By Melissa Wuske
What Matters Most to Americans
In a recent survey, LifeWay Research asked Americans which feelings they avoid, what are their strongest desires, and which goals or directions they value.
“Personal freedom” and “respect” were the most common desires (40 and 31 percent), and the most valued directions were “reaching my potential” (51 percent) and “bringing honor to family and friends” (46 percent).
Americans most avoid feelings of shame (38 percent), guilt (31 percent), and fear (30 percent). Those who have no religious affiliation are more likely to avoid guilt (35 percent) than people who are religious (30 percent); but the opposite is true for shame, which is most avoided by 39 percent of religious people and 33 percent of people who are not religious. “Guilt says, ‘I deserve to be punished.’ But shame says, ‘I am worthless,’” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. The survey showed that “risk to our reputation is what matters most,” said McConnell.
Indonesian Christians Arrested by ICE
Four Indonesian Christians who escaped persecution and found refuge in a New Jersey church were recently arrested and one of them was deported. In 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the men they would not be deported, but in May when the men came to a meeting to check in with ICE, they were arrested and sent to a detention center and one of them, Arino Massie, was deported. None of the men have criminal records.
As he was being deported, Massie called Seth Kaper-Dale, the minister at Reformed Church of Highland Park where the men found help: “Pastor, I’m already on the plane. I’m headed for Japan,” he said. “Thanks for all the efforts of the community. Tell the community I love them. Tell my son I love him.”
Yana Pangemanan, who had also found shelter in the church, explained the situation that Indonesian Christians fled in the 1990s and early 2000s. “Racism against Chinese Indonesians was horrible. Jakarta’s Chinatown was burned. Chinese women were being raped. . . . They were killing people in the street, burning cars.”
Leadership Lessons from U.S. Women’s Soccer Players
Julie Foudy has played midfield for the U.S. Women’s Soccer team for nearly 20 years. During that time, she’s learned many lessons about leadership from her teammates, but the most powerful lessons were off the field.
“I had always thought leadership was positional. I’d always thought leadership was a CEO or president or person in a position of power,” she said. “And honestly, to me that meant a man—because that’s what I was reading about in history books growing up.”
“But my U.S. teammates showed me that leadership is personal, not positional. They showed me that asserting your own leadership style is most important—being authentically you.”
Paying Off Lunch Debt
Tom and Christy Lee of Everett, Washington, heard about a problem facing students in their local public school: lunch debt. Similar to other schools around the nation, the district tallies the cost of lunch for children who don’t have money to pay for their meal and whose parents haven’t applied for free or reduced price lunches. When students have lunch debt, schools often make them work to pay it off, hold their report cards, or refuse to add them to the roster for the next school year. The Lees decided to pay the lunch debts for their whole districts, totaling $5,495, to ease the burden on these students and their parents.
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).