A few weeks ago, Christianity Today asked me to conduct an interview and write the story of an immigrant or refugee in our congregation who is making significant contributions to our church and community. The truth is we have MANY great people to choose from – among them is Cesar Quintero.
Here is one fun story that did not make it into the article —
As a certified yoga instructor, Cesar began teaching free classes in different locations in Tulsa. Several in our church and its programs began to request that he teach classes on our campuses. Cesar, being the savvy marketer that he is, was concerned some of our good church-going people might feel uncomfortable with the word “yoga.” So he came to me with a proposal for a “Stretching and Fitness” class.
“Instead of finishing the class with the word namaste,” Cesar assured me, “we will say something like, ‘Thank you for being here and God bless you.’ If it helps, I’ll pretend I’ve never even heard namaste before.”
Cesar now teaches his “Stretching and Fitness” classes on multiple days of the week at our church. Many of those who attend are fellow immigrants, but some are not. Among the American-born people who have attended his classes are some of our own church members and even members of our church staff. They have found the classes to not only be helpful physically, but to be very encouraging emotionally and spiritually.
“The real goal of any of my classes,” Cesar says, “is to teach people about ‘loving themselves’ by taking better care of their physical, mental, and spiritual health. Each of these things come directly from the perspective of Christianity and the Bible.”
ALSO: One of our excellent photographers – Jill Curry – took some great photos that did not make it into the article and so they are included below.