Reading the account of Jackie Pullinger about Her ministry in Hong Kong was a refreshing reminder that we cannot be effective in ministry without the help of The Holy Spirit. It brought to mind my encounter in ministry as a young believer when I was assigned the responsibility to preach to middle school children in a school that was close to our college. As a sophomore at the university, I imagined that it would be easy to preach to children but as I stood to preach, I started to shake and it took time to compose myself and I struggled through the message. It took me time to realise as I got more opportunities to preach, that I was missing something that other preachers had. It was until a fellow preacher at the college talked about being Spirit filled that I came to understand the importance of receiving the baptism of the Holy spirit. I develop developed a hunger for the baptism and started praying to God for the baptism.
My Breakthrough came one early morning at 6.00 am in a prayer room during our early morning devotions that I started speaking in new tongues and felt new joy and peace within me. I instantly knew I had received the baptism and always prayed in tongoes whenever I had opportunity to pray because I wanted The Holy Spirit to help me in intercession. There was a noticeable difference in my ministry after that experience and it has become clearer to me, with time that we cannot be effective without allowing the leading The Holy Spirit. Pullinger’s ministry to the the destitute in the Walled City was not going to be easy but when she recognised the importance of being Spirit filled and allowing The Holy Spirit to lead her, she immediately experience a new breakthrough in her work.
It is clear that other missionaries and Christian workers had been to Hong Kong and had no impact in the city. There is a clear witness from the gang members in the Triad that her ministry was different which, I believe was not about her as a person but the clear leading of The Holy Spirit in her minstry. Pullinger talks of a sensation or instant feeling of joy and peace whenever she came to the walled city which I believer was God’s confirmation of her area of calling, this was the work of The Holy Spirit working in her. She acknowledges the extent of drug addiction of the gang members and prostitutes that she was reaching and the struggles involved in trying to come out of the addictions. The instant freedom from such addictions was such a great and clear witness in the city and especially to the gangs of the reality of the Gospel to these hardcore criminals that would not otherwise not have believed.
Pullinger’s ministry in Hong Kong has some similarities to our ministry in the Mathare slums of Nairobi city in Kenya. We have been involved in ministering in this area since our days as university students. I first went into Mathare in 1991 as a sophomore student in University of Nairobi after my Holy Spirit baptism and God started putting a burden for ministry in the slums during my first visit. We encountered many different challenges as we reached out to criminals prostitutes and other people involved in various anti-social activities. I still remember a common response to our invitation to them to get saved, “I know its the right thing to do, but what will I do with what I do to earn a living which, is clearly sin?. It became clear that the ordinary preaching of the Gospel was not going to make an impact in ministry to this area. This has become clearer as we have continued over the years and the many lives that have been transformed through our ministry is testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit. We have led many criminals, drug addicts, prostitutes, arcoholics and many others to salvation and its the work of The Holy Spirit. God has grown our work from the small pre-school that we started in year 2000 with 50 children to the current 23 schools with over 16,300 children, 13 churches and thousands of lives transformed. We have now moved into other similar new areas across Kenya and we are seto to cross into other countries for the glory of God.