A letter from Myoung Ho Yang and Ji Yeon Yoo, serving in Hong Kong
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Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings from Hong Kong!
As we look back the year 2017, we could name this year “a year of grace.” In fact, every year is a year of grace! We have enjoyed our God’s overflowing grace in our life and ministry in Hong Kong. Indeed, it is by God’s grace that we are living every day, and that we are being called to serve as mission co-workers. We would like to share with you a song we often sing to give thanks to God as we meditate on the grace of God that leads our life and ministry:
It is my Lord God who created me; It is my Lord God who called me;
It is also my Lord God who sent me. I am what I am, it is all by the grace of God.
To the last step of my race to run, To the very last breath of my life,
God will lead me to carry the cross. I am what I am, it is all by the grace of God.
Grace that no one can measure, Grace that no one can repay,
Grace of God that fills all of my life.
I am walking on this land without any fear and hesitation,
Because the grace of God holds me and leads me.
(My translation of a Korean song, “The Grace of God”)
In October, Jiyeon began serving at the Christian Family Service Center. It was a very meaningful moment for us when Jiyeon stepped into service there as a Presbyterian mission coworker, as this center was founded by Muriel Boone, who was a Presbyterian missionary back in 1954. In 2017, more than 60 years later, a next-generation missionary follows in her footsteps. We are grateful for this opportunity to become a part of the legacy of this Presbyterian mission.
The center has expanded its services a lot since the 1950’s, though its mission of providing social services to society is the same. The center focuses on serving low-income people, refugees, and people in need. It provides medical services, educational services, family counseling, and career development. In addition, the center offers programs to help single parents, maltreated women, mentally handicapped children, and elderly people. Finally, it helps those who seek its help to avoid violence and keep away from drugs.
Jiyeon serves at the kindergarten for low-income families. Whenever Jiyeon goes into the service center, she prays that through loving these little children the love of God will flow into their hearts, and they will feel and realize that they are precious sons and daughters of God. As she looks or talks with them, she often recalls a picture of Jesus who loved and blessed the little children: “People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10: 13-16)
It seems both Jiyeon and the children like each other. She enjoys taking care of them, even though I need to give her a massage when she comes home!
One of the meaningful moments in the life of our divinity school is the “Theology Day” gathering, which is a graduation assembly held in the middle of the semester. All graduates who returned home in May to different parts of China and Hong Kong came back to the school in November for this commencement. This year’s Theology Day gathering was an exciting time, as we were able to hear about graduated students’ ministries. Some of them have continued to serve at their churches, and some have started new churches. We also talked about difficulties in ministry. I think the difficulties that church leaders around the world encounter are pretty much the same. The leaders of Chinese churches, however, are experiencing another hardship because of growing visible and invisible persecution. Church leaders ask for prayers that the gospel is being preached and the kingdom of God is being expanded even in the midst of persecution.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are very grateful to you because it is your loving prayers and generous financial support that have made our ministry in Hong Kong possible this year. Please continue to pray for us and support our ministry so that we can continue to run the race the Lord has given us until it is complete.
In grace and peace of Jesus Christ,
Myoungho and Jiyeon
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