APU LIFE: You studied abroad as an undergraduate, attended the London School of Economics as a graduate student, and plan to work with a technology startup in California. What inspired your love for an international lifestyle?
Pascale: At APU, I valued hearing the perspectives of speakers from other countries and cultures, and explored authors, ideas, and concepts that aren’t purely American. The study abroad and internship programs really encouraged me to go beyond my comfortable boundaries and made me realize that the Kingdom of God is not limited to the U.S. Nor is it is limited to social class, location, a circle of friends, or one denomination. It is much bigger and grander. So being Kingdom focused, I felt prepared.
APU LIFE: You were born in Iran and adopted by American parents. Do your two cultures give you a unique insight into the struggles in the Middle East?
Pascale: While my heart is undeniably American, I value and embrace my Persian background. In fact, I have a few business contacts in Iran and am even learning Farsi. But my cultural blend also makes me acutely aware of the plight of Iranian Christians. There is a small, but vibrant Christian commitment in that country with a growing number of home churches. The way the American media portrays the Middle East concerns me. That society is more complex than people think—there are strong pockets of faith that need our support. Organizations like Iranian Christian International, Inc., that minister to about 200,000 believers in Iran and millions more outside the country, and Middle East Concern (MEC) that supports victims and fights discrimination against those who are and are becoming Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, are making an impact, but there still remains so much persecution. American Christians can make a huge difference by supporting these kinds of organizations, praying for persecuted Christians everywhere, and guarding against prejudice in the United States.
APU LIFE: Despite your busy life of scholarship and business endeavors, you faithfully give of your time and resources. What’s your philosophy?
Pascale: I learned the importance of service at a young age—what it means to be devoted to Christ and the Kingdom and how to marry those two things. APU instilled in me the fundamental building blocks to make a strong connection between vocation and service. I think about money and finances in a Kingdom-centered way, and try to see how I can help. First, money is not mine; God has provided it to me. There’s a lot of need out there, and we have to think about how to advance the Kingdom, because ultimately, that’s where you’ll get satisfaction. If you get absorbed by materialism, it’s never ending and unsatisfying. But using those resources for the Kingdom satisfies eternally.
APU LIFE: How are you serving the Kingdom today?
Pascale: God is leading me into prison ministry in Texas with Kairos Prison Ministry International (KPMI). I’ll work with incarcerated men, sharing the love of Christ and mentoring. It’s an intensive five-day program targeting people of influence within the prison, confronting what they’ve done and showing them who they can become as a believer in Christ. As we’ve gotten tough on crime, our prisons have become overcrowded. Inmates get an education on how to become criminals, and the recidivism rate is very high. In some states, corrections fail and former inmates just recycle, returning to poor lifestyle choices and repeating offenses. But prison ministries are powerful and greatly reduce recidivism. There’s an opportunity to reach people at their most fragile point. One of Christianity’s hallmarks is the self-sacrificial love that Christ showed us. People can be redeemed as we have been redeemed, and if we are His hands and feet in the world, we need to be in those places.