CASTRO VALLEY- Christian counseling resources have become the center of the Asian American track in the 43rd Bay Area Sunday School (BASS) Church Workers’ Convention.
Held on Mar. 2-4 at Redwood Chapel, Castro Valley, the renowned Convention has attracted some 400 attendants from a wide spectrum of churches- Caucasian, Chinese, Korean, African, and Spanish- across the San Francisco Bay Area. Over 200 workshops on many different aspects are offered with an aim to equip, to encourage and to provide resource for lay leaders and volunteers so that they can serve better in their churches.
As the Convention has received active participation from the Asian American churches over the last few years, a special Asian American track is available. This year, many workshops in the Asian American track are related to parenting and family issues faced by particularly Chinese Americans. Some of the workshops are offered in Cantonese.
In a workshop with the theme "Parenting American-Born Chinese," Winnis Chiang from the San Ramon Valley Gospel Church, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT), spoke on the challenge of raising American born Chinese children for overseas born Chinese parents.
Based on her personal experience and expertise, Chiang tried to untie the knot of cultural gap between the two generations through the teaching of the Bible as well as some key psychological knowledge.
As many Chinese parents usually have high expectations on their American born children in academic and career achievement, that will lead to disappointment, anxiety or even anger in case these expectations are not met. However, Chiang suggested the best way to raise a child by paraphrasing Proverbs 22:6, "If we train a child to follow the way of God, he will make the best decision even if the parents are not around. And he will not turn away from the right track."
In the chaotic world where temptations and dangers are everywhere, Chiang said that she could imagine how worried she would be if she has not believed in God and entrusted her son in God’s hand as he grows up and becomes independent.
"We do believe that God the Heavenly Father protects our children, and as parents, we should always pray for our children as well," said Chiang.
Speaking of establishing a heart-to-heart relationship between parents and children, Chiang explained the word "CARE" represents "Compassion," "Acceptance," "Respect," and "Empathy." On the aspect of "Respect," Chiang pointed out that many Chinese parents tend to expect the children to respect them first. However, if they can see their children as God’s creation and a precious soul, just as how God looks at all people, they should learn to respect them also.
At the end, Chiang suggested Christian parents who have children of similar age to form small groups in the church so that they can share with each other how they raise their children and pray for each other.
Chiang has also presented some other workshops such as "Developing Emotional Intelligence" and "Teaching According to Learning Styles" in Cantonese on Saturday.
Dr. Sam Leong, was another main speakers for the Asian American Track. As a licensed Christian psychologist at the California-based Christian Psychotherapy Services, he also offered some workshops "Where East Meets West: Connecting with Our Fathers," "Knowing Yourself: The Key to Personal and Spiritual Growth" and "Growing Spiritually and Sexually in Marriage."