One of the deciding factors about staying here in Gold Coast (back in April) was whether or not we could find a church close to where we live. We knew that there were many international English speaking churches on Hong Kong Island or in Kowloon but that would entail a 30-45 minute bus ride and that was something we were trying to avoid on Sunday mornings.
Our desire was to be able to worship in the same area as where we decided to live. Abe did some research on the internet and found a blog written by an American who attended a local church here in Tuen Mun just a few miles from Gold Coast. Abe emailed that guy (who has turned out to be a dear friend as has his wife and 3 children!) and found out right where the church was and when
service times were. The first Sunday that my mom was here, just after Wesley was born everyone except Wesley and I visited Grace Baptist church. The church is a small group of local Hong Kong believers mixed with a small group of western English speakers as well. We were welcomed warmly by the Chinese folks as well as the English speakers and have decided that for now it is our home church.
Grace is a unique place. The church meets in the local YMCA building. During the worship service we all meet together and share a time of worship.
We sing hymns together as the words are projected in both Cantonese and English up on the wall. It is a beautiful thing to sing out together in two different language but all to the same God with the same heart. Another thing that I really appreciate about our church is that each week someone in the church gives their testimony. To hear how God has worked in the lives of others and to hear their stories is so encouraging.
Pastor Wong speaks great English as does his wife and two older children. (Pastor Wong and Candy have a baby that was born just 10 days before Wesley was!) He has visited the US a number of times and actually went to BIble college in the States. He translates for those giving their testimony at church and for announcements. Twice a month the sermon is either given in English or translated into English. On the other weeks the English speakers move into a different room at that point in the service to have their own time of Bible study. Abe has been given the chance to lead Bible study as well as preach a sermon to the whole congregation. That has been a great experience that he has really appreciated.
There are a number of ladies that always greet Wesley and I. They are enamored with the baby and offer to hold him. When Wesley was a newborn and I wore him in the sling they were so curious about him being in there. One lady was concerned about Wesley’s neck and wondered if he was comfortable (as he was sleeping ever so peacefully! hehe). One Sunday recently a sweet older lady gestured to hold Wesley and then just kept him during the rest of the worship time. 🙂
Even though we can’t communicate with everyone in the church we feel blessed to be there and have been given eyes to see a bit more of the world wide Church. I’m so grateful that our boys are learning that there are people that may not look like them and may not speak their language but love Jesus just like we do. That makes this time so rich.