I have now been in Hong Kong for three days. We have had our course orientation, and we have already read through Luke, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and 106 Psalms. Now I feel like I can share with you all a bit more specifically what living here will look like and what I will be up to!
Upon arrival I found out that I am the only new person here for this semester. There are seven people doing the Bible Core Course, five of them have been staff at this base for many years, and one of them just finished another school here one month ago. I’m not going to lie, I found that very intimidating at first, but I am encouraged by everyone here treating one another truly like family, and I know that being out of my comfort zone is a pretty good sign that God is building up some new skills in my life.
So many nationalities are represented at the YWAM Tuen Mun base! We have people from Hong Kong, Germany, Mexico, UK, USA, South Korea, Canada, Singapore, and Madagascar! Wow! What a mix! Having such a different mix of cultures and customs all together means there is always something more to learn, and since that is what I am here to do, it is another big sign to me of how God has called me here because He knows it will help me grow in many different ways. It also means we have a lot of really amazing different kinds of food. The meals here always seem to be superb, and this base 100% supports the idea that food is another love language.
The base itself is really made up of two main areas: the housing area where we sleep, study, hang out, and eat, and the lecture area, which is about a fifteen minute walk away, where we have worship, intercession, and class. I sleep in a room with two bunk beds, on the top bunk, with three other girls, and one bathroom. The base is situated in a part of Hong Kong that is known for its leisure activities, including going to the beach! I hope to do some extended outdoor activities every Saturday. Enjoying God’s natural creation is something that absolutely delights me, and I tend to get sad and stressed when I am inside too much. This Saturday I will definitely be exploring the beaches right across the road from the base and will also eventually start checking out the surrounding mountains for some good hikes too! I am looking so forward to getting in some serious ocean time, because Hong Kong is HOT! It has been 90F all week.
Our weekday schedule begins at 7am and finishes around 7pm. Our nights will be dedicated to studying and ministry. We have two campus ministries that we will be able to serve with on Mondays and Wednesdays. One is focused on helping university students improve their English, and one is focused on teaching the basics of Christianity to students who are new believers or who are just curious about God! They both sound really fun and I am excited to get involved! Weekends are mainly unscheduled, but will most likely be filled with study and going to Church! I will be trying out two different churches on Sunday, Shatin Anglican at 10am and The Vine at 4pm. There are just so many new things!!!
My work duties alternate between cleaning bathrooms, cleaning the living room, cleaning up after dinner and lunch, and doing a food run. The food run is something I will be assigned to twice a week and definitely is the most interesting, challenging, and unique work duty I have ever encountered! Two or three of us catch a bus to a local market with some groovy looking wheel bags, which we fill up with whatever grocery items the base needs. There are many different stalls in what seems like a maze of shops to me now, but I am sure I will catch on quick to where the best products are. It is a great way to get out and amongst the local culture, and I should return to the USA at least knowing how to say a bunch of shopping related terms in Cantonese!
Finally, last but definitely not least, I have some more information on the course itself! We will read through the whole Bible aloud with our reading groups, and then we will inductively study 19 books within the Bible as well. I am sure I will be sharing plenty about what the inductive study is later on. We will have lectures, small group times to further explore what we are learning, and the opportunity to lead times of intercession, and even teach on a selected book.
It is a lot. I guess I didn’t think too much about what being here would look like. I knew God was calling me here, so I got all set up to come because to me obeying Him is the only option. I see now that it will probably be the hardest and most humbling experience of my life so far. But I have faith in God and trust that He knows best. I have prayed many times, actually pretty much everyday for the past two years, that God would guide me to be more Christ-like. I have asked God to burn away the bad and mold me to reflect the pure masterpiece He imagined when He first created me. That was never going to be an easy or painless process. So, I am just incredibly grateful for this time and for what is to come.
Glory to God for this amazing opportunity! May He bless each one of you on each of your own journeys too. Thank you so much for reading, for praying, and for supporting me during this next season.
“Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was beset as a city under siege. I had said in my alarm, ‘I am driven far from your sight.’ But you heard my supplications when I cried out to you for help. Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.” Psalm 31:21-24