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Hong Kong on a Mission

At the beginning of the year a delegation of workers and friends from the CWI Hong Kong office set off for a mission trip to Israel. The two week trip helped them gain a better understanding of both the land and the people of Israel, whom they faithfully serve from the Hong Kong Office and their supporting churches. Here are accounts of their experiences, the people they met and what they gained from the visit. 

So glad I went!

It had only been a little more than a year since my last visit to Israel and in the five months before the trip, my role had been as a planner. I hadn’t considered that I’d be going along myself but in December I prayed to God for help in making a decision on whether I should join the group. I had two major objectives if I was to go: to see how God could deepen my thought and experience in regard to mission, and to accompany my fellow travellers in exploring their direction for ministry. Others prayed for me in this matter and ultimately, from what I received from the Lord, I decided to join the group. The trip was a very rich experience. We had close contact with CWI’s work in Israel and had the chance to visit different missionaries and missionary institutions, as well as a Bible college. We went to the Museum of Jewish History and visited different parts of Israel including Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon and Joppa. There were only five of us on the trip but this enabled us to get to know each other better, to serve the Lord with one heart, and to be companions on our spiritual journey, which was a real gift from God to us. Thank you, Lord!

Ida (Tam Pik Ching) 

Serving God’s people

The Israel mission trip made me realise that the church in Israel is small, and its continued growth requires the help of the universal Church. Today, there are about 15,000 believers in Israel. Church gatherings are usually conducted in Hebrew and Russian. Translation into English also takes place when visitors do not understand either of these languages. It is not unusual for a meeting to be conducted in three or four languages at the same time! We met a Ukrainian sister who is responsible for translating from Hebrew into Russian during meetings. She can speak clearly and continuously for an hour without a microphone. In Ukraine she was a translator and spent over seven years learning Hebrew so that she could translate into Russian, a skill she attributes to God's grace! She told us of an experienced translator from Europe who has spent the past few years in Israel training interpreters. This is one way in which believers from other nations are helping the church in Israel to grow and are demonstrating God’s grace in a practical way.

Christine (Chan Sim Chu) 

Building the Lord’s house

A large part of CWI’s work in Israel is the publishing ministry of HaGefen. We visited the HaGefen office and also the Grace and Truth Congregation. CWI’s Israel Field Director, David Zadok, introduced the ministry and workers to us. When we met Susan, whose health has often been in our prayers, I felt a particular warmth. I was impressed by the experience of staying with local believers. When David told me that I would be staying with a young brother, I was concerned about the language barrier. I kept praying about this but in the end we were able to communicate using our very limited English, which made me realise the importance of language. His mother was very kind and warm towards me. While staying with the Zadoks it was a joy to participate in their daily family worship and I was really touched by the closeness they enjoyed as a family.

Thomas (Ho Ting Chun)

The grace of service

The mission trip to Israel helped me learn more about the history of Israel and also increased my concern for the Jewish people. Through visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum, I saw how the Jews have encountered persecution everywhere, and I was able to better understand their pain. While staying at the homes of Jewish believers, I came to have a better understanding of them also. One church deacon, Eddie, would rise at 5am every morning for devotional prayer; he has become my role model! On New Year's night, we arranged a ‘Chinese New Year’ event. That day, a teammate and I started preparing food for twenty people from 3pm, which was a big challenge for me! Fortunately, we managed to complete the task on time. That night, through hymn singing, and sharing testimonies and information about the Chinese New Year, we brought out the message of the gospel.

In the second week we visited Jerusalem and came to know a very energetic Jewish evangelist called Tony. He is very eager to preach the gospel and his fervent heart affected us all! One night, we drove with Tony to a slum area in Tel Aviv to help with a soup kitchen ministry. Many Sudanese refugees wandered the streets in the area and gathered at the kitchen. On the roadside, that cold night, they were offered hot soup and a Bible. It appears they are concerned only with the most basic needs, with little interest in the salvation of their souls. However, with God all things are possible and he is able to do things beyond our imagination. It was very cold that night. I hope the Sudanese folk felt our concern for them and that we brought a little warmth to them!

Louisa (Lam Choi Wan)

Keeping watch for Israel

For many believers, Israel is ‘the Holy Land’ a place we must go at least once in our lifetime. Every year, many churches or Christian organizations arrange visits to the ‘land flowing with milk and honey’ to experience the places where Jesus walked. Visiting the land of Israel will help us understand the Bible better but meeting the people of Israel has allowed me to understand the heart of the Lord even more, and helps me to keep watch for his beloved people. The best of God's blessing is not ‘milk and honey’, but the Messiah. I invite you to keep watch for this land ‘flowing with milk and honey’, and to pray for the Jewish people who live there.

Janice (Leung Yuen Sum)

This article first appeared in the summer edition of the Herald 2012

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