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Homecoming

A letter from Judy Chan in the U.S., on Interpretation Assignment from Hong Kong

October 2016

Write to Judy Chan

Individuals: Give online to E200323 for Judy Chan’s sending and support

Congregations: Give to D506109 for Judy Chan’s sending and support

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery).

Dear Friends,

Coming to the U.S. for home leave always brings mixed emotions. On the one hand, I have to leave behind my work and family in Hong Kong. On the other hand, I get the chance to reconnect with my work and family in America. That’s the reality for mission co-workers who live their lives on two continents on opposite sides of the world. It’s a privilege and a journey of discovery.

Since being back in August I have traveled from the West Coast to the East Coast and to many cities in between. I have visited churches of all three supporting denominations—the Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). On every occasion I continue to be grateful for welcoming congregations, lovely host families, and the chance to share how together we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God in this day and age.

One of the most striking things to me is that the problems facing Hong Kong society and the church are so similar to those in this country as well. Over and over, people have come up to me and said, “You know, we are facing those same things in America—divisions, polarization, conflicts. And we needed to hear your message that the church has to be united in Christ and by Christ in order to bring healing in the community.” I thank the Lord that we can connect through our stories, not only in pain and suffering, but also in the hope of forgiveness and reconciliation.

chan-judy-oct-2016

Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God

The other thing that has been impressed upon me during this itineration is how God gives us so many opportunities to care for each other. Often it’s been through meaningful encounters with a church member or a new friend in the U.S. Other times it’s been through messages of encouragement back and forth from Hong Kong. Even the routine tasks carried out while being on the road for four months bring unexpected moments of grace. Through it all, I continue to see God’s goodness in providing us what we need to get through the day.

As I keep saying to myself and others, God brought me to America to teach me things I couldn’t learn in Hong Kong. And when home leave is over at the end of November I trust God will send me back to Hong Kong with new energy and spiritual wisdom for the next term.

I close with a message I heard in the children’s sermon at First Presbyterian Church in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Their teacher held a small globe and pointed out where they were living. Then she spun the globe around to China to show them how far I had come to be with them that morning. And her message was that we are all on mission for God, whether we are called to go to the other side of the world or to be right where we are in our own neighborhood. There is so much work that needs to be done everywhere. So let me again thank you for your support of our mission in Hong Kong, China through Presbyterian World Mission. Your hospitality, financial support, and prayers truly make a world of difference to millions. May God bless us all in the great privilege of being followers of Jesus Christ and in the amazing journey of discovery in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In Christ,

Judy Chan

Please read below for an important note from Hunter Farrell:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:1b-2, NRSV)

Dear Friend of World Mission:

Thank you for your prayers and for your financial support of Judy Chan this year, and any previous year. I know from my 15 years as a Presbyterian mission co-worker that your prayerful financial support has meant the world to her.

Even as I thank you, I want to let you know that this is a critical time for churches and individuals to commit themselves to support Judy. Our global church partners greatly value her service and you well know how important this ministry is in building connections between the body of Christ in the U.S. and Hong Kong.

We have historically relied on endowment interest and the general offering from churches to sustain the vital work of all of our mission workers. Those sources of funding have greatly diminished, and it is only through the over-and-above gifts of individuals and congregations that we are able to keep Judy doing the life-giving work God called her to do. A year ago, in May of 2015, for the first time in recent history, we had to recall some mission workers due to a lack of funding. We communicated the challenge to you and you responded decisively and generously. Through your response, we heard the Spirit remind us, “Fear not!”.

Today, I’m asking you to consider an additional gift for this year, and to increase the gift you may consider for 2017. Sending and support costs include not only salary but also health insurance and retirement contributions, orientation, language training, housing, travel to the country of service, children’s education, emergency evacuation costs, and visa/passport costs.

My heartfelt thanks for your prayers and support of our Presbyterian mission co-workers. In the coming season, we will celebrate God’s sending of the Christ child, the source of the good news we share. May you experience anew the hope, peace, joy, and love that are ours because “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).

Thank you for saying “yes” to love.

With you in Christ,
Hunter Farrell
Director, World Mission, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)


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