• Breaking Misconceptions of the Marginalized
  • Breaking Misconceptions of the Marginalized

Artwork by YMI X Emilia Ting (@emiliating_96)

We’re all familiar with Jesus’ command to feed the poor, look after the weak among us, and reach out to the marginalized. But for most of us, it’s also a command that we often ignore. 

Perhaps being involved in social justice feels too big and paralyzing. Or, we don’t quite know how to approach them or even what to say to them. Maybe for some of us, our heads have been filled with stereotypes about these groups of people that have given rise to unwarranted fears. As a result, we end up perpetuating stereotypes about them that pushes them further beyond the margin.

But if we’re truly to live as God’s people—and lights in the darkness (Matthew 5:14-16)—we need to be the first to offer hope to those the world often forgets or ostracizes. All it takes is just one step. 

In this series, we’ll be focusing on four groups of people the church often neglects—those who struggle with mental health, have special needs, migrant workers, the homeless, and at-risk youths. 

We invite you to enter into their world and understand the struggles they face more deeply. Perhaps you may well discover that they’re not that different from us. And just like us, they long to be seen, loved, and understood.

What comes to your mind when you think of the words “mental illness”? Do you picture someone who’s not in control of their own faculties, or someone who always seems to have dark clouds hovering above their heads?

Have you ever wondered what it might feel like to lose your hearing or sight or the use of your limbs? Or, living in a world with social cues and sensations that are so different from the one in your mind that others can’t understand what you’re trying to express?

Imagine living in the midst of a warzone, or coming home to an empty house, not knowing when you’ll see your parents again. That’s what many difficult or at-risk youths face on a day to day basis.

Do you remember the last time you walked past a homeless person? What were the thoughts that ran through your mind? Did you try to walk past them as quickly as possible or did you stop and wonder what circumstances might have led them there?

What if one day you were forced to leave your family behind and move to a new country where you know no one, and had to work 7 days a week without rest?

This project wouldn’t have been possible without the input from these individuals who have worked directly with these marginalized groups in one way or another: Emilia Ting, Joseph Kolapudi, Jasmine Goh, Deborah Tan, Abraham Yeo, Kenneth & Adeline Thong, Ray Lam, Gillian & Amy Ji.