Another guest post from Russell Jeung on his family's experiences in the Murder Dubs neighborhood of Oakland, and living as peacemakers and parents at the same time.
My wife and I are such protective parents that we would wrap up our kids in bubble wrap if we could. However, that’s impractical because we like popping the bubbles too much. As Christian parents, we face a quandary: How do we raise our children in safety and security while also teaching them to live out the radical, risk-taking demands of the Beatitudes?
In my last blog post, I shared the first of our corporate practices: living together as the poor in spirit. Here I share two other community practices as we work out our salvation together in a low-income neighborhood of East Oakland.
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
The second practice of our family is to act as peacemakers of our community. We have had so many needless deaths in our community; I can’t count the number of peace walks and memorials I’ve attended. Our church will begin to host monthly walks so we can pray about the human trafficking right in front of our building and the local schools. As they see their parents model peacemaking, children like my son, Matthew, and his friends are learning how to stand up for justice in concrete ways as well.
Many kids in our neighborhood get bullied. In California, Asian American youth are the group most often racially harassed. Consequently, Matthew’s school regularly conducts antibullying campaigns. He’s learned the three steps to stop bullying: 1) ignore the bully; 2) if bullying continues, ask the bully to stop; 3) if bullying still persists, tell an adult.
Unfortunately, standing up to a bully is difficult, especially ...1