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More Love

More Love

By Rev Arnold Chow

September 25, 2022

“I hope we’ll have more love in the NPAC family,” one member expressed this wish when we chatted about the 70-year-old NPAC family. This remark stirred up thoughts in me for quite some time.

There is no lack of discussion about love in this generation. In the love songs I heard when I was growing up, “love” was usually portrayed as mutual delight in one another, the feelings of I liking you and you adoring me. The most moving ones are often those about the imagined feelings of unrequited, unattainable love when looking back to the old days. More recent lyrics even simply reduce love to passion and desire. When we grow older, we are not as easily bothered by matters of love. But do we have myths or misconceptions about love as a result of how it is shaped by popular culture and defined by the mass media?

In the spiritual family, is “love one another” simply considered as a kind of very touching or passionate atmosphere? Love that is based only on feelings will not go far nor will it be sustained.

The Apostle John has said: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16)

The Lord sacrificed Himself on the cross and became the role model of love. The Greek word for “love” is agape, which is translated by some as “willing to lay down oneself.” This is most appropriate. The Father was “willing to lay down Himself” and let His only beloved Son sacrifice for us. The Son was “willing to lay down Himself” and give His life for us. Because of God’s love, we would know how to love others in His truth.

While the church should be warm and friendly, the kind of unique love mentioned above should all the more be manifested in us because we have received “God’s love.” In other words, “love one another” is not confined to warm gatherings, reciprocal friendship or a culture of mutual tolerance and understanding.

To love one another, we cannot avoid following the example and practice of Jesus who willingly went for the cross. Indeed, it is far from easy to lay down one’s perceptions and interests and give oneself for others. However, since Christ died for us, and with such love, we are empowered with the motivation to be “willing to lay down ourselves.” It depends on us as to whether we would choose to imitate Christ and put others before ourselves.

In the New Testament, phrases with the word “agape” appear 310 times, and one-fifth of them, that is 62 times, are found in the epistles of John. We can see that John taught this in response to the needs of the contemporary church. In the sermons of the fourth quarter of the Anniversary Year, we will give more thoughts to “God’s love.” From the second half of October, through studying 1 John, we would know that with our lives being lit up by God’s love, we can live our lives with more love in a generation full of estrangements.

The hope by the church member at the beginning of this sharing is one which I very much agree to. Dear NPAC family, blessed birthday! It is my hope that in the days and years to come, we will make strides in loving God and loving man.

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Troubled Generation Needs God’s Love

Troubled Generation Needs God’s Love

By Rev Kenneth Chong

September 18, 2022

The world is in chaos. Hong Kong is in chaos. Why do we still care about mission?

If you find this generation difficult, non-believers will certainly only find it even more difficult. Look at the situation in the world today: the figures for internationally displaced people and refugees hit new highs; the Russia-Ukraine war and the civil wars in various countries continue; massive strikes are staged among workers in protest against inflation; the COVID pandemic continually threatens the elderly and young children; global warming brings abnormal weather…

In the face of all the troubles in the world, how can one’s heart be calm and relieved? The answer: keep firmly believing in Jesus as Lord in a troubled generation! It is true – the Lord Jesus is in control of everything! That is our conviction as Christians. On the other hand, in the midst of a turbulent generation, non-believers can be easily lost, being unable to find the meaning of life or to find strength to deal with life. As disciples of Jesus, we should care for them and tell them about the Lord Jesus who is trustworthy and powerful.

It has all along been the church’s priority to care for people’s needs and preach the gospel of the Lord! During Mission Month, the church encourages brothers and sisters to respond and participate in ministries in the frontline and back home. At the same time, we encourage everybody to make faith offering pledges to financially support global gospel and caring ministries. The Russia-Ukraine war has displaced countless Ukrainians from home. They are now refugees in many Eastern European countries and have plenty of needs. The offering made by brothers and sisters earlier was used to help build refugee camps to provide shelter and supplies for them. I believe the offering will also encourage the local brothers and sisters to continue to show God’s love with practical actions.

Many problems in the world cannot be solved by man’s reason alone. The end of man is the beginning of God. In times of hardship, it is easier for people to see their own limitations and rely on the loving, true God more readily. May God help Christians to not only see their own needs but also to better understand the hardship facing the unbelieving generation so that they will be more willing to give their lives and resources entrusted to them by the Lord to participate in the Lord Jesus’ ministries of the gospel and care in the world. This will bring love to a troubled generation so those in adversity can receive the ultimate, most precious truth.

