More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith, By Kathy Khang and Christie Heller De Leon and Asifa Dean
More Than Serving Tea
  • Length: 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: October 23, 2006
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3371
  • ISBN: 9780830833719

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Asian American women are caught between different worlds. Many grew up sensing that daughters were not as valuable as sons. Family expectations and cultural stereotypes assume that Asian American women can only have certain prescribed roles, as if our worth comes only through what we do for others.

But God has good news for Asian American women. In his eyes, they are his beloved daughters, created for greater purposes than the roles imposed upon us. In this one-of-a-kind book, editors Nikki Toyama and Tracey Gee and a team of Asian American women share how God has redeemed their stories and helped them move beyond cultural and gender constraints. With the help of biblical role models and modern-day mentors, these women have discovered how God works through their ethnic identity, freeing them to use their gifts and empowering them to serve and lead.

The contributors include writers of East Asian heritage (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) as well as Southeast Asian (Filipina) and South Asian (Pakistani). Their diverse perspectives shed light on common threads in the Asian American experience, providing encouragement and guidance to others on the journey.

God has so much more in store for Asian American women than cultural norms, gender roles and old stereotypes of geisha girls or dutiful daughters. Experience the joy and freedom of becoming the Asian American Christian woman God intended you to be.

"God, in his wisdom and creativity, has created each of us in a unique way. Some he designed to be Asian American Christian women, a specific grouping that is not often addressed in Asian American literature. This book is an honest look at the personal struggles that these women deal with and how God corrects, heals and empowers them so that they can more fully embrace the whole package of who God made them."

Jimmy Lee, Executive Director, The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship alumnus

"More Than Serving Tea is a collection of rare, intimate, lived stories of Asian American women Christians. These stories are rare because they include struggles against Asian patriarchalism, American racism and interethnic stereotypes. Particularly, the review of mainstream film's portrayal of the Asian American female grabs the reader's attention powerfully. The power of image, language and symbols in motion pictures defines Asian American women's location within the American society. Nevertheless, in this book the silent, submissive, exotic speaks and challenges the superimposed script from the motion pictures, family and the church. By telling our own stories, we shape Asian American Christian women's identity according to God's design."

Rev. Young Lee Hertig, Ph.D., Global Studies and Sociology Department, Azusa Pacific University

"A fascinating book that brings to light the struggles, hardships, joys and blessings that many Asian American women experience as they live in this foreign land. The honesty and openness of these stories intricately connect to biblical images and are simply good for the soul. Toyama and Gee have edited an indispensable and delightful collection of essays for the Asian American community and the wider North American community as we live in a multicultural and globalized world."

Grace Ji-Sun Kim, author of The Grace of Sophia, and Assistant Professor of Doctrinal Theology, Moravian Theological Seminary

"What a gift this book is to the community of Christian women. Filled with solid biblical wisdom and slumber-party transparency, More Than Serving Tea made me feel like I was surrounded by a team of women who were walking me down a path toward Jesus. As a Caucasian woman, I found this book particularly helpful. Not only am I better able to understand and encourage the Asian American women in my life, but I also found myself challenged personally with my own shortcomings of people-pleasing, perfectionism, suffering, relationships and leadership. More Than Serving Tea is a must-read for all young Christian women who are hungry for a deeper walk with God and some companions to help you journey."

Michelle Graham, author of Wanting to Be Her: Body Image Secrets Victoria Won't Tell You

"Here is the world of Asian American women, unadorned. Diverse and immediate, these stories unveil a culture marked by shame, self-doubt, silence, invalidation, misogyny and great harm. Yet Jesus' strong call sounds in the midst: 'Name what is unjust, right what is wrong, love deeply in the midst of pain, and become the strong message bearers of the gospel you were created to be.' A book of clarity and courage."

Sally Morgenthaler, author of Worship Evangelism, and founder, Conversations: Gatherings for Women of Substance,

"More Than Serving Tea is an exciting and inspiring collection of becoming of Asian American women as they negotiate their faith at the intersection of race, gender, class, sexuality and spirituality. As faithful practitioners of their faith, each author is a witness to the strength of her character, the depth and width of her desire to better understand how faith is lived out in the complex web of relationships that comprise our everyday living. Their stories are hauntingly familiar while the strength and courage of their hope is impressively palpable. The sheer honesty present throughout this book makes this a must-read for women in search of what it means to be strong, Christian and Asian American in North America!"

