Soy Latina en Cristo

By Colin Campbell
By Barb Harris
By Mark Mercer
By Sereena Bexley
By Vennecia Jackson
By Mary Lata Thottukadavil
By Michael Agnew
By Zabdi Piña
By Kristie Davis
By AJ Jerkins
By John Hames
By Makenzie Romero
By Caroline Khameneh
By Victoria Renken
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Dawn Johnson
By DJ Newman
By Mary Weyand
By Rob Nickell
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Nila Odom
By Sherene Joseph Rajadurai
By Kristi Sheffy
By Sharon Arrington
By Sarah Crawford
By Betsy Paul
By Angel Piña
By Elizabeth Piña
By Lori Kuykendall
By Chris Kuykendall
By Matt Holland
By Jessie Yearwood
By Brian Severski
By Brian Arrington
By Sandhya Curran
By Will Meier
By Clint Calhoun
By Jen Mayes
By Alf Laukoter
By Neil Wiersum
By Jim Henry
By Jenn Wright
By Kevin Harwood
By Nandi Roszhart
By Leah Vanhorn
By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Chad Golden
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Lauren Geppert
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Jill Asibelua
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Kristi Herring
By Sissy Mathew
By Shannon Pugh
By Al Palamara
By Melanie Mechsner
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Barry Jones
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Nat Pugh
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Catherine Boyle
By Catherine & Elizabeth Downing
By Gerald Ridgway
By Jill Hoenig
By Sunitha John
By Tarrin Henry
By RozeLee Rugh
By Beverly Hogan
By Kendra Cordero
By Lisa Gajewski
By Bonnie Goree
By Young-Sam Won
By Chris Beach
By Tom Rugh
By Nick Vuicich
By Andy Franks
By Lead Team
By Jason Roszhart
By Harvard Medical School
By Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith
In eLetter
Back to Blog

The art and practice of building cultural and linguistic bridges has been a rhythm I have incorporated into my life since I could remember. As a child to immigrants who came to this country in pursuit of a better life, I was consistently reminded of the beauty of Colombian culture and language while navigating the nuances of being Colombian-American.

Each year as National Hispanic Heritage Month approaches, I am reminded to reflect on my own journey of appreciating being Hispanic while also being a follower of Jesus. Some of the questions I ask myself are:

How am I honoring God?

How am I honoring and celebrating my culture?

How am I inviting others to join me in this?

As followers of Jesus, our ultimate and most challenging call is to God Himself—to keep Him as the focus of all we think and do. For each person, this practice has its own implications. For me, I’m constantly making sure I’m doing things with God. Inviting Him into the mundane enables me to prioritize His will and pursue His way.

Culture: a set of shared values and beliefs practiced by a racial, religious, or social group

The culture I come from is in part diasporic and in part resolute. My parents immigrated from Colombia in the 1980s and made a life for my brothers and I in central Massachusetts. My early childhood memories are imbedded with talk about la familia en Colombia. I had to live in two worlds. Abraham Quintanilla notoriously warned his kids in the 1997 Selena film, “You have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans.” For me, it meant I had to learn to be a proud Colombian while having limited access to my parents’ culture. My family, along with the few Colombians we met in Massachusetts, cultivated our own culture through cooking typical Colombian food at family gatherings, dancing salsa through the night, and speaking Spanish. The resolve our parents imprinted on us was greatly impacted by the way we maintained our connection to our culture because we felt a sense of connection to others who endured similar circumstances.

In my adulthood, inviting others to join me in celebrating my heritage has been an unpredictable experience. On one hand I have friends who have embraced my Colombian culture and will grab dinner with me at a Colombian restaurant when I’m missing home. I’ve also encountered people who have viewed my culture as an aesthetic. In those less fortunate circumstances, I must remember my answer to that first question, “How am I honoring God in this?” We trust and we hope that people will honor and love where we are and where we come from, but sometimes that’s not the case—and that’s okay. God comforts us in ways that man can’t.

From the poetry of Jose Martí and Pablo Neruda and the art of Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso to the music of Selena and Oscar de Leon and the writings of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Gabriel García Márquez, we can begin to understand that Hispanic Heritage cannot be celebrated in 30 days.

For my non-Hispanic brothers and sisters: I encourage you to be curious. You can do this by asking your Hispanic brothers and sisters about their cultural upbringing. Ask questions like: “What foods did you eat growing up? What values did your parents instill within you? What language did you speak growing up? How do you think your cultural upbringing influences your view of God and our world?”

For my Hispanic brothers and sisters born in the United States: You are not alone. The pressures of making our parents’ sacrifice “worth it” and learning to live in two worlds can often lead us to isolate and buy into the lie that we’re alone. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As you learn to live in both cultural worlds, do a wellness check and evaluate whether or not you’re honoring the Lord. Secondly, cultivate those friendships where you can be fully yourself as you embrace and celebrate your customs and language—these kinds of relationships are invaluable. Lastly, continue to learn. Although we find ourselves between two worlds, learn about your parents’ mother country. Learn, practice, and worship in Spanish, learn about the rich culture from which you come, and, most importantly, engage with other Hispanics on a regular basis. Adelante porque tu puedes!

For my Hispanic brothers and sisters who now live in the United States: We see and celebrate you for the sacrifice you continue to make. When I meet someone who’s recently moved to the U.S., I’m reminded of the story of Abraham where God told him to leave his land and his culture to follow God. May God continue to guide and meet you as you pursue His will for your life.

As another Hispanic Heritage month ends this week, let us continue to be curious about and celebrate Hispanic Heritage.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” - Romans 12:10

We Recommend Reading Next: