Why the Hispanic Student in Cru May Not Want to Start Destino

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Recently, I was reading some resources that had been created to help staff and students launch Destino movements on their campuses.  One of the strategies mentioned for launching a new Destino movement  was to ask Hispanic students in your Crusade movement to help start it.  While I think this is a fine model, there are some thoughts I had about it that I wanted to share here.

Having been one of those Hispanic students involved in a Crusade movement,  I know what my response would have been if a staff person had asked me to start Destino.  I would have flatly said, “No.”  It wasn’t that I didn’t care about reaching more people.  The gospel changed my life dramatically, and I loved to share about Jesus with anyone that would listen.  The issue was that I hadn’t embraced my ethnic identity yet. Most people in Crusade didn’t even know I was Hispanic or at least had never thought about it.  At that point in my Christian life, my desire wasn’t to draw attention to how I was different, but rather to be the same.  I wanted to fit in, not stand out.

It wasn’t until much later after coming on staff with Crusade that I showed any interest in embracing my own ethnicity.  Once I started down that path though, I quickly knew I wanted to be involved full-time with reaching Latinos for Christ.

I share all this to say that I wouldn’t have been ready as a student to launch Destino.  But one thing I do wish someone had done with me in college was help me start on this journey of exploring my ethnic identity much sooner.  I wish someone had told me that it was ok to be different. That God often used people’s bi-cultural identities to do amazing things throughout history. Looking back, I know that there was also an element of shame connected to my cultural heritage. I needed to acknowledge it and get to the root of it in my life.  This was a part of my story that was neglected in discipleship. In retrospect, that makes me very sad.

So if there are students in your movement that are ethnic minorities,  my encouragement to you would be that before asking them to go launch a contextualized ministry, first enter into their ethnic identity journeys. Find out where they are in this process. Wherever the student is in their journey, they will need someone to come alongside them in it. Maybe like me, they won’t be ready to go there yet. That’s ok. You can pray for them in it.

Maybe they are already living as a bi-cultural person and in that case they might be ready to go start a new movement. Bi-cultural students need help as well navigating that tension of living in between two different worlds.  It is challenging to fit in two cultures but never really feel like you fully belong to either one. That student needs a lot of prayer to stick it out in that tension and see it as a blessing.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore the fact that they are different. Recognize it.  Celebrate it.  Remind them that God chose this for them and there was purpose in it. Who knows, maybe you are in their lives “for such a time as this” to help them embrace who God made them to be so that they can be used to the fullest for his kingdom work.

Resources to help in entering into this journey :

Destino Stage 2

Being Latino in Christ

 

 

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Posted on May 23, 2011

About destinokristy

A Latina, DestinoKristy served with Destino from 2008-2013.

8 Responses to Why the Hispanic Student in Cru May Not Want to Start Destino

  1. Stephanie N. says:

    Kristy, this is a fabulous article! Thank you so much for opening up your life to us and giving white folk like me such great insight. When I first started trying to figure out ministry to/with minority students, that was one of my first questions: “Why WOULDN’T a minority student want to start a contextualized movement?” I’m grateful for gracious minority staff who helped me understand just a little of what life can be like for a young person, who might be at any various points on their journey of sorting out their minority ethnic identity.  Thank you for adding to my understanding with this gracious and articulate article! I wish everyone in the USCM would read it!

    • Thanks Stephanie! Yes, I’ve also seen many staff confused by minority students that say they don’t want to help launch a contextualized movement. I would love to see more caucasian staff pursue these kinds of conversations in their discipleship of ethnic minorities. It can be hard, but it also has the potential to be transformational in these students’ lives.

  2. Christine Virtue says:

    Wish I had read this 12 years ago when i was on campus.  I remember approaching ethnic students in our movement and asking them to start movements without first seeking to understand them and where they were at.  With all that i have learned in the last 10 years i would love to go back on campus and minster.  Not sure how students would respond to a mom rolling up on them with 3 little kids.  But i have sooo much more to offer now.  This post should be included in staff training. :)  

    Hope you guys are having a good summer.  Still sad we won’t see you at CSU.

    Christine

    • Christine,
      You should join Destino! Our students would just jump in the minivan with you :) . I agree, there is a lot I wish I had known when I first started working on campus. As an intern, I actually had a Bible study of mostly Hispanic girls, but I was clueless as to why that was. I’m thankful for where you and Brian are serving now, and I wish we were going to see you guys in Colorado too. Instead, we’re going to get eaten alive by mosquitoes in the Dominican Republic :) .

  3. Laura Reynolds says:

    Great Article, This helps so much as I am praying to launch ethnic movements on my campuses next year! I now will take a different approach. thanks so much Kristy.

    • Thanks Laura! If there is any way we can help you with launching Destino movements let us know. I will pray for you as you step out in faith this next year!

  4. Juan Cuevas says:

    I am just barely coming to this realization myself. I am on staff with CRU at Washington State University and am finally coming to embrace my ethnicity and helping to assist in launching Destino at WSU. Thanks for the honesty, I believe there are more students out there that are in the same position. I pray that I can help in walking through even identifying with their culture and not just assuming that they already have. 

    • destinokristy says:

      Great thoughts, Juan.  Thanks for commenting. Sound like you are on the early side of exploring your ethnic identity which is very exciting.  I pray that as you minister in a Latino context, that you will experience more of who God is and ways that he created you uniquely.  So thankful for your labor at WSU!