“I thank my God every time I remember you. In every prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:3-5)
Those words from Apostle Paul to the church in Philippi have been in our hearts as a church plant team for all our supporters this past year! We are thankful that God used your prayers and financial support in helping to start up the church in Hong Kong. The support we were able to raise has helped in paying for items like housing, church equipment, and rental costs for various gatherings. No matter the amount you gave, every dollar raised was used to make a difference towards the mission of life transformation. It would have been difficult to establish the church in Hong Kong without these provisions!
Although we faced many challenges and unknowns, it taught us to fully trust in the Lord. As we learned to depend on the Lord and have eyes of faith, He did so much more than we had asked or imagined because of His power that was at work (Ephesians 3:20). Thank you again for your partnership in taking the gospel message to the ends of the earth!
As we pass the 1-year mark, we wanted to thank you for supporting and praying for us. Here are four updates regarding our church plant team, from Ginny Liu and Joseph Yang, as well as from Joanna Jing and Peter Young who joined our team and just recently moved to Hong Kong.
by Ginny Liu
Thank you for all of your generous and faithful support this past year. After much prayer and thought, I am writing to inform you about my decision to step down from the HMCC-HK church plant team after one year. This was not an easy decision to make, but one that had to be made in light of the circumstances and God's calling for me in this season. To make a long story short, since moving to Hong Kong, I have been struggling with various forms of physical illness. One of the most recent incidences was chronic insomnia. I sought out for help, both spiritual and professional medical assistance, but have not seen many victories from this battle.
The situation has persisted for about four months now. Consequently, I have been experiencing the compounding effects of constant fatigue and stress, both physiologically and psychologically. After much prayer and lengthy discussions with my doctor and spiritual authority, we all believed that it's best that I step away for now, both for my personal well-being and the stability of the church plant. I am moving back to my home in Taiwan which will provide the space and environment needed for full restoration. Despite these trials and unexpected turns, one constant hope I have is God's steadfast love and faithfulness for His children. It is saddening for me to leave but I trust that God has a plan, for me and for the church, in the midst of this chaotic situation. I felt at peace to be sent back and will appreciate your prayer coverage for my journey ahead. Please pray for spiritual protection, healing, and the finding of a new spiritual community. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to answer them. God bless.
by Joseph Yang
First, I just wanted to thank you all for your prayers and support. Words can’t express how thankful I am for this past year for all that God’s done not only in our church, but also in my life personally. I praise God for such a tremendous year of experiencing His faithfulness and I know we could not have experienced it without your support.
I would like to share a little bit about what God’s been doing in my life as I’ve been asking Him to show me what He’s called me to do. A few months ago, God spoke to me as I was reading the BRP through 1 Chronicles 22:7-8. Even though I had it in my heart to stay and build up HMCC of Hong Kong, I felt God asking me if I was secure enough to step aside if He wasn’t calling me to this. I was reminded of how much of my brokenness and pride God had to work on during my time in Hong Kong, and I wondered if the primary purpose of God sending me here wasn’t to transform Hong Kong and build the church, but to transform me and build me up in His love. God also spoke to me through the Genesis 22 story of Abraham needing to sacrifice Isaac. I felt God asking me if the church plant was my greatest treasure or if He was, and though it made no sense to me, asking me to lay it down.
These are just a couple ways God’s been speaking to me about this, but as I shared these reflections with Pastor Seth and other brothers on the team, and after much prayer, fasting, and counsel, I came to the decision to step down from church plant team and return to the U.S. It wasn’t an easy decision, as I’ve grown to love it here in Hong Kong and really wish I could stay with the team, but this is something I really feel God leading me to do. I feel sad about leaving and will really miss the people here, but I am confident God has great plans both for me and for the church in Hong Kong. Please pray for spiritual protection and intimacy with Christ especially through the challenging transitions that await. There are many fears I have about the future, but I know God’s perfect love casts out those fears as He carries me through this next season of my life. Thanks and God bless!
by Joanna Jing
The decision to move to HK and join the church plant came through a few key moments and much prayer as well as counsel from older brothers and sisters in Christ over the past few years.
The first key moment was on the Sunday of Missions Week in 2013, when Pastor Seth first shared about the plans of planting a church in Hong Kong. What tugged my heart the most during that service was when he shared that one of the visions of wanting to plant this church was to reach the many mainland Chinese students studying in these top universities in Hong Kong. I remember standing in the congregation and felt this strong stir in my heart of wanting to be a part of this community. Ever since I became a Christian during my freshman year of college, I have been feeling a strong burden for the Chinese people, especially college students. Just as my life has been transformed as I encountered Jesus during my college years and how that has changed and shaped my life, I long to see many more Chinese students find freedom and new purpose.
