As I got ready to hop on the airplane to head out to Dallas for LaFe10, I grabbed the essential books out of my LaFe library. These are the books I refer back to time and time again.
Everything You Need to Know about Latino History
by Himilce Novas
History matters. Novas' question and answer style of telling history helps you hone right in to the topics that are immediately relevant. And his chapter on Hispanic roots manages to weave together Europe, Africa and the Americas. Latino history is bigger than Spain's colonial expansion.
Harvest of Empire
by Juan Gonzalez
I call this book the cynical true story of the United States' interaction with Latin and South America. In Harvest of Empire, Gonzalez traces the story from Roots to Branches to Harvest, focusing on individual countries and the big picture and tying in current events. The story is hard. The story is depressing. And sadly, the story is true. And we need to know this story well as we move forward and help students grapple with the family in which God has placed them.
by Justo González
We all bring cultural lenses with us when we read Scripture, noticing some things that others would miss. In this book, González shares five unique aspects of the Latino lens, aspects that help us see things in God's Word that would be passed over by non-Latino readers. This is why it is so important to both read the Bible in diverse community and nourish the perspective granted to you by your own ethnic identity.
by Justo González
What Santa Biblia is to Bible Study, Mañana is to Christian Theology. In this book, González explores both the unique perspective gained from bringing a Latino cultural lens to theology and unique ways classical Christian theology speaks into the struggles and joys of the Latino community. This is heavy lifting, but worth it.
Being Latino in Christ
by Orlando Crespo
This book is one of a kind. What does it mean to be Latino? Why does it matter? What is God up to in all of this? So many students have started engaging with their ethnic identity because of this book. Crespo manages to blend together insightful Bible study with deep personal reflection. Being Latino in Christ is the starting place for Latino student ministry (assuming you're already reading the Bible).
What other books would you recommend for people involved in Latino student ministry?