Hi, I’m Judy. I wear many hats, but at the core, I am a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ – a sinful, broken person who has been rescued and continues to be rescued on a daily basis by a merciful and loving God. I live out that reality as a wife, a mother, a writer, a singer/songwriter/musician, a cross-cultural bridge builder, a mentor to young women, and an advocate for marginalized people.
I’m what you might call a third-culture kid. I was raised by Taiwanese immigrants and spent my whole childhood and adolescence straddling 2 very different worlds – the one at home and the one outside of it. At home, we spoke 2 non-English languages and adhered to the cultural norms and expectations of my parents’ motherland. Everywhere else, whether at school or in the public sphere, I adhered to a completely different set of cultural norms and expectations. Over time, I found that I didn’t identify with either culture 100%, but I was adept at navigating both.
This third-culture consciousness has profoundly shaped the way that I approach the work of cross-cultural bridge building. I have a particular interest in applying the principles of missiology and cultural contextualization to helping estranged groups move toward mutually transformative understanding and synergy.
Americans from different ethnic, cultural, religious, and socioeconomic groups use the same words very differently and assign vastly different meanings to them, even if they all speak English as their first language. That’s because words are symbols, and what they symbolize to one group of people can be fundamentally different from what they symbolize to another. The implications of these differences are significant. When alienated groups attempt to dialogue about the very things that create division among them, these differences in word symbolism often result in impassable communication barriers. Rhetorical stalemates not only prevent healing; they inflict new wounds. An important step in the effort to build bridges involves awareness, identification, and demystification of our unspoken “word legends.”
I completed a B.A. in History at Rice University in 1994, an M.S. in Epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1997, and an M.S. in Physician Assistant studies at Baylor College of Medicine in 1999. I worked in the medical field for a total of 10 years, but I have put away my medical hat and am now focused on promoting interracial healing in both the church and our country through speaking and writing.
However you found yourself here (social media, search engine, emailed link, or freak accident), welcome. I hope at least some of what is written here blesses you. Thank you for visiting!
So glad I found your blog through Jen Hatmaker! I’ll be reading the rest of your racial empathy series with interest :).
I found it also through Jen Hatmaker! I’ve enthralled already. Thank you!
Same here. Jen Hatmaker. Looking forward to learning a lot.
I am so happy that I got to meet you in person. I look forward to reading and learning more from you.
Same here, Keysha!