Life in Hong Kong
Nov. 10, 2015
I just felt like sharing a little bit of what life is like living as missionaries in the metropolis of Hong Kong. I’ll do the best I can as there is so many different aspects to talk about.
First off, our home. Real Estate in Hong Kong rates easily top 10 most expensive in the world. When we returned to Hong Kong after graduating from Rhema Bible College in the USA, we realized there would be a faith challenge as Janis and I found our first home as a married couple in Hong Kong. Upon returning, we moved into a 700sq. ft. apartment that some of our ministry interns were renting before we arrived. This apartment is very unique as it has two bathrooms (something I know God arranged). Since then we have been sharing this apartment with our ministry interns from the USA, and as of this writing it’s been nearly a year and a half.
We are extremely thankful for what we have in this home. A family in our church shared how they are living with 12 people in an apartment the same size! All this is not because everyone is poor in HK, but because of the extreme hike in rental prices.
Here are some pictures of the house:
Secondly, travel. Public transportation in Hong Kong is very good. They boast probably the best metro railway system in the world… transporting millions of people daily. But, travel can take a long time. The average time it takes someone to come to our church from their home is 30-45 minutes. It is not uncommon for daily commutes to be an hour or two. For Janis to travel roundtrip from our home to downtown HK to interpret at the Bible School, she has to travel 4 hours! It takes us an hour of driving to get to church (or an hour and a half on public transportation). The incredible part is that all of HK would fit into a 50 mile square radius. It just takes time to get around.
Fortunately, we are extremely grateful to own a car here. It basically cuts travel times in half. The downside to a car is gas costs $9USD a gallon, paying for parking EVERYWHERE you go, expensive government taxes… but it is a life saver for us. God has worked a miracle for us, my parents and brother to each own a car. It is also a necessity as we the use the vehicles all the time in transporting ministry gear (instruments etc.), our missions teams, guest ministers and in many other ways. My car was a surprise gift from my dad on my 19th birthday!
Thirdly, ministry. We primarily reach youth and young adults in our ministry in Hong Kong. What makes it easy is how open the hearts of the young people are to God. They are very responsive to the Gospel and do not have a lot “baggage” to work through. What we have found though is the next steps of discipleship are hard for new Christians of any age to take here. The driving force for Hong Kong is to make more money, thus their philosophy on life sums up to this: better education = better job = more money. As a result, for young people, school and education take precedence over everything,including God and going to church. Once they establish careers, many work on Sunday or have long overtime hours (unpaid) that limit their ability to commit more of their life to God. It is our challenge as missionaries and pastors here to show how much God truly cares about their life and has a wonderful plan for them already laid out. And it is so rewarding to see the people at Faith Family Church put God first in their life. It takes a long time though… years… for the process of discipleship to fully take root.
I hope this has given a little insight into life in Hong Kong. It’s truly by God’s faithfulness that we’ve had the privilege of living here for over 12 years now. If you feel a tug in your heart to be a part… then act! You can join a missions trip, give, and of course PRAY! As I can testify from firsthand experience, missions work is a team effort where success is only possible when we’re working together!