Winter in Hong Kong
Jan. 16, 2016
Wintertime is here, and it is cold! Our home, with concrete walls and tile floors, is colder inside that it is outdoors. The only relief is a blanket or sitting directly in front of a small floor heater (which we try not to run that often because the electricity gets very expensive, fast). As modern and rich as Hong Kong is, this is pretty much the way most homes are here. So you try to get used to inside temps being as low as 50s and 60s for a couple months.
I wanted to write this update to give a glimpse into the winter months of Hong Kong. The changing seasons bring new opportunities to lead people to a closer relationship with God, which is our personal mission. It can also bring challenges to overcome (as stated in paragraph 1, above) as missionaries. But I can testify that the peace and joy of obeying God’s purpose for your life FAR outweighs anything else.
A huge part of winter is Christmas. We believe Christmas traditions are good traditions and we try to instill them into the new believers in our church. Most here know that Christmas is about Jesus as they learn at a young age in one of the many Christian or Catholic schools founded in HK under the British rule. Every year during Christmas week Faith Family Church (FFC) has done a Christmas drama about the birth of Jesus and had a Christmas party. Both are designed for people to invite their friends and be exposed to the Gospel. I’m pleased to say that a number of people received Jesus and much joy and excitement were added to the church. A combined total of 225 people came to the two events making it the largest week for FFC yet.
Although Christmas is not celebrated in the homes of most Hong Kong people, it is a big hit in the malls and skylines. This past Christmas while visiting some of the MANY lustrous shopping malls HK offers, I tried to take a few pictures of their main attractions. Christmas is not celebrated in the homes of most HK Chinese. They typically go out to eat or maybe even catch up on sleep Christmas Day.
In February we’ll hit the main winter holiday: Chinese New Year. Everything pretty much shuts down as all are out visiting family and friends for three days. Throughout the time Janis and I will be focusing on leading our Small Group and FFC to a closer relationship with God. Pastors Steve & Sharmin had a vision this year for our entire church to read through the Bible. We’ve all downloaded the YouVersion Bible App, connected as friends, and started a one year Bible plan. It has been amazing to see how the app and accountability has created a surge of Bible readers.
As missionaries, the majority of the people we minister to are new believers who have gotten saved in our church. This is why we are here! God is pioneering a church here that reaches out to this city of 7 million people. Hong Kong works longer hours per year than any other country– by far. But slowly and steadily these young adults are making God the center of their life.
Doris, a sister in FFC, travels nearly 2 hours to church (one way). But she shared how it is worth it because “there is something special about FFC, it’s a home with love”.
Sabrina, one of our Small Group members, chose not to take a job because it would not allow her to go to church on Sunday. She said she didn’t have peace in her heart about it. Only shortly after God blessed her with a better job that did.
Last week, Gary, another Small Group member who’s been saved just over a year, shared how he confessed healing scriptures over his sick body and was healed before he went to bed that night.
Thank you… you who have prayed and invested in what God is doing here. We are so excited about the transformation in the lives of the Chinese people. January, February and March can be some of the coldest and dreary months, but lets continue to do what God has called us to do. There is always purpose and fulfillment when following His plan.