Finding Jesus among My Ancestors and Refugee Neighbors
Christians hear the call for justice, but how many truly live out their daily responsibility to facilitate its progression? Russell Jeung moved into the “Murder Dubs” neighborhood of East Oakland in 1991 for sociological fieldwork, but has stayed for relationship building and community ministry. The latest PLT publication through the Virginia Seminar, At Home in Exile is his spiritual memoir chronicling the joys and the dangers of his life, including a successful landmark housing settlement against slumlords with 200 of his closest Cambodian and Latino friends. Reflecting on the journeys and influence of his ancestors and refugee neighbors, Jeung pens an inspiring narrative that challenges us all to recommit to the justice calling.
An interview by Inheritance Magazine with the Jeungs writes:
“‘Part of our calling [as Christians] is to suffer alongside others. We have to know the fellowship of [Jesus’] sufferings,’ said Russell. ‘Unless we do that, we don’t understand how much God has suffered for us and how much love He has for us.’
Imitating Jesus, for the Jeungs, meant being God’s hands and feet in a world where neighbors struggled with deportation, eviction, and death. ‘That’s why we’re there — to show that despite all these hardships, God is still with us and God is still with our neighbors.’”
For more information on the book, click here.
Russell M. Jeung is professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University. His research interests include the sociology of race, the sociology of religion, and social movements. His other publications include Sustaining Faith Traditions: Race, Ethnicity and Religion Among the Latino and Asian American Second Generation (2012) and Faithful Generations: Race and New Asian American Churches (2004). In addition, he has co-produced with Valerie Soe the documentary The Oak Park Story (2010) about his faith-based community organizing in East Oakland with Cambodians and Latinos.