This year sees the 70th anniversary of the NPAC family. For 70 years, God’s grace has been with us. Having received His grace, the church needs all the more to share it out. Of course, the church needs careful discernment and do works of the gospel and care that please God through appropriate channels. Ever since inception, the NPAC family has encouraged us to “Light up lives with God’s love and live out ‘It is better to give than to receive’” based on the Lord Jesus’ teaching. And “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) is the teaching of the Lord Jesus, which He Himself exemplified. We dare not forget the teaching of the Lord. May God continue to move brothers and sisters of the NPAC family to participate together in the ministries of the Heavenly Kingdom, to bring the truth and love to this land and the world.

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Jesus is Knocking on the Door

Jesus is Knocking on the Door

By Rev Arnold Chow

September 11, 2022

One day when I returned home, I found that I forgot to bring my key. It was already 11pm. I knocked on the door many times and tried many other means but my wife and my domestic helper still could not hear. I was about to go over to a 24-hour McDonald’s to wait for daybreak when my wife, being aware that I had not returned home late at night, called me up on the phone.

The experience allowed me to understand the scenario in Revelation 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” These were the words from the Lord Jesus to the Church in Laodicea. The context before this verse was the Lord’s stern rebuke of that church.

The door the Lord is knocking on is the door of the church. He is the Master of the house. The people inside are obliged to pay attention to His matters and when He returns, answer the door immediately.

Though the Lord rebuked the church, He was not without expectation for her: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent” (3:19). We often mistakenly think the word “earnest” means attending worship services and meetings, serving and offering, and often engaging in prayers and Bible studies. But all of this is just the by-product of being “earnest.” The word “earnest” as used by the Lord can be interpreted as “attach importance to” or “zealous.”

When my children were about to be promoted to primary schools, I as a parent was often puzzled by terms like “direct subsidy”, “private schools”, “subsidized schools”, “government schools”, “discretionary places”, “Phase 1”, “Phase 2” … Time and again, I asked my wife what they mean. One day, my wife finally showed that she was displeased. That was because I was repeating the questions I asked a year ago, months ago or about a month earlier. I thought I attached importance to my children. I would not say I was disinterested. But it is true that I was not “zealous” enough.

The church which belongs to the Lord Jesus had gone so far as to cast Him out! This is the opposite of being “earnest.” Look at the ministries the Lord has entrusted with us today. We may not be disinterested, but are we really “zealous”?

Another time, I again forgot to bring my key. What was different was that the Indonesian maid quickly answered the door. The maid has always been “zealous” at work and after what happened last time, she paid special attention to whether I was home late at night.

Now our family no longer has an Indonesian helper but we do miss the “zealous” maid. She was Muslim but she did not reject our sharing with her about Jesus. She would even make sure that our children prayed before meals and going to bed on our behalf. Several times, incidents happened in her family. She was willing to pray with us. We were not disinterested in sharing the gospel with her, but we could not call ourselves “zealous.” Before she completed her last contract, we finally mustered up courage and preached the gospel to her. Very thankfully, she finally accepted Christ.

Do you also hire a domestic helper? Are you “zealous” enough to take the opportunity of being under one roof and be a good employer, always living out a good testimony and leading them to the Lord?

Mission is what the Lord has entrusted with you and me. Your response to the Lord in being “earnest” might as well start at home.

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New Horizons, New Insight

New Horizons, New Insight

By Rev Yina Chow

September 4, 2022

As the wheel of time turns, do you feel like you have suddenly landed in brand new horizons? Do you see any new mission opportunities in the new horizons and construct new models for evangelism? Or do you just see a future journey studded with obstacles and difficulties? It is true that without the readiness of “a new heart,” the new horizons will be like new wine in old wineskins with a rigid structure that is unable to contain anything new. It will have no room for the Spirit’s new inspirations, methods or guidance. Before entering the Promised Land, the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Despite experiencing the miracle of the Red Sea and the provision of manna, they were unable to get rid of their old life. They still retain the slave mentality developed over 400 years of slavery in Egypt. They even demanded to go back to the land of slavery to fulfill their yearning for food rather than starting their new journey in the land flowing with milk and honey. Indeed, the first most important awakening of a new heart is letting go of the stubbornness and obsession of the old self (Ezekiel 36:26). Holding on to the past and refusing to step out of your comfort zone will make you miss out on the new work God is unfolding. But if we can experience the renewal of the Spirit, we will be able to enter the new horizons with new insight, however difficult the environment.

