Swagata Bergquist

Swagata Bergquist

by | May 15, 2024 | AAPI, Stories


One practice that I was exposed to growing up was, regardless of what was happening in people’s life, they would drop whatever they were doing to be fully present with someone else. Like our neighbors attending to our needs when my dad spent months out of town for work. Like a family friend taking me to the hospital in the middle of the night.

Looking back, I also want to be fully present with others like my family and friends were. This is one part of my culture that I would like to preserve and instill in my life and in my walk with Jesus.

What I think most people assume about India is that food is just spicy and all Indians are Hindus. What I wish people understood is that there is so much diversity in India in terms of religion, languages, traditions, cultures, and landscapes, which has an impact in the type of food, textures and flavors, found in India.

One challenge I’ve encountered is feeling awkward when I’m the only person in the room with a different race or ethnicity. I would feel awkward in my head because I would look different and wouldn’t have anything in common with the others in the room. This has sometimes made it hard to freely be in community because I don’t feel connected right away.

Walking into a predominantly American church was not easy. I felt alone, isolated, and unseen at first. But I continued to believe that God is faithful and in him, and in him only, will I find shelter in an unknown country. And I did. I grew in my spiritual life, I found my husband here, and my daughter is growing up here.



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