I was visiting with my mother on the phone the other day and trying to describe the LGP track of our DMin program. Typically, most people are interested and amazed at our international advance locations. When I told my mother that Gloria (my wife) and I would be leaving for Hong Kong on September 23rd, she became very excited. She said, “Harry, could you ever imagine coming from where you grew up and ever visiting Hong Kong?” Her statement made me reflect briefly on my journey that took me from a small rural town (my high school graduating class numbered 36), which also typically included limited exposure to a much larger world and church, to where I find myself today. This DMin program represents a dream I have had in some shape or form for some forty plus years (probably ever since I felt called to the ministry at age 19 or 20.) While I have been to London and I have friends from Cape Town, Hong Kong would have been thought of an exotic East Asian location for someone who has never traveled further east than Europe (and only because I visit my German family). I am a bit embarrassed to admit that for many years all I knew about Hong Kong was the martial arts films of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. But here I am among a cohort of amazing individuals with diverse backgrounds learning about Hong Kong in preparation for an immersive two-week learning experience. I am so pleased that our course material prepares us for our Hong Kong advance from two very different sources, Jackie Pullinger’s Chasing the Dragon and Steve Tsang’s A Modern History of Hong Kong. While Chasing the Dragon stretched my sense of my faithful obedience, Tsang challenges my ability to synthesize a detailed historical scope of almost two centuries.
I have learned in my various Fuller seminary history classes, to first question who is writing the history and whose voices are not being heard. As often has been said, the victor writes the history through lenses that are often unspoken by the writer and perhaps not recognized by the reader. My connection with this macro view of questioning the history I am reading comes from my family’s connection with the rise of the Third Reich and WWII’s effect on Germany from the German perspective. Briefly, my father was twelve when WWII started, and his father (my Opa) was conscripted to fight on the eastern front. My Opa was reported MIA and subsequently determined to have died in a Russian POW camp. The retribution towards Germany in general and my father’s family in particular during Allied occupation, has never made its way into any American history books I have ever read. But the effects scarred my father as a vulnerable young adult from twelve to some twenty-one years of age, and those scars made their way into my father’s marriage and family and my life to this day. I recently completed a study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer because I was as interested in what was going on in Germany and the German church as I was in Bonhoeffer’s theology and writings.
So who is writing the history of Hong Kong? Pullinger recounts her experiences in faithfully obeying God, overcoming wearying and frustrating challenges, and eventually be led to a Holy Spirit empowered model to free young men from opium and heroin addiction. Her history is limited to her experiences with our “wild and adventurous” God in Hong Kong and especially in the adjacent Walled City area. Tsang is a native son who lived as much outside of Hong Kong as inside of it. He is a respected Oxford scholar who is trained in British imperial history and has been researching, writing, and speaking about China’s politics and history for some three decades. Tsang has elected to explain as objectively as possible the forces which formed Hong Kong’s unique British pedigree into PRC’s first SAR on June 30, 1997. Tsang concludes his book by stating, “In the context of modern Chinese History, this marked the completion of a full circle, from Hong Kong being ceded by the declining Chinese Empire in 1842 to its peaceful and successful retrocession to resurgent and powerful China 155 years later.” 
While Tsang’s perspective is faithful to his introductory objective, it is not faith based. That is, what of the church and what of the people beyond economic and political parameters? What was God doing in his church during these 155 years? What is the rest of the story about the unique city and locale of Hong Kong? This perceived gap for me has ramped up my interest to open my eyes, heart, and mind to what God wants to teach me about Hong Kong in a couple of weeks. Along with the other coursework we will be wading through, I am already wondering how to incorporate elements of this into my doctoral research and perhaps more importantly, into my local and trans-local influence. I am excited to learn and experience more of God’s story in Hong Kong with my cohort family.
 Tsang, Steve, A Modern History of Hong Kong, rev. ed. (London, UK: I.B. Tauris), 2004, X.
 Tsang, A Modern History, 268