A perspective of being a human through authenticity and vulnerability. 

It is common knowledge that people are faced with certain tasks to fulfill their duty of being useful to society, the workforce or the educational setting within schools. Having skills and experiences in life will determine the future of your career path.

But have you ever asked yourself what makes a person a human being? What kind of skills do you need in order to consider yourself as a person with distinguishable attributes? Are there characteristics that make you stand out from the rest of your friends and peers in life?

These questions are the premise of Emily

APU student Emily Chew sits on a bench smiling and holding a bouquet of sunflowers.

Photo Courtesy of Juan Vilchez — Emily Chew is a senior at APU studying nursing.

Chew’s perspective that defines for her what it is like to be a human being in this world. Her story and experiences set a standard that being a human means to evaluate and analyze the traits one has been given from God.

Chew, a nursing major at Azusa Pacific University, defines being a human as being authentic. She believes being authentic helps a person recognize that they are worthy of their existence. Displaying emotions in life is what makes a person a human being, according to Chew. 

“Sharing the bad, good and the things that we need makes us human beings,” Chew said. She shared that being a human being means demonstrating vulnerability in our lives, meaning that it is good to recognize that we, as humans, are imperfect. 

The aspects of authenticity and vulnerability that Chew shared are reflected in her own life. Loving others, treating people with respect and listening to people’s stories are what make Chew a human being in this world.

As a child, Chew grew up in a Christian family. She went to church on Sundays whenever she could, but her parents worked a lot, sometimes including Sundays, which made it difficult to get to church.

The Christian influences in her life came mostly from her mom and her maternal grandfather. Chew’s grandfather took her to church whenever her mom and dad were not able to make it. Her mom told her that the church was not what made Chew a Christian. Rather it was the love toward others and the passion of following Christ. “Treating others with kindness means a lot to me,” Chew said.

In her high school years, Chew pursued her own journey of discovering the true meaning of what it means to be a Christian. She started to go to church frequently by herself, with her grandparents, with friends and with her mother as well. 

Chew enjoyed being at her high school because she was set apart from others in the sense that she was different — the difference being that she was a Christian. Regardless of her differences from her classmates, Chew enjoyed treating other students with respect and kindness. 

“The kingdom of God has a lot of people with different backgrounds; therefore, everyone should feel loved regardless of their ideologies,” Chew said. She also states that humans are a “mess,” but God seeks to help us along the way to reach “perfection” in our lives on this Earth. 

Chew said that a good experience for her in high school was that she was part of a Christian club. It was small, but she had the chance to do a bible study every Friday at school with her friends.

Chew’s journey changed drastically when she arrived at APU as a freshman. Her spiritual life was in a stage of growth, and her relationship with Christ skyrocketed spiritually. She could see that the community was openly free to talk about God. Her personal relationship with the Lord began to change a lot, and the Holy Spirit was working in her life. 

“I could see that the APU community was on fire for God; I felt so special,” Chew said. Being human at APU for Chew is to express vulnerability, human kindness and to recognize that we all need God’s help in the long run of our spiritual journey. “Having vulnerabilities in our lives is to recognize that we all need help, and therefore, we must put our trust in God at all times,” Chew stated.

Chew went to Honduras through a global engagement team in May 2022. The experience showed her what it is like to be a human being when it comes to helping those that are in need within a community.

Emily Chew holds a stethoscope on a boy's chest as he wears the earpieces of the stethoscope. The two are laughing together

Photo Courtesy of Emily Chew — Chew went on a mission trip with OSD to Honduras where she served the local community’s health needs.


Chew’s humanistic profile in Honduras was to be the hands and feet of the kingdom of God. For her, this phrase meant “to walk as Jesus walked on this Earth and to love as he did.”

She felt connected with the people and the kids in the city of Santa Bárbara, Honduras, because she could see the need that they were going through. Despite their lack of material goods, Chew could see that they had a passion for Christ.

Chew saw her humanity in her service by the fact that she was able to sit with people and kids that were going through a lot of hardships and demonstrate love to those who needed it the most. “Being a human being in Honduras was to be authentic, caring, loving and to be present for others in dire circumstances of life,” said Chew.

Her journey of becoming a nurse means that she gets to help patients in the near future in her career. “Nursing will be a wonderful career in my life to set a light, and it will set a path of being the hands and feet of Jesus,” Chew stated.