I was eager to go to Hong Kong and had my expectations of what the city looks like but was not sure what to expect in terms of immigration officials and the hospitality of the people of Hong Kong. I was excited and really looking forward to meet my cohort LPG 9, other cohort members and the George Fox faculty, most for the very first time. One big surprise was the fact that I did not require a visa to enter Hong Kong which is quite unusual and all along I was apprehensive thinking I would find a different situation at the port of entry. Additionally, I expected that traffic would be very slow and the streets would be crowded with people walking, riding motor bikes and bicycles as is typical of other Asian cities. I had previously visited Bangkok in Thailand, Varanasi and Mumbai in India and Seoul in South Korea. Seoul was different from the other Asian cities and was similar to any typical Western City. Some of expectations were met while the others were not but there were surprises as well. At the port of entry, I did not need a visa but it was a long process of interrogation before I was allowed in; on traffic, I was obviously surprised at the good flow of traffic and very organized public subway transport system, with very few motor bikes and bicycles and minimal numbers walking along the streets. Hong Kong is definitely different from other Asian cities that I have visited except Seoul whose transport system is equally efficient and organized. The surprises were many: like the number of tall towers across the city being more that 8,000 within such a small area of land to cater for the high population of over 7 million people; I had expected to see seafarers from the Hong Kong harbor but you could hardly recognize them from the crowd; The existence of churches like saddleback and the freedom of worship was a welcome surprise but I could sense a lot of caution and uncertainty about the future, especially after the end of the 50 years extension period after the 1997 takeover by China.
New Knowledge and Synthesis.
I was comfortable with the theme of Finance, Democracy and Mission, especially because my background is in Finance having previously worked as a CPA and a finance expert in the insurance industry before my full time involvement in ministry. I focused more on the mission aspect, especially because I had read the book by Steve Tsang, the modern History of Hong Kong where he has given details about Finance and Democracy in Hong Kong. Rev. Stephen Miller of Mission to Seafarers talked about the outreach to seafarers which was added knowledge of this unique group of people who spend most of their time in the sea. The mission to these seafarers is limited in time and cannot be based on relationship building but its unique how Rev Stephen is able to love on them and give a listening ear to them in communication the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. This is a group that I previously was not thinking about and will be praying for them and the missionaries that work with them.
Visiting the Wang Tai Sin Temple was both interesting but also very emotional. This was interesting because of my curiosity about their idol worship and the massive resourses devoted to building and equipping the temple. This was emotional because of the missional aspect of how our Lord and master Jesus Christ bleeds for this massive population that is still trapped in idol worship, the sacrifice made by the missionaries that have ventured to reach the Chinese population. It felt weird being a ‘tourist’ and standing there as I watched men and women take incence and worship idols, consult fortune tellers and do all other forms acts of worship, part of me wanted to just walk out but I also felt compassion for them and was silently praying for their salvation.
It was encouraging to listen to social worker Annissa Lui from the Lutheran social services and how they reach out to the people in Hon Kong and respond to their needs, especially those caught up in substance abuse. From my reading of Jackie Pullinger’s book, Chasing the Dragon, I expected that substance abuse and other social challenges affect a significant part of the Hong Kong population and its was encouraging to know that the government devotes resources to cater for these issues. It was particularly interesting hearing about the creative ways that they use to engage these vulnerable groups of the population. Our visit to the St Stephens Society was such a spiritually refreshing experience, especially the worship session. Seeing the people that had been transformed and hearing their testimonies was such an inspiration to me since we work in similar circumstances in Nairobi, Kenya and witnesses similar dramatic transformation of criminals and drug addicts. I had obviously hoped to meet Jackie Pullinger herself and hear her speak about her experiences and what she hopes for the future of the ministry and her perspective of the imminent takeover of Hong Kong by China but that did not happen. Their approach to ministry is unique and awakened a new perspective of practically living by Faith and allowing The Holy Spirit of God to lead in the work of ministry. This was an experience that I will keep remembering and that will keep influencing how I continue in doing ministry to the vulnerable members of society.
Our visit with Alex Fung’s Medical manufacturing business, was such a challenge and inspiration in using business as a means to do mission. His obedience to God literally giving the profits of the business for mission and using the business to reach the employees with the Gospel was unique and opened my eyes to other possibilities of doing mission work. It was also great to hear David Wong and his market place experience as a believer setting a great example and doing mission in the market place. I had previously visited companies in South Korea with similar business as a mission model but Alex Fung’s story was unique and very inspiring, I keep praying for his business especially because of the current strained business relations between the US and China.
Visiting church at the Vine was a great experience at the service and our session back at the Hotel talking about our different experiences in the two churches that people attended. It gave me a good introduction to visual ethnography and raised my interest in research using visual ethnography. Our visit to the saddleback Church was also very inspiring on how to apply creativity and leverage knowledge and experience gained in the market place for mission. The excellence of doing church at the saddleback church was unique and eye opening at how I can leverage the skills and knowledge gained in the market place for mission.
As mentioned above, there was a lot that I learned in Hong Kong but there are experiences that will live with me and continue to influence the way I do ministry. Alex fung’s business as a mission model was a big inspiration for me and an affirmation of what we are doing in our holistic ministry to empower the poor economically as we also do business to sustain our organization, Missions of hope International. Our visit to St Stephens’s society and reading Jackie Pullinger’s story was a spiritually refreshing experience that made me long for more of The Holy Spirit experience in our ministry to the vulnerable. Their total reliance on God and allowing The holy Spirit to lead in their work is something that will continue to inspire me and will have a definite impact in my prayer life. My hope and prayer is that God will give me another opportunity to visit Hong Kong again and especially to meet Jackie Pullinger and visit Alex fung’s ministry.
 Steve Tsang, A Modern History Of Hong Kong (London, I. B. Tauris, 2007).
Andrew Quicke & Jackie Pullinger, Chasing The dragon, (London, Hodder & Stroughton, 2006 Feb 16.)
 Missions of Hope International, www.mohiafrica.org.
 Andrew Quicke & Jackie Pullinger, Chasing The dragon, (London, Hodder & Stroughton, 2006 Feb 16.)