Another key moment was when I joined the Global Access Ministry in HMCC-AA. When I started serving for the LIFE groups there, God opened my eyes for the nations, and especially China again. He brought many Chinese students who were lost and without purpose, and I was able to witness God’s power at work within them. It was also then as I was dreaming with fellow GA brothers and sisters, I felt like God was using my time in GA to prepare my hearts to one day come back to Asia and serve Him here.
The last key moment was when my parents decided to allow me to move to Hong Kong. As I have been back at home in China this past year, I have been praying and conversing with my parents regarding the possibility of moving out to HK but they rejected the idea each time. Earlier this year, as I was trying to find ways to go to Hong Kong, I came across a post-graduate studies opportunity at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I decided to apply and try it out. Even though I was mainly focused on looking for a job at the time, I was thankful that God opened up this door for me as I later found out that not only would it have been much more challenging for me to secure a job in HK due to my visa situation but also that my parents were very supportive of me relocating to Hong Kong for school. This was when I knew that, God was assuring me that I needed to move forward in faith.
As I am getting ready for the move to HK, I am amazed as I look back to how God has been directing my every step and leading me to where I am today. And that helps to me to know that my faithful God will continue to do good works within me, and through His church. I am excited to partner with HMCC of HK to continue reaching out to the many campuses and students in Hong Kong, making more disciples of Jesus, and bring hope and purpose to many people here in Asia.
by Peter Young
My journey started about a year ago when God challenged me to pray through future decisions. I had never thought about what I would do after my two year commitment in Ann Arbor and always thought I would be there for a long time. During one of our undergraduate student gatherings, I felt a tug towards praying about Hong Kong and so I committed to doing so. The journey has brought a lot of ups and downs but the one thing that God asked me to do was to trust in Him. Two areas God was challenging me to trust him was with family and future. During this time while I was praying, many of my friends were experiencing death of a family member. I knew in the back of my mind that my grandparents were old and they could pass at any moment and my parents were not as young as they use to be. I started to wonder what if something happened to them while I was away, or if I would be able to support my family in any way if I was so far from them. God reminded me of the simple truth that if he had taken care of my family for all these years, how would me departing for Hong Kong change that?
Secondly moving to Hong Kong brought about a lot of questions of future. Will I be in Asia for a long time? What was the career path that God would lead me to? There were many questions about what was going on in my life, and how God was going to use these things for the next steps. He gently reminded me that there is a purpose and a plan for my life, and he cares a lot for me. Through it all, God was exposing how I always saw trusting in Him as a stranglehold on my life but quickly God gave me promises of freedom and joy as I've taken steps of faith. As I've progressed towards this decision, God has asked me if I'm willing to be a part of what he was doing in Asia for the time he calls me. He started to excite me and give me visions for what could happen in the church in Hong Kong. He showed me how he can do immeasurably more than all I can ask or think. Although there were hesitancy, I knew this was where God was leading me and firmly believe that he has a purpose for me here in Hong Kong to grow me and to make disciples.
As we look into the second year of the church plant, we are thankful and excited for more opportunities to share the gospel message. With the growth of our church this past year, we will need to make some changes to better minister to people and reach out to our community.
One of those changes is with our LIFE group ministry. We started with 1 LIFE group on the CUHK campus and 1 LIFE group on the PolyU campus. These groups consisted of university students, working adults, and married couples. In September, we will have 2 LIFE groups on the CUHK campus and 2 LIFE groups on the PolyU campus, which will consist of university students only. We will also start our first Focus LIFE group for our single adults, which will reach a segment of Hong Kong that is in need of the gospel message and biblical community. A group for married couples was started this summer to help grow Christ-centered marriages and families as many are new Christians and the first believers in their families. It’s exciting to see how God will use the LIFE group ministries to help us in loving Him and other people more!
Additionally, with the recent growth of our church, we are expecting greater needs. Although God has grown our church this past year, the majority of our members are college students or recent graduates. Given our demographics and the high cost of living in Hong Kong, we are learning to trust in God’s provisions for the second year of the church plant and beyond. The following are some bigger areas of need:
This past year, we have experienced so much of God’s faithfulness as we planted this church in faith. We have seen such a great need to share the gospel with pre-Christians that God has been bringing into our community, to minister to believers who are struggling in their faith journey, and to challenge members to live for God’s Kingdom. If you would like to partner with us in God’s Kingdom work, please support us through prayer and/or financial support below.
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