Faced with the challenges of the new horizons, the ten men sent to explore Canaan only saw a difficult environment and their own limitations: fortified cities and their being like grasshoppers (Numbers 13:28, 33). Their negative judgment was borne out of fear and they chose not to enter Canaan. On the other hand, the other two men, Joshua and Caleb, saw the promises of God: The land was exceedingly good, flowing with milk and honey (14: 7-8). So they boldly proclaimed: “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (13:30). The same journey was met with two entirely different responses. Why? The difference in the faith of the two groups of men lies in the key word “see.” While the 10 spies saw God and themselves on the basis of a dangerous environment, the other two saw the environment based on the mighty power of God, His presence and promises. Joshua and Caleb looked beyond all the difficulties and were able to time and again experience God’s new grace and new deeds! Dear brothers and sisters, what is the basis of your judgment of the new horizons you are now in? Caleb chose to “follow God wholeheartedly.” This phrase literally means “to fill, to follow fully,” meaning to wholly follow God. Finally, at age 85, he saw the promise of God come true: “The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly” (Joshua 14:9).

Right now, whom are you following? And how does he influence your entering into the new horizons? As far as you are concerned today, which piece of land does God lead you to step onto? What mission has God entrusted you with? Are you prepared to enter God’s new horizons with new insight so you can see His promise realized and glorify His great name? “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

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Come to God Constantly in Faithful Prayer

Come to God Constantly in Faithful Prayer

By Rev Gordon Siu

August 28, 2022

A number of surveys during the pandemic have found that depressive symptoms among Hong Kong people have increased while their happiness index has dropped. For Christians, as they have had fewer opportunities to meet with other believers and they have more worries over their health and the future of Hong Kong, their faith seems to have become lifeless. Unknowingly, faithful prayer life has been forgotten.

Prior to His being betrayed, the Lord had Passover supper with His disciples. He told them a crisis was coming and one among them would betray Him. The others would fall. This heightened the uneasiness among the disciples and they were “very sad”. At that moment, their greatest need was prayer, but they were asleep, “exhausted from sorrow”. The Lord exhorted them, “Why are you sleeping?… Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation”. To those who are sorrowful, the Lord’s most important encouragement is “Get up and pray!

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). If we cherish hope but allow ourselves to be worried, if we are not patient in affliction and even give up a faithful prayer life, then we are in a very dangerous position. A sister and her husband had a crisis in their relationship and she was prepared to accept the divorce request from her husband. Then she noticed some unusual behavior of their child at home, and she woke up to the need to quiet down to pray on her knees. Unexpectedly, when she started to pray, her tears poured down. She was going to accuse her husband before the Lord, but deep reflections came from within her heart: “He is your husband. Do you honor him? Do you respect him?” She then invited her husband to join her in prayer during which they both cried. Miraculously, years of grievances between them were resolved and they reconciled with each other.

We may think that praying is talking, but the most important thing about prayer is really listening. In prayer, we can of course pour out our hearts to God and seek His help and guidance. But when we turn to God, He will speak to us, illuminating the pride, the lust of the flesh, worries and disbelief within us. We then know we should humble ourselves and seek His power. In prayer, our thinking becomes clear and we can better discern temptations from the evil one and make a right decision.

More than ever before, brothers and sisters in Hong Kong need to pray together. The Book of Acts tells us that whenever the church comes across a crisis, the response of believers was invariably united prayer. The most important thing about coming to a prayer meeting is not to listen to a sermon but to pray together with brothers and sisters. It is not to relay prayer “items” to God, but to share and understand the needs of certain groups or some brothers and sisters. It is then that we can put in our understanding, feelings and time to faithfully pray for God’s grace together. I attended prayer meetings of Korean churches before. After the pastor had explained the prayer needs, all the believers would pray aloud and the sound of prayer fills the whole church. It was after a long time that brothers and sisters would break into groups to continue to pray. I very much long to see Hong Kong churches likewise experience the power of faithful prayer: “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).

