Yah you betcha God is doing a "new thang" in Minne-sota! The "nations" are coming to Minnesota for some reason as we have one (or is) of the most diverse (most different ethnic groups represented) state than any state in the U.S.! In fact, there is a neighborhood in the Twin Cities called "Lake Street" where it is the most diverse than any other in the U.S.
I decided to make this website to serve as a resource for this college-campus community, Morris, Minnesota and the surrounding rural community in "reaching-out" to the "nations" God is putting "next door".
As a second geration Filipino-American, who came to know Christ my first year as a college student at the University of Minnesota-Morris, I want to share some my "cultural tips" in "reaching-out" to our "ethnic" neighbors from my experience so far. I personally believe one needs to know what type of ethnic people we are "reaching-out" too first because we can easily stereotype or generalize a certain group of people that we are unfamiliar with. Like how Joshua sent spies to scout the "Promise Land" before entering it, we need to know the "make-up" of our land before going out too!
From a "first person" experience, 2nd Generation Americans are culturally stuggling finding that identiay-nitch between their parents' homeland and the American "Western" culture. For example, I was going through an identity crisis growing up in St. Paul as I wanted be more like my "white peers". I felt I need to feel belong amongst my white majority peers, so I started to shun people culturally like me-even my own family! It's a long story...more on racism testimony. When it comes to "witnessing" to them for Christ, here are some tips:
-first find out whether they appreciate their ethnic background through your on going personal "friendship evangelism" relationship.
-if yes, research about their ethnic background to find out more of their cultural background to have a better conversation tool. Better yet, ask them about what their culture is like (e.g. what's your favorite ethnic food?) to show them that you have an interest on who they are culturally.
-if no, use other "interests/hobbies" (e.g. music, sports, mainstream, etc...) to start a conversation
They look like they would know about their culture or ethnic appearance, but many of them:
-are still learning more
Many adopted people I know that don't look like the surrounding majority background (e.g. Minnesota Norwegian/German-White) feel "lost" or struggling in finding who they are-identity crisis! It's very sensitive topic between person to person, so use discernment when bringing-up this issue. My personal tip, is just like the tip above for "2nd Generation" on:
"if no, use other "interests/hobbies" (e.g. music, sports, mainstream, etc...) to start a conversation"
For more resources...GoodNews UMM Issues: Adoption
Beside the ethnic groups mentioned down below ("refugees"), Hispanic or Mexicans are one of the largest immigrants settling in our "cold" northern state of Minnnesota. They are the "fastest-growing"n )see demographics) ethnic group of all in this state, which more and more resources (e.g. radio stations) are beginning to serve them.
Minnesota churches has had a long history of sponsoring different refugee groups to come settle in Minnesota. In fact, they are spread out all over the state. From what I've heard so far, they stretch out from:
-Pelican Rapids (many Bosnians-see "Changing Lives: by Lutheran Social Services")
-Marshall (many Somolians)
-Twin Cities (many Somolians, Hmong, etc..)
-Warroad (many Laoatian-see "The Melting Pot in the Nation's Ice Box: by MPR")
For more resources....UMMAlpha Refugees
These are people that are more assimilated to the "American" way of life and culture is not that important to many of them compared to the generations before them. However, I can really speak for them because I don't know much about this group.
Our very own college campuses are a "harvest field" or sowing seeds of the "Good News". Instead of trying to save thousands of dollars to go overseas or abroad on a short-term mission trips (this is reccomended in a regular basis to give you a different world perspective), you can just pray and build relationships with the "nations" God is sending "next door" (residential halls, classrooms, eating area, campus organizations, etc...)
For more resources....UMMAlpha International Students
Native American Indians, African Americans, Jews, and many other ethnic groups that weren't included above are a "target" group too in reach out!
For more resources....UMM Alpha Main Homepage
*Note: I'm not an expert on this topic in "missions", however, I have a passion and heart for these groups of people. Please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) of any additional resources to better "work together" in reaching the "nations" in Minnesota!
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