Anne Joh, Assistant Professor of Theology, Phillips Theological Seminary, and author of Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology

"More Than Serving Tea is a passionate anthology of personal stories that will enlighten Asian women and provide a rich perspective to anyone who works with this rapidly growing ethnic group. It will challenge Asian women to impact their communities by being authentic to their true calling in life. May this critical resource inspire you to 'live out loud' and reach your full potential as well!"

Jane Hyun, Executive Coach/Diversity Strategist, and author of Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians

"More Than Serving Tea unveils the Western 'mystique' about Asian American women and shows us what an emerging generation of Asian American Christian women leaders are thinking. The richly textured voices of U.S.-born or raised Asian American women--often silenced in their families and churches--are wonderfully woven into a tapestry of honest stories of pain, struggle, joy and Christian hope. One does not need to be a woman or an Asian American to learn something about faith, discipleship and Asian American Christianity from this landmark book!"

Dr. Tim Tseng, President, Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity

"I wish this book had been around ten to fifteen years ago! But thankfully, it is here now. I was blessed by the honest stories and thoughtful reflections from this group of accomplished Asian American Christian leaders. More Than Serving Tea is more than just a good read. Asian American readers of all ages will learn from the collective wisdom and experiences within."

Helen Lee, former assistant editor of Christianity Today, cofounder of the Best Christian Workplaces Institute, and coeditor of Growing Healthy Asian American Churches

"More Than Serving Tea is a timely contribution and gift to the Asian American community. It affirms the unique contributions that Asian American women bring to our diverse cultural landscape as well as challenges our culture to break the stereotypes that many of us still cling to. This book also serves as a personal reminder of the gifts that our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters bring to us. Through this work, the authors provide worthy spiritual role models and mentors with whom I would entrust my own daughter."

Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Assistant Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth, North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois

"More Than Serving Tea is an insightful and moving collection of essays by Asian American Christian women. This book is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to understand their unique experiences and an inspiration for those who face similar challenges."

Michelle V. Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, Biola University

"Finally, a work that recognizes the hard work and devotion of a 'sometimes' overlooked part of God's kingdom: Asian American women in his service. May the testimonies represented in the stories of challenge and joy from five women, their spheres of influence, be used one hundred times to bless those who have faithfully served, but even more that they would encourage those just beginning journeys of faithfulness. A must-read for all (especially mothers, sisters, 'aunties' and the brothers) who come alongside women who fully desire to serve God and his people in their giftedness and excellence for his glory."

Rev. Melanie Mar Chow, Asian American Christian Fellowship, Campus Minister, JEMS/AACF

"A distinctive anthology of Asian American voices speaking on issues of race, gender, sexism and racism within the context of an overarching Christian faith."

Claire S. Chow, author of Leaving Deep Water: The Lives of Asian-American Women at the Crossroads of Two Cultures

"More Than Serving Tea is a testimony of how God has made us--including our ethnic and gender identities--fearfully and wonderfully. I especially appreciate how the authors highlight the specific strengths of Asian American Christian women. By weaving together personal narrative with biblical insights, their stories capture how God can redeem and use our emerging Asian American culture to serve his kingdom."

Russell Jeung, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University, and author of Faithful Generations: Race and New Asian American Churches

"Boldly exposes the key struggles Asian American Christian women face in embracing their personal identity in Christ and expressing their kingdom discipleship interacting with critical issues like ethnicity, gender, family, society, traditions, etc. With a brimful of insights and inspiration, this volume is a must-read for both genders of all races and cultures."

Dr. T. V. Thomas, Cochair, International Network of South Asian Diaspora Leaders (INSADL)

. . . this volume provides significant insights in the fields of Asian-American studies and ethnic identity studies.

Chloe Sun for Religious Studies Review, April 2007


Foreword by Jeanette Yep

Introduction--Asian American Christian Women: Triple Blessing or Triple Curse? By Nikki A. Toyama

1. Sticks, Stones and Stereotypes by Christie Heller de Leon
2. Pulled by Expectations by Kathy Khang
3. Perfectionistic Tendencies by Nikki A Toyama
4. From Swallowing Suffering by Tracey Gee
5. Freedom in Sexuality by Kathy Khang
6. Daughter of Two Worlds by Christie Heller de Leon
7. Friends or Enemies? Asifa Dean
8. Single Asian Female Seeking. . . by Asifa Dean
9. Getting Used to the Sound of My Voice by Nikki A. Toyama
10. Becoming Leaders by Tracey Gee

Epilogue by Tracey Gee
Recommended Reading
Study Guide
About the Authors


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