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The Broken Heart

A Letter from Myoungho Yang and Jiyeon Yoo, serving in China

December 2019

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings from Hong Kong. Peace be with you.

Hong Kong, where we are serving, is going through a very difficult time in its history. The situation seems to be getting more serious recently.

[11/13, Wednesday] Instead of leading usual lively classroom discussion, I am writing this letter at my office with a broken heart. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where I teach, has been closed for three days straight now because of the continuous protests. Clashes between protesters and the police at the school started on Monday and continued until 2:00 this morning. There were fierce ‘battles’ between protesters and the police. It is reported that more than 1,000 rounds of tear gas were fired into the school last night, which is more than one seventh of the total rounds of tear gas since June 9th. We can still smell it. Five students were caught and arrested, and some students were injured. After this incident, protesters blocked all the gates and roads to the school with bricks, trees, and metallic objects to keep the police from coming into the campus. There is no transportation service, no subway, bus, or taxi, to or from the school.

[11/14, Thursday] We have three more weeks to go for this semester, but this morning the school announced the early end of this semester for reasons of safety. Both local and international students have begun to leave the campus. The school is currently occupied by protesters. Protesters inside the quad are building walls with bricks and cement at the gates. They are preparing for another ‘battle’ against the police. There was no incident like Monday night, but the risk of another clash is very high. A police helicopter is hovering over the campus. The school authorities have inspected the quad and announced that the recent fighting has caused major destruction to facilities and devastation to the schoolgrounds. Excessive rounds of tear gas have seriously polluted the air, and campus water quality is being examined.

[11/15, Friday] School authorities ordered all staff and students to evacuate immediately because of an imminent clash. We were moved out at night to a hotel with the director of the Divinity School. We packed our luggage within 10 minutes and walked about 30 minutes to the place outside the campus where a car was ready for us. We stayed at the hotel for two nights. The school announced that it would remain closed until further notice. All the protesters who had stayed inside the campus have left to join another protest at the Polytechnic University.

[11/17, Sunday] We can’t return to the school this week, and have decided to go to Korea and stay there until we are able to return to campus, hopefully in a week or two. This morning, there were severe clashes at several places in Hong Kong. Confrontations at the Polytechnic University, which started last week, continued until Tuesday morning. Fires and tear gas are everywhere in and around the Polytechnic University campus. Later it was completely besieged by the police. Even as I write this letter, some protesters are still inside the campus, while many others have been arrested. Among them are many teenagers under the age of 18. So far, since June 9th, when the massive protests first started, more than 4,500 people have been arrested and more than 10,000 rounds of tear gas have been fired.

As we witness this heartbreaking moment of Hong Kong’s history, we meditate Habakkuk’s prayer: “How Long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?” (Hab. 1:2) The words “How Long, Lord” echo in and sadden our hearts.

Please continue to pray for peace and freedom in Hong Kong, mainland China and other parts of the world where human rights are not protected. Pray that all people, created in God’s image, are respected, and that Christians may serve the Lord without persecution. We thank you for walking with us and supporting our ministry. It is your prayer and support that make our ministry possible. Please continue to walk with us.

Grace and Peace in Christ, our Lord.

Myoungho and Jiyeon


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