One America Voices: Larry Lin

Written by: Larry Lin

January 14, 2022

Larry Lin

Baltimore, MD
Matthew 5:9 Outreach Manager

Q: You are a Cornell University graduate and became involved in Campus Crusade while there. How did your time in Cru ultimately shape your career path?
I originally went to Cornell to get an engineering degree. I wasn’t particularly passionate about engineering–it was just a practical choice. I was pretty good at math and science, and I didn’t want to go to graduate school. 

However, I was passionate about Cru, a Christian student ministry that helped college students grow in their relationships with Jesus. I spent many waking hours reading the Bible with friends, going to prayer meetings and worship band practices, organizing outreach events, and having spiritual conversations with classmates. As I approached graduation, it wasn’t long before I realized that my career should be determined not by what gives me the most financial stability but by what gives me the most life. 

I took a year after graduation to work with Cru, and on the very first day of work, it was as clear as day that vocational ministry was where I belonged. Since then, I’ve worked at different places, but never in engineering. I’ve stayed in the non-profit sector–dedicating my career to life-giving causes.

Q: You and your family are really into composting and taking care not to be wasteful.  Why do you think this mindset is important to pass on to your children? 

As a child of immigrant parents, I was raised to be diligent in earning and saving money and only to spend money on necessities. As an adult, I often worked odd jobs and spent a lot of time on Craig’s List. As my Christian faith matured, I had a theological component added to this tendency toward frugality and resourcefulness. I learned that the whole earth belongs to God, and we are the stewards of the possessions he has entrusted to us. This manifests in several ways.

Firstly, our family tries to be generous with our possessions. We are not frugal for the sake of being frugal, but frugal for the sake of being generous. Therefore, over the years, we’ve steadily increased the percentage of our income that we donate. Secondly, our family tries to make decisions that prevent harm to the environment. We have a rain barrel to limit our rain runoff, we have a compost bin in our backyard, and we try as much as we can to buy clothes and furniture secondhand.

My wife and I are hoping to help our kids to see that everything we have is a blessing from God, and in turn, everything we have is an opportunity to be a blessing to others.

What made you decide to join the One America Movement team?

As a former pastor, I’ve worn different hats and interacted with different types of people. I’ve mentored graduate students at Johns Hopkins University and visited people in prison. I’ve provided counseling to young couples looking to get married and drug addicts looking to get clean. I’ve sat in ride-alongs in police cars and participated in Black Lives Matter protests. All of these experiences have brought me to the conviction that though we may all look different on the outside, at the end of the day, we all share the same core desires. We all want purpose, justice, community, and joy.

Unfortunately, our country’s cultural segregation and polarization have made us enemies of one another, and the American church has been part of the problem. I’ve been disappointed by many people who claim to follow the Prince of Peace but sow seeds of division and hate. The theological and political discourse in the church has often not reflected the heart of reconciliation found in Jesus. As a result, I’ve made it one of my goals in life to bring different Christians together through the gospel’s reconciling power and help people express differing viewpoints but still love one another.

When I first heard about the One America Movement, an organization that seeks to end toxic polarization and make peace, it seemed to be exactly what God was calling me to do. I’m excited to be on board, and I look forward to what God has in store.

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