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Church Anniversary and A Life of Evangelism

Church Anniversary and A Life of Evangelism

By Rev Samuel Tam

August 21, 2022

People usually celebrate their birthdays with congratulations and commemorations of the past. They will also think about how to extend the vibrancy of their lives to make their lives more bountiful. At a time when the NPAC family is about to celebrate its 70th anniversary, besides giving thanks to God, what should we do to serve to let God’s glory be manifest in our lives so that others may share in the Lord’s lovingkindness?

I can think of one thing that must continue. Every year in October, the NPAC family would organize anniversary evangelistic meetings to spread the gospel of Christ. Looking back at how NPAC started, it was in July 1952, when seminarians from the C&MA Bible Seminary conducted an outdoor evangelistic meeting at Tong Shui Road. The target group at that time were mostly people who have traveled far from home and braved great hardships to make a living in Hong Kong. Some of them were war refugees without the right of abode here. They were an underprivileged group which longed to seek out the value and meaning of life. Time flies and circumstances have changed. Today, the economic situation in Hong Kong has become more affluent. There is no lack of material supplies, but the hearts of many are still agitated with no peace. They are worried about the future. We need to spread the gospel to the “poor” – which refers not to the financially inadequate but the sorrowful, captives, hurt, saddened and frustrated. They are targets of God’s salvation and grace. Jesus was sent by the Father “to proclaim good news to the poor” in “the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61:1-2; Luke 4:16-21).

Ever since inception, the NPAC has organized regular evangelistic meetings so brothers and sisters can learn to spread the gospel and lead others to Christ. At that time, NPAC hanged notices about forthcoming evangelistic meetings outside the church windows and on lamp posts in the streets so that more people can see news about the meetings. And whether in small or large church premises, NPAC would arrange simultaneous prayer meetings for the evangelistic meetings to seek God to use us in the spiritual war so we “will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18-19). After years of evangelistic efforts, the NPAC family has gathered many different communities – besides couples, children and seniors, there are also secondary school students, tertiary students, young working adults, handicapped brothers and sisters, women, men, new arrivals and grassroots. By the power of the Spirit and with a steadfast faith, we should sustain our effort to lead those who have not heard of the gospel in our respective communities to the Lord’s love so that we will be a channel of the truth about His salvation.

At this time, we must stand firm and not be moved. We must always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:58, Colossians 1:28). Although the NPAC family still cannot have love feasts amid the pandemic, let us be determined to continue presenting feasts of the Lord’s salvation for non-believers. Dear brothers and sisters, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them (Romans 10:15, Psalm 126:5-6). Today is Gospel Sunday. I invite all of you not to forget to make an evangelistic effort especially during church anniversary and, together, weave more God-glorifying stories.

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Steadfast in Mission, Live Out Love

Steadfast in Mission, Live Out Love

By Rev Sally Yung

August 14, 2022

God builds the NPAC family: Thank God for using a few brothers and sisters to create and produce a theme song for NPAC’s 70th anniversary. A great melody, and very captivating, the song is well-liked by many brothers and sisters. The song counts God’s abundant blessings for the NPAC family: In the summer of 1952, Rev Patterson of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church led an outreach team from the C&MA Bible Seminary to spread the gospel at the North Point waterfront. More than 10 people gave their lives to Christ, leading to the opening of North Point Alliance Church on Oct 12 in the same year. Among the converted who stayed on and grew up in the church was Rev Chin Wu (胡欽牧師) who pastored in NPAC and was later ordained!

God keeps the NPAC family: Looking back on the past 70 years, we thank God for keeping the NPAC family. He has moved us to preach the gospel together, added to our number, expanded our premises, and enhanced the quality of the spiritual lives of brothers and sisters so that the love of God and man is manifest in our testimony. May brothers and sisters of NPAC carry on with the evangelistic mission and preach the word of God near and far, here and beyond Hong Kong. Rev Gordon Siu has said, “Never forget: Without mission, NPAC would not have come into being. Now that we have NPAC, we should also embrace mission.” We trust unswervingly that God will continue to guide us forward with His bountiful grace so that we may be children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. God will also make us shine among them like stars in the sky as we hold firmly to the word of life (Philippians 2:15-16). We firmly believe that we do not need to fear when the Lord walks with us. Let us live a life loving the Lord and man that glorifies God and benefits people, always seeking to please Him!

