A youth member of the Iao United Church of Christ welcomed 2,500 participants at the United Church of Christ National Youth Event at Purdue University earlier this month.
High school sophomore Carissa Yinmed, who was born on the Micronesian island of Yap and moved to Hawaii at age 10, shared her experiences of alienation and hostility as an outsider in her new community.
Tutors from her church helped the Wailuku youth become part of her new culture and community.
"Christ's extravagant welcome brought us all together as one family even when no one looks like anyone else," she told the gathering of more then 2,500 youths. "That welcome breaks down the barriers of race, color, sexual orientation, everything."
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