Racism and Discrimination – one man’s journey

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Have you ever stopped and wondered what it would be like to be different – I mean of a different race and culture to the one you are living in? The many trials and suffering that are undergone because you don’t fit in and are not welcome in your community?

Leonard Young, the author of ‘The Man Who Rebelled Against God’ tells his story of an unforgiving society that wouldn’t accept him for who he was – a young Chinese living in Brisbane in the early 1940s. 

This is the story of a young Chinese man growing up in western society where racism was rife. This story is Leonard’s personal testimony of God’s forgiveness of his sin, and by trusting Jesus Christ.

The book is published by Ark House Press. 

The author explains his journey. “Some people who hear the call of God upon their lives respond immediately and never waver throughout their entire life. They grow closer to Him every day and never fail to obey His demands on their lives. They can look back over their lives with satisfaction knowing just how much God has blessed their service for Him”. 

“As for me I have struggled throughout much of my life to show a consistent walk with our Lord.” 

As a child Leonard was led into a life of delinquency and law breaking and was totally uncontrollable. His foster mother had a house of amoral boarders that gave him a poor role model. “Being Chinese in a completely white community I was ostracized and suffered from abuse from both adults and in my school,” he says. “On the other hand, a small Christian church gradually changed my life by patient and loving acceptance and brought knowledge of Christ to me.” 

Being fostered by an Irish mother in a completely white society Leonard was basically cut off from his Chinese community (apart from his school holidays). However, the language barrier with his father and his Chinese friends prevented any close connections between father and son. His Church became his only haven from the verbal abuse and isolation from outside in the general community. Christian men became his spiritual mentors and emotional support.

Having accepting Christ in his late teens and then rebelling against God through interpersonal relationships within the Christian community Leonard lived a life of wanton selfishness and sin. “I never at any time believed that God did not exist but felt that he had deprived me of my deepest desire,” Leonard went on to explain.

After a time, Leonard became marginally connected to the Christian community because, as he pointed out, he wanted his children to grow up to be law-abiding and morally upstanding citizens and to reject drugs and other pit-falls young people fall into. “However, with the death of my grandson I realized my life without Christ was empty and I desperately needed God’s love and comfort the world could not give me.” 

This is a story of a Chinese man born on the wrong side of life and the law who, as a young child, lived in a suburb of Brisbane just after World War 2. Although he experienced the psychological barbs of racism and discrimination and became bitter and rebellious, a small congregation of Christians eventually rescued him. 

Leonard Young inspires us with the account of his journey from childhood and teenage rebellion to finding God in the midst of his trials. 

This story begins in a period of our history when there have been many changes within the Australian community as well as its churches. Some of these transformations have been positive and beneficial while others are spiritually destructive. 

“Although the Church, in particular, is generally welcoming, there is again an increase in racial discrimination and verbal abuse,” Leonard strongly points out. “This is not helped by the atrocities and terrorism that has become a current occurrence nearly every day. My hope is that when their children grow up in our society they will gradually become more accepted.”   

“I believe this story of mine is also timely. We are now in a period when there is little sympathy for others in the world who are suffering persecution, social isolation, discrimination and even worse; innumerable deaths and acts of genocide. This is particularly so when they are considered not to have the same belief system, a common ethnic origin, social standing, or political preference. However, God sent Christ to die on the cross because of His great love for all humanity. 

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.