COVID-19: West Houston Chinese Church Sheds Light on Asian Community Impact and Responds With Love


David Hsu, Pastor of West Houston Chinese Church, shares the unique challenges that the Asian community is experiencing during COVID-19 and how churches can take the lead on setting an example of how Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor.

"I would love to see if somehow by the grace of God that our city could be a leader. . .the gospel orientation, because the believers of the church are taking a stand, that this city really shows a very different attitude as we go through this together. And maybe together we draw closer to the gospel and the knowledge of Jesus Christ together."

Resources Mentioned:

West Houston Chinese Church

Houston Responds COVID-19 Resources


Transcript:

Tommy Rosson:

Hello. Thank you for joining us today. It's Tommy Rosson with Houston Responds. And today I'm honored to have, Pastor David Hsu with the West Houston Chinese Church. David, thank you for joining us.


David Hsu:

Thank you for having me.


Tommy Rosson:

Absolutely. Tell us a little bit about your church is located obviously in West Houston. Tell me a little bit about how y'all have responded to COVID-19.


David Hsu:

Yeah, well, you know, like everybody else, we got hit, pretty quick and having to move everything online. You know, I've been grateful for how the Lord helped us and how hard our team worked to bring everything online. And you know, in a matter of two weeks, our small groups got online. So that's going well. There were some areas where we had to think about some of the least served parts of our church.


For instance, we have some seniors who are shut in senior apartments and they're not quite savvy enough with smartphones or the internet. So, you know, figuring out how can we serve them? So, our minister of senior adults, you know, last minute, put together a devotional workbook, delivered it to them, and then we put, started putting our sermon on phone lines so they could make a regular phone call and hear the message. I don't know if other people do that nowadays. We weren't thinking of this as your thing, so they could actually hear a regular weekly devotion and still be able to have access to the sermons through, you know, through the means that they know how. But, you know, we're like everybody, we're feeling our way through this.


So yeah, but we're learning a lot from everybody. I felt like, you know, what you're doing here. The body of Christ has been so overwhelmingly sharing creative resources and what they're doing. And, so we've been blessed by that.


Tommy Rosson:

That's great. What does it look like to serve in your community and how are you all approaching that during the season?


David Hsu:

Well, our community, at least at our church and whatnot, so far we haven't had anybody hit by COVID-19. We've been focusing on ministry in equipping our leaders, our people, how to serve. So part of it in terms of equipping our small group leaders, and trying to see the crisis as an opportunity. So one of the things, one of the highlights, you know, if there are highlights to speak of in a time like this, we'll be seeing a new group birth during this time.


And we find that a lot of people are quite hungry. They're more receptive than ever before to spiritual conversations, to a safe space where they can share about what their concerns are and to even listen to some biblical truth into speaking to our lives. So we're excited to see that in the new small group. We just had one this past Sunday for Easter Sunday evening. We launched another new small group there in Cypress. We're excited about that. But, currently really, trying to make sure that our people are being ministered to and sort of figuring out how to minister to the community at large. And that's something we're still really trying to figure out right now.


Tommy Rosson:

Yeah, that's great. Thank you for, thank you for letting us know how you're doing and it's exciting that the church continues to grow and have unique opportunities within this season. One of the things that I'd love to get your insight and input on is being, you know, a Chinese church, church folks from the Chinese community. You know, the greater Asian community of greater Houston is an integral part of who we are. We're one of the most diverse, if not the most diverse city in America. And we have a very long relationship with the Asian community, but this is something that has impacted that. So what's the overall sense? What does it look like in the Asian community with this COVID-19 in our community?


David Hsu:

Yeah. Well, thank you for asking about that, Tommy. I would say in the Asian or Chinese American or I think in the immigrant community, right now, what the people I get to talk to, I sense there's a lot of anxiety. Especially as we get ready now talking about reopening. You know, leading into this time we were hearing some, you know, troubling news about, you know, some racial profiling, we have seen some harassment. And then that kind of shuts itself down because, you know, we're all sheltered in place. So, you know, as we come out of this, I think a lot of people have a lot of concerns. If you pick up the news, here and there you hear about more Asians are purchasing guns. They are fearful. You're fearful a lot. I know some people are concerned about their visa statuses, you know, whose job laws, would they still have people even stay in this country, you know, where the kids are growing up here.


And the, you know, even the more subtle things, you know this, right? You know, the kids asking their parents, why wouldn't their parents, you know, let their kids play with us or when they see them, they just, you know, getaway and, you know, don't catch the virus. So the equating, Asian Americans or immigrant with the virus, or that I think that has kind of really set a tone for a lot of the angst, a lot of the stress that people are feeling right now.


Tommy Rosson:

Well, I mean there's, we have enough stress with this in general. The last thing we, I can imagine is then you throw in the racial profiling side of this, what it's like in the Asian community to be scared of that. But also so many in your community I mean, they're second, third, fourth generation, you know, Americans. And America is the melting pot. And so, I mean, this is their home. This is their country. Now all of a sudden they have to go back to being isolated and fearful and then with their kids. How does the church address that, the bigger church, what's the best way for the bigger church to address something that I think most all believers would say, this isn't right.


David Hsu:

Yeah, thank you for asking that. We've been so grateful. I think I can speak for, in that sense as an immigrant who grew up here at a young age, to live in a place like Houston. You know, one of the most diverse cities in America now also has had a history of just great race relations. You know, how people get along really well, respect diversity. And I'm praying that as we go into this next phase of challenge that this city of ours can continue to take that kind of leadership for our country. And I'm praying that that kind of leader, you know, you hear on a lot of people talk about we're all in this together. You know, I like how that's done, how people are talking about that.


I hope that that leadership will fall from the church. And that's just from pragmatic, globalism, you know, it's coming from the fact that because Jesus wants us to love neighbors because the scr