Live for the Risen Lord: Thank God that we have a Cancer Care Ministry in the NPAC family over the past 20 years, with brothers and sisters living out love, sharing the gospel and leading many cancer patients, family and friends to Christ. Moreover, many believing cancer patients are good witnesses and have led others to the Lord. Some brothers and sisters who have cancer have expressed that if it was not God who moved them to share the gospel with family and friends, they would certainly have given up all kinds of painful treatments and let their lives end earlier following their own will. It is because life on earth is short but what lies beyond resurrection is beautiful and eternal! That they receive treatments is therefore not really for themselves to live longer but to have more time to share the gospel with their loved ones. The Lord Jesus “died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again… All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:15, 18). These brothers and sisters with cancer have indeed been steadfast in their mission until they depart. They have lived out love. Their life testimonies encourage us to cherish our limited days on earth and spread God’s precious saving grace whenever and wherever we can.

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Teenagers are Our Motivation

Teenagers are Our Motivation

By Rev Jenny Ching

August 7, 2022

It is sometimes said, “Teenagers rarely reply when asked, and when they do reply, they are often argumentative. Getting along with teenagers is frustrating!” This may be true for some people.

In March this year, I started serving with the Youth Ministry. When I was feeling a bit anxious, a mother drew near and told me, “Both my son and my daughter love the Youth Sunday School, SunLogos. My son said if he was to study abroad, what he would miss the most would be SunLogos. He also told his younger sister that teachers of all levels at SunLogos were very good and she would know when she is promoted to SunLogos. My daughter is a quiet girl, but she brought a classmate to join SunLogos online after she had learned about spreading the gospel.” I am very glad to hear the mother’s sharing. It must have been our Heavenly Father’s encouragement for me through the mother and the two young people. Indeed, serving the teenagers is challenging but it is also meaningful. It is also where the motivation comes from.

On Family Sunday in May, a co-worker said, “Serving can at times be quite exhausting. But when I see the teenagers and talk with them, I feel energized! Not so when they are not around today.” I was surprised to find that my co-worker was energized through walking with young people.

In caring for a teenager recently, I am grateful to God for letting me experience the joy of walking with them. Several years ago, this teenager went through a very dark incident. At their most desperate time, he and his parents humbly prayed, sincerely confessing their sins to God. In the end, the matter somehow concluded itself. So far, the teenager is still willing to steadfastly follow Jesus. Looking back, he was certain that it was the invisible hand of God at work. He firmly believed that the matter really would not have been resolved without the help of God. Through this, I experienced the motivation from walking with young people. This teenager has made me reflect on myself. If I am to experience such obvious rescue from God, would I so resolutely share with others that “It must be God who has helped me!” like he did?

We know from these young people’s experience that they are faced with lots of challenges which they can hardly tackle, including pressure from schoolwork and interpersonal relationships, tests from materialism and secular values, to name just a few. They need counselors to walk with them, to help them test and approve what God’s will is, so they will not conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2).

We are grateful that all along, we have had a lot of great counselors serving at the Youth Ministry. Nevertheless, some of them have left in recent years for one reason or another. In the absence of adequate manpower, there is genuine concern that the growth of the teenagers would be affected. We often pray for God to send more good and faithful brothers and sisters and who love the teenagers to join the ministry. If you want to know more about serving with the Youth Ministry, please contact our co-workers.

We pray that God will not only convince us that teenagers are a motivation for us to serve but also that more young people will encounter Christ the Lord personally and, through the encounter, be empowered to steadfastly follow Him.

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One Life to Live

One Life to Live

By Rev Stera Chan

July 31, 2022

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” (Philippians 1:21-23)

These verses were read during the memorial service of a seminary friend who was received by the Lord Jesus in mid-June. And these verses are especially special to my group of seminary classmates as the late Rev. Fred Tze-Wah Cheung shared in the preaching class more than twenty years ago. Since then, “to live is Christ and to die is gain” has become a great reminder to us all.

Many years ago, I had an asthma attack and it got to the point that I said to God, “Why don’t You take my life now?” Then I was reminded of Paul’s words – “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” I pondered and it was like Jesus asking me, “