Approximately five years ago, I was asked to become part of the Hispanic movement in The Foursquare Church. At first I was a bit reluctant. But with the encouragement of my supervisor, missional director and my husband, I accepted. I really didn’t know at that time what the Lord was going to teach me.
I realized that what the Lord had for me was not simply speaking Spanish with the Hispanics, or English with the Americans, but really getting to know the different cultures within my Hispanic heritage. I had not realized that Hispanics are so different, yet so alike.
When I started working as a Hispanic representative, I thought I was just going to be a language liaison between the Hispanic pastors and the district supervisor. Since we were all Hispanic, I was sure we would get along just fine! But things did not work out as I expected; I soon became frustrated.
I called my supervisor and told her that I didn’t think my serving in that role was working. My supervisor wisely told me something that changed my approach to reaching my goal with the Hispanic leaders in my district: She told me that the Lord had called me just to love the people whom I had been appointed to serve. As I loved them, they would come to trust me.
As I prayed and applied my supervisor’s advice, I realized that I really did not understand the uniqueness of Hispanics from different countries. Every people group contains diversity, and we cannot behave as though the people of every culture are exactly alike; we must accept their differences as well as their similarities. The uniqueness of each person should be celebrated. My life has been greatly enriched with what I learned from each of the diverse leaders I have worked with.
I discovered that we Hispanics raised in the United States also have a unique culture. Many of us don’t feel that we fit well in our culture of origin or our adopted culture.
But, after all this time, I realized I am part of a distinct culture that will be numbered among those described in Revelation 7:9: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands” (NIV).
The words “diversifying leadership” used to sound scary to me because they sounded divisive. It took an Anglo supervisor and Rev. 7:9 to make me see the beauty of those two words and the unity they reflect. I look forward to praising the Lord with all of you—both here and before the throne of the Lamb.
How You Can Pray
Looking at people as individuals whom God has appointed us to serve, rather than just representatives of their culture, will help us look beyond stereotypes and move toward true understanding of one another. Pray that God will help you truly see, love and serve your peers.
Praying with us? Include what you are praying for in a comment below.