What is AIV?
AIV is short for Asian InterVarsity, a community that seeks to know how Jesus Christ applies to our real lives and cultural heritage. We are focused on the unique gifts, questions, heritage, and issues that Asians and Asian American students bring to every aspect of life as a student and beyond.
Why plant AIV at Virginia?
The University of Virginia has over 1,700 Asian undergraduate students but despite being the largest minority group (12.2%, likely more), they are one of the least-reached & -understood groups on Grounds. At colleges all over the East Coast, it has been extremely difficult to effectively serve Asians without a focused ministry. And for us in InterVarsity, we have noted the additional need to help Asian students process their ethnic identity in a Christlike fashion so they are able to authentically experience & share the Gospel wherever God calls them to go.
What will the AIV chapter do?
AIV at Virginia has two core elements in its vision.
- Raise up missional, culturally-adept leaders: There is a dearth of Asian American leadership in both multiethnic & Asian immigrant churches. I want to see a generation of Asian Americans who are committed to lifelong servant leadership to bless the church & reach those who don’t know Jesus by learning how to embrace their own cultural context as well as cross out of it (whether for multiethnic/non-Asian settings or to go overseas).
- Establish a missional community to Asian Americans: The vision of “A gospel for every person, a church for every people” does not yet exist for Asian Americans, especially at UVA. They’ve never met a God who understands the experience as 2nd-generation children of immigrants. We want to show them that Jesus cares deeply about their lives, including & especially the parts shaped by ethnic experience. Indeed, only in Christ can their ethnic identity and cultural experience be made full.
Starting back in January 2011, I began to see just how crucial it is to answer & minister to them in these places if we are ever to raise them up into leaders & reach those who aren’t in the church. In both these areas, I will work to contextualize the Gospel & Christian journey into the generational & ethnic elements that Asian Americans bring with them.
How can I pray for Greg’s work with AIV?
- Meeting the right missional students: A chapter has to begin somewhere! But for this vision to take root, it must happen by finding students who are excited by this new ministry. Pray that I’ll meet the right missional Christians who are eager to embark on this journey with me, who can see beyond what’s immediately in front of them, & who are willing to grow in all the ways I’ve explained — divine appointments are much-needed!
- Connecting with Asian Americans, especially those who don’t come from church backgrounds: I want to serve & minister to Asian Americans who don’t come from Christian backgrounds from the very start of this work. I want to get to know Asian American life at UVA. I want to give God’s love to those who are exploring questions about ethnicity, identity, & purpose — divine appointments here are also much-needed!
- Raising support & partnerships: Since I’m new to Charlottesville, I don’t know many people or have many resources here. Pray that those who are supporting me already will continue to give or give more. Pray that I’ll meet new supporters and partners here. If you’re interested, I would LOVE one-time gifts or ongoing support!
- Personal growth & training: My journey into planting an AAM chapter has been a wild ride with the Lord. I am myself learning much about my ethnic identity & how to cross cultures well. Pray that I would continue to grow in Christ even as I lead others & that when I’m receiving training on planting a chapter this June, that I’d soak up as much as possible!