Finding Christian Fellowship In Hong Kong
February 26, 2010 § 1 Comment
For the first few weeks in Hong Kong, I pretty much neglected all worshiping activities in the hustle & bustle of settling in, exploring the city and making new friends. Although HK is not the religiously oppressed place that some of my friends assume [come on, it was ruled by Britain for a century: there are churches everywhere], Christianity [unsurprisingly?] does not have a large presence on campus. Sadly, I spent more time looking for a tennis/badminton club than a fellowship or church.
However, after a few weeks, while checking my Mizzou webmail, I noticed an email from the HKU International Christian Fellowship advertising their first meeting. That same week, I walked past the part of campus where organizations set up promotional tables; some even bring speakers to play music. I usually don’t bother to look, but I stopped in my tracks when I realized I was hearing Hillsong.
I quickly backtracked to the table where HKU Christian Society was selling Christian literature. All of the books on the five tables were in Chinese except for Bibles [The Message version], strangely. I approached the people sitting behind the table to ask if they had weekly meetings. The initial conversation was a bit awkward, but they eventually told me that the only English-speaking fellowship on campus was the International one.
ICF meets on Wednesdays around noon. After missing the first gathering [I was in Shenzhen], I managed to make it to the second one. It was located in a building that most students have never even heard of [I actually got lost trying to get back to the main part of campus]. The room, called Gatherland, was a cozy place with pillows, a rug and a couch.
When I arrived, I was astonished to recognize four of the eleven people there — they were all other exchange students that I had already met, most of whom lived in my hall and most of whom I did not know were Christian. This imparted an immediate feeling of security as I took a seat and munched on a slice of pizza.
The visiting pastor, Nathan [I think], was a young-ish man from HK Baptist Church who had grown up in Texas. Thankfully, he helped us do introductions — most of us were newly exchanged students, which was good for bonding [maybe] but bad for longevity. All of the people present labeled themselves as believers, so Nathan dug right into the message. Musical worship consisted of singing along to a recording, which was definitely a first for me in such a setting. Thankfully, one of the members elected to lead worship the week after, so they should have live music now.
Unfortunately, it turned out that I have to work at my internship during ICF meetings, so I was only able to attend that one meeting. I hope that the people I met for the first time don’t think I completely flaked out. If only they could meet in the evenings!