Thank God! There is a continuously increases in the "Solar Act Newsletter" subscribers. We are very grateful as brothers and sisters-in-Christ for their response and messages, which have inspired us to move forward, so that our "Solar Act" road is full of happiness.
When it comes to the Mission, how can we not mention our comrade-in-arms, missionary Xiao Ru? Since she returned to Hong Kong in mid-August last year, about ten months have passed, and we have many friends who care about Xiao Ru and want to know what she is doing. As they don't belong to the same church or organisation as Xiao Ru, they come to us for updates. So, this issue of the newsletter, it's changed the style of the past. In the form of a visit to Miss Ru, we report directly to you on the recent developments. (Because Xiao Ru, a missionary, was serving in the religion-restricted area, we can only replace photos with cartoons. )
1. Feeling home.
Xiao Ru: This time, I am back in Hong Kong. Unlike in the past, I have been busy with my services in the past six months. Say to speak at different churches and share in the Fellowships, the Sub-groups, the Seminaries, the Mission Agencies, etc. Later, as tasks stabilised, I had more time to enjoy family than previously.
My older brother and sister-in-law are very nice to me and often have "family meals" and delicious Chinese soup every day!
Thank God for living with my brother and sister-in-law that to improve communication and understanding. Now I'm more able to understand their lives and their thinking, and I'm more able to know how to pray for them and lead them to understand the beauty of the true God.
After returning to Hong Kong, my sciatic nerve pain returned. Fortunately, after more than two months of treatment, the situation improved. Still, keep on taking heart drugs. In addition, the doctor asks me to work hard to control blood sugar and improve cholesterol.
Xiao Ru: I have friends who have known each other for more than thirty years and can speak freely every time we meet. Not only did it help me empty the garbage in my heart, but it also encouraged each other and grew up together! Moreover, the recent waves of emigration have taught me to lament. Seeing many friends is in fear, or choosing to leave Hong Kong because of worrying about their roles in churches. They seem to have lost their Godly peace and support!
3. How to deal with the reluctant stay because of the epidemic?
A. The Relationship with God
Xiao Ru: Spiritual Devotion is inevitable; I do it every day in Batam or Hong Kong. Now that there are many missionaries in Hong Kong, we organise our retreat, and we meet, pray and encourage each other. I think it's vital because some missionaries are more anxious when they don't get back to their fields, and some are frightened that they are wasting time in Hong Kong.
B. The Mission Agency arrange a new work
When the pandemic continues, both the mission agencies and the church have seen a new trend in missionary work: local missionary work. In Hong Kong, there are more than 300,000 domestic helpers abroad alone, and there are many other Southern Asians, which is a big field! So I was invited to co-sponsor with the new "Indonesian workers Ministry." Together with workers and volunteers, we go to the park to find stray lambs, start free medical care, and build relationships with them through English classes later.
Knowing my identity is a temporary stay, I will do my best to help the ministry develop. I see the cross-cultural service is long-term, and there must be workers willing to give up, and there must be more resources from the churches. Otherwise, we cannot raise precious sheep who are eager to enter the "sheep's circle."
4. How can education be promoted in Hong Kong?
Xiao Ru: I'm sure most missionaries will try their best to promote this with lectures and sharing. Personally, for example, I would also help mission agencies to promote cross-cultural work. But some churches think that Hong Kong has gone through revolutionary street campaigns and a continuing epidemic that has become more conservative. In addition, some churches, which are mainly promoting short-term mission visitations, are now asking them to update their strategies, conduct local missionary work, and be prepared for long-term burdens, believing that more prayers and broader horizons are needed before they are willing to change.
5. How do you take care of the overseas mission field?
Xiao Ru: Technology is the only way to communicate, like video conferencing or chatting on-lines. But the fields that I serve are conservative and dependent, so it isn't easy. I hope that under the pressure of this epidemic, everyone can grow fast, though at first, it will be difficult.
When it comes to culture, I'm worried about my living place there. The reason is that it is the rainy season, and at the same time, there is a leak due to a broken roof. However, the owner refuses to follow up or repair anything because of the high maintenance cost, and I am not there. They prefer to leave the problem to deteriorate. I am confident that the owners of Hong Kong will not deal with the problem this way.
Thank you very much, Xiao Ru, for sharing with us. At the end of the visit, we also took the opportunity to care about her current situation, knowing that some missionaries were facing economic pressures. Unsurprisingly, she faces the same challenge. Because some churches have stopped all their financial contributions, others have reduced the number of donations.
When a missionary is sent overseas to serve, his salary will be significantly reduced because the calculation is based on the local living standards. But what about their living expenses and transportation costs after returning to Hong Kong? Although some mission agencies will have some upward adjustments, there are still significant differences compare to the high-cost Hong Kong standards. If a missionary returns to Hong Kong to retire, it will be even more challenging to live after retirement!
Now that they are stuck in Hong Kong, can we think of the missionaries' difficulties? The important thing is that the missionaries continue to take care of the overseas fields by using various technology tools and methods. Why do we accept "working at home" but insist the missionaries only get paid when they are physically on the field? Why can't we allow them to "working at home in Hong Kong?"
We pray the Lord of Mercy takes care of the missionaries and teaches us how to care for and support them!
7. Xiao Ru's Prayer Requests:
1. She needs the visa to go back to the overseas fields.
2. Improve her health so that she can accept the vaccine.
3. God bless her family for believing in God.
4. More churches to be involved in Hong Kong's new cross-cultural Mission.
5. May God gives her wisdom and the ability to take care of the overseas field.