“We have a new student,” my teacher announced. “His name is ... Key-O ... Thompson from California.” It was my first day at Rankin Elementary School in Arlington, Texas, and it was a rare moment I was glad to be the only Samoan in the whole school. The way she pronounced my name, Kaio, actually changed it into a derogatory word in the Samoan language.
It was a frigid winter in Junla-Namdo, South Korea, a country still scarring from the Korean War. In a dark corner of a semi-outdoor kitchen, Hana silently cried as she rubbed the cheek that had been crisply slapped by her abusive mother-in-law.
I grew up on a steady diet of Saturday mornings, pajamas, and cartoons. My brother and I would wake up as soon as the sun shone through the blinds. Together, we’d run to my parents’ room to ask them if we could watch TV.
During the first planning meeting for InterVarsity’s Chinatown Program, I sat with two other Cantonese American women eating dumplings from small plastic bags. We were sitting in Portsmouth Square, a San Francisco Chinatown landmark filled with Chinese chess tournaments and slow-paced exercise classes.
After six years as pastor of Union Church, I have found that leadership means constantly disappointing people. One of the most irritating but accurate truths about leadership comes from Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky’s “Leadership on the Line”.
Arirang is traditional Korean folk music that has been passed down by memory for over 600 years. It wasn't until 1869 that Christian missionary Homer B. Holbert went to South Korea and scored it black and immutable onto paper for the first time.