LGP Stories

Personal Stories from DLGP

Cultural Vertigo

Written by: on April 14, 2019

If South Africa was magical, then Hong Kong was insane. Literally insane. The city of Hong Kong should not exist. All of the elements that had to come together to make Hong Kong what it is, is truly bizarre. Witnessing the different parts of Hong Kong as a westerner was a demanding task. More than once a day I would be hit with the strange sensation of having your mind blown. The trip was barely walking the shore of a new land while of waves after waves of revelation and eye-opening experiences were crashing over us. After so much of this, at my biggest revelation began to to be how much safety and amazement I could have when I finally encountered something familiar.


There are two powerful repeated experiences I felt while traveling throughout my 10 days in Hong Kong. I experienced many other emotions and spiritual moments, but these were the two dominant and reoccurring. First was the experience of having your mind stretched into new shapes and sizes. Second, was the sensation of the discomfort you get when combining two things you had never thought about combining before, like when a child inexplicably combines two of his favorites foods, cheese sticks and ice-cream. Those two things do not belong together. And this is good image of what much of what Hong Kong is now, because of the the east west clash that is representative in Hong Kong.


Let me list for you just a few of each of these moments.


The First Sensation: “Mind Blown: What is this!?”

  1. Hearing about a 1.5 million Seafarers population I never knew existed, and that there are centuries of ministry history to this demographic
  2. Hearing about a 760 million USD sky scraper project that is outreach oriented.
  3. Seeing how Medical Missions opens doors for covert missionaries into mainland china.
  4. Listening to a young lady who grew up in the Chinese underground church and was baptized in her front yard.
  5. Hearing that China has printed their own Bibles for the last 20 years.
  6. Seeing the Mega Church Model be successful in a global market environment. (All of Saddle Back churches locations are global cities. Hong Kong, Paris, etc.)


The Second Sensation: “Cultural Vertigo: Where am I?”

  1. I had never seen so many people in my life.
    1. I’ve never seen such order and conformity within a group of people.
  2. I had never seen such clean streets.
    1. I didn’t realize how much I appreciate a parking lot until we left Hong Kong City. I didn’t realize it had been so long since we had seen one in the city.
  3. I don’t really like Dim Sum for breakfast (Chinese influence).
    1. I also don’t like baked beans of breakfast. (British influence).
  4. I’ve never met someone from the underground church in China.
    1. The underground church is china is not what I thought it was.
  5. I’ve never seen such ornate décor as on these temples.
    1. I’ve never been so surrounded by people casting their hope in the wrong thing, and in desperate need of Jesus.
  6. The old being basically ok with whatever happens with the transitions in a little less than 3 decades.
    1. The young being very help fearful and suspicious of the government.
  7. Seeing the most dense city in the world,
    1. meshed with bright green impassable mountains all around.



As the experiences listed above have all came and went, the realization of all that I experienced, the revelation of what it means for me and the transformation of how I will be different are not coming and going as quickly as the experience it self. Each of these three steps are lagging slowly behind, but step by step, making a deeper mark on me as a (global) leader.





About the Author

Kyle Chalko

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