Editor’s note: Tom Chow is a father of two American-born Chinese children, pastor of an overseas Chinese church, and a doctoral student with a heart for the Chinese people.
I am proud to be called a Hongkonger, and love its people and culture very much. One of my most memorable moments in Hong Kong took place at Chek Lap Kok International Airport, on Dec. 9th, 2000. On that day I had to say “goodbye” to my best friends, close relatives, familiar places, and favorite foods. My family had decided to immigrate to the U.S. for a better life and future. Two years later, I came to understand why God called me to leave Hong Kong: so that I could come to faith in Jesus, and dedicate my life to the mission of God.
Due to China’s National Security Law recently passed, many Hong Kong people are considering immigration. A Chinese pastor has said: “Persecution is an involuntary commission of God’s people, bringing them from one place to another, to bless the nations.” Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Isaac, and the early the early church likewise left their homes. Since the 1970s, large groups of Hong Kong people have migrated to places like Vancouver, Toronto, Seattle, New York, London, and Sydney . Countless of them came to salvation and planted thousands of overseas Chinese churches. This phenomenon is what missiologists called Diaspora Mission; that is, Christians’ participation in God’s redemptive story to evangelize their kinsmen on the move, and through them to reach out to natives in their homelands and beyond. God is being glorified in Hong Kong at this time through the presence of Christians there. Perhaps he will also be glorified when these Hongkongers are scattered to the nations with God’s mission to the diaspora, through the diaspora, beyond the diaspora, and with the diaspora.
There are idols in Hong Kong that people need to leave behind in order to live out the mission of God. Anyone leaving one’s hometown is like a disciple in Jesus’ day, who “left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:11, 28) For Hong Kong people, this may include leaving comfort, stability, vested interest, wealth, and even friendship and kinship. Leaving one’s hometown is costly, but if it is for the sake of the kingdom, the reward is surpassing. Jesus answered his disciples: “You won’t regret it. No one who has sacrificed home, spouse, brothers and sisters, parents, children—whatever—will lose out. It will all come back multiplied many times over in your lifetime. And then the bonus of eternal life!” My prayer is that God will motivate and mobilize Hong Kong people as a diaspora with the mission of God. Whether they are staying in Hong Kong to be faithful witnesses, or leaving the city for the kingdom of God, they will be following Jesus, as his disciples, to finish his mission.
Would You Pray With Us Today?
This author’s hope is that God’s people will follow him to finish his mission, whether they stay in their hometown or immigrate to a new land. How do you see your life as a part of God’s big picture mission?