy and laughing people.  I never felt like I fit in. I’m adopted, grew up in a white family, in a white area, going to a white church. All my life I felt like an outsider for being Asian, but here at AAIV, I didn’t feel Asian enough, or even Asian American enough. There seemed to be a mold that everyone fit into except me. The only thing that kept me going was guilt. My small group leaders were so nice that I felt bad not going. By the grace of God, I continued to go to AAIV.

About a year into going to AAIV, I realized that a lot of people don’t feel like they fit in. Whether it’s feeling too Asian, too American, not Christian enough or whatever else, a lot of people question if they truly belong.

WHAT THE? How can a fellowship of 200 people feel so lonely and isolated?

I don’t blame anyone who left AAIV. But if you’re here and reading this, I urge you to dig deeper. I started meeting up with people and hearing their stories. Over time, all those empty smiling faces became people with thoughts and feelings behind them. They had lives filled with love and pain, joy and hardship. I would be there for them, and they would be there for me.

It’s been one of the hardest things I’ve done, and it’s stretched me more than I ever would have imagined. But, as dorky as it sounds, it’s worth it.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if AAIV became a place in which no one felt alone or outcast? I don’t know if it’s possible, and I’m only one person, but at least I’ll try. 



Something that I’ve been struggling with my whole life is God's plan for me. The process of trying to understand this has been challenging, but through this process of discovering what God wants me to do, I’ve learned that my spiritual walk affects my personal life, work life, and student life. We all go through life’s circumstances and we are given the freedom to either let it change us for better or for worse, which is why I believe that life truly is a journey that shapes us to be who we are. This concept took me a very long time to understand, as I am still in the process of discovering more of God’s plan for me.

However, one of the major things that I have learned as a college student is that the more I sacrificed things for God, the more He blessed me. Before I entered college, I wasn’t in the best place with God, but still He blessed me with a supportive group of friends that poured into me and walked alongside me. Since then, I have seen the ways that I’ve grown in my faith and the ways that my relationship with God has strengthened. I realized that God continues to provide me with things beyond my expectations and that without the people, circumstances, and struggles that He placed in my life, I would not be where I am today. In the time that I’ve reconciled my relationship with God, He has taught me so much, which is why I hope to share the truths that I learned to people around me.



For the past couple of years, I’ve been struggling a lot with a sense of God’s calling—especially relating to my career choice. I keep hearing this common theme in the church that you should go into the industry you feel called to. For my sister, that meant studying to become a physical therapist to help underprivileged disabled children learn to walk. Or for my brother, that meant studying to become a nurse and help people recover and serve with a servant’s heart. And then there’s me. Studying business because I hate science and am bad at math… something seems off.

Too often I find myself trying to justify why I want to do business. ‘Cause, isn’t the point of business helping the rich get richer? That doesn’t sit too well with me, so I tell myself: “business is full of depraved people who need Jesus. That’s why I’m doing it.” Or “I’ll be that light in the business world and bring back good morals and ethical practices.”

And then God showed me a professional business fraternity called DSP. A group of friendly, genuine, and smart people—similar to AAIV ;). These same similarities between the people of DSP and AAIV made it easy for me to connect with multiple on a deeper level. However, it was through these deep connections did I realize how broken people were. That despite their smile, despite their success, despite their JP Morgan Financial Analyst Hedge Fund Manager Goldman Sachs Venture Capital internship, they were broken and seeking more. And that’s when I knew, God has placed me in DSP for a reason. I represent a POWER far greater than me, a kind of LOVE that knows no bounds, a type of JOY that is so pure, and a form of FORGIVENESS that no one has heard. Lemme tell you somethin’: God is working in DSP. I feel it. I know it. Hearts are being stirred. Testimonies are being told. And Scripture is being shared. C’mon church, stand up on yo feet and lift up a shout of praise for the Lord; can I get an Amen!!!

Hahaaaa you already know. God is good. As to if that’s my calling for business, still not sure. But all I can do is trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding.



As a college student well into my second year, looking back I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned more even when high school me thought I already knew all there was to know about myself. I’ve always thought I was an open and vulnerable person, but maybe I’m not as much I thought I was. I’ve always thought that I knew what it meant to be loved by Jesus, but maybe not as much as I thought I did. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been conscious this entire time, and yet there are so many layers and walls to my heart that I didn’t know were there. 

And just like how God doesn’t give you a flashlight and tells you to meander the cave alone, but is the light Himself, He has been slowly revealing to me the ways I fell from Him. He has been slowly breaking down those walls I literally did not know were there. Specifically in the ways I like to categorize my emotions. 

If an emotion is illogical or unnecessary I throw it out the window. If it’s not deemed worthy in the situation I suppress it and move on because if it doesn’t help me on my journey then why waste my energy on it? I was really struggling with this when my mentor last year spoke some real truth and I was low-key shook mid bite into my pho at Saigon Deli. She asked me “How can you expect to have a deep and healing relationship with God if you don’t let him reach you even in your smallest moments of hurt?” 

To this day I’ve been trying to uproot lies that have embedded themselves in my heart and understand that God knows me and loves me despite all the lies I've believed. I am extremely grateful for the intentional vulnerability in the AAIV community and how the community has pushed me to basically sumo wrestle the lies of this world. Spiritual GAINZ. Also I hope y’all signed up for mentorship because obviously where would I be without mine! Shout out to my mentor, you know who you are.




What was your experience with YWAM like?

The last six months have been a crazy journey for me. I went to Kona, Hawaii for a missionary organization called, “Youth With A Mission” (YWAM). The vision of YWAM is to “know God and to make Him known." I had 3 months of training in Hawaii and 3 months of outreach in the Philippines. It was such an eye opening experience and has changed my life completely. Having intimacy with God became a more prominent aspect of my life, and I had the opportunity to experience the kingdom of God. The most important thing I learned during this time is ‘simple obedience’. Taking a break from school in the middle of college was never an option in my mind, and it was out of the norm in our society. However, I feet like my life is actually so much more than just going to school, having a good career, raising a good family, etc. As Christians, our lives are more than living for ourselves; we have the opportunity to spread the love of God to others. When God first told me to go to YWAM, I was very scared to go to a foreign place and live with strangers for 6 months; however, when I said YES to God, my life was filled with so many blessings that were beyond my imagination. I was blessed to have an amazing community, gain confidence in my identity, and spread His love to other nations. As much as I received tremendous love from God and other people, I was also able to give love to others. I had the best time in YWAM learning about who God is, who I am in God’s image, and how I can apply my purpose in life to real life. I didn’t have to work hard to receive all these blessings, but all it took was just simply saying YES to God. God wants all of us to feel His love and truly know who He is. Sometimes, you just need to obey, and you will see things that will blow your mind away. You will never regret it! A promise refers to the future, but obedience means NOW. I am more than happy to say that I love doing life with Jesus!



In the video, the following questions are asked: What is music to you? How does music & faith intersect in your life? What’s the key to authentic worship? Enjoy!





When the going gets tough, it’s gets really tough.

Ever since I was young, I had a sense of what I wanted to do, and how to do it. My hard work would pay off, and I could be at a place I wanted to be at. Then, seemingly out of nowhere these last few years, I started to fall short of meeting my life goals. Like, ALL of them. Some of the things happening in my life were out of my control, and after years of having things work out, it seemed like my life was unraveling. Life was handing me L after L and I exasperated. In turn, I started to get frustrated with God and blamed Him. It seemed like I was at the most important part of my life, and God just left me on my own.

As much as I’d like to say things started to go my way again and my relationship with God was repaired, things didn’t exactly go that way. What did change however, was my perspective. After a while, through the people God put in my life, He told me that I needed to stop living for myself and dictating exactly how my life was going to go—I had to be comfortable letting Jesus guide my life in the direction He needed it to go. Accepting that has been one of the largest obstacles in my faith, and it’s something that I’m having trouble facing even today. Heck, it’s probably something I’ll struggle with until I die. Since I started to acknowledge this however, I’ve been able to see so many different kinds of blessings and silver linings God has put in my life. I know everybody has heard this, but I think it’s really important to trust in the plan God has for each one of us. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. God gets going.




What was your upbringing like and how has it affected who you are today?

As a daughter of two Cambodian refugees, the two life lessons that were ingrained in me as I was growing up were success and independence. These life lessons were taught and carried out subtly through my parents’ choices to send me to a small, private, Christian school, with hopes of giving me a better education and future, and by their free-spirited parenting style, which often allowed me to decide a variety of things on my own—whether that be what I wanted to eat, what instruments I wanted to play, what I wanted to do besides playing an instrument, or how I wanted to spend my free time. I know what you’re thinking—This doesn’t sound like your typical Asian tiger parents. And they definitely weren’t. What for the longest time felt like absence in my life was simply that my parents were working tirelessly at our family doughnut shop in an effort to continue sending my two older sisters and I to private school. Although this created tension and resentment growing up, my parents’ two life lessons were impressed in me. Their hard work and desire for my happiness, intermingled with their willingness to give me independence, because they themselves lacked the opportunity of happiness and independence growing up, instilled in me a definition of success beyond worldly success and materialistic goods, even if it may have been a long, hard, and even ongoing journey to understanding that.

Today, I’m especially thankful for AAIV, the community I’ve found here (shoutout to Elm Women's SG <3), and my experience at Fall Con for reinforcing and contributing to my journey and my walk with God. I grew up around rather typical molds of the Chinese-American, which fueled a lot of resentment with my family, tension with my peers and created confusion with my own ethnic identity as a Chinese-Cambodian American. However, one question Pastor Drew Jackson posed at Fall Con that really stuck with me is—How is ignoring or rejecting our ethnic identity honoring God? Followed by Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” This question and verse really struck me and challenged me in my faith and how I initially perceived my ethnic identity. I am forever thankful and I am especially looking forward to more events with AAIV that will continue to challenge who I am and my relationship with God.





I don’t really know who God is. It’s something I struggle with a lot. This is me being real to myself, and to you.

I’m struggling with my faith. I can remember more days when I told myself I want to walk away from everything and live my life the way I want to rather than saying yes, I will follow you God. I have my doubts and uncertainties with God. I’m not even sure if I believe He exists anymore. I don’t see how God works in my life, how He loves me, how He is for me. If God is so good, then how come I have such a hard time seeing His goodness?

I look at my friends, and they have no problem committing fully to God. It’s not that they don’t struggle, they do. But at the end of the day, they will confidently choose God over everything else. It’s something I envy a lot. I wish I could be the person who doesn’t hesitate when it comes to God. I wish I could depend on God for everything. I wish I could have that desire to pursue Him every day. But right now, that’s not me, and deep down I don’t really know if I have a desire to pursue Him. I’m not going to commit to something or someone if I’m not going to give my 100%. With God, I’m not sure if I can fully give my all.

Honestly, I’m happy with my life. I like the way my life is right now; I love my friends and my community because I know they care for me more than I can imagine. But God isn’t really in the picture. And if I’m happy with life right now, then maybe I’m content with never having to pursue God. It’s a thought that really scares me, because if God really is real, then I know the consequences of not following God. 

I guess the Christian journey really is a difficult one, and definitely something I’m challenged by. But trust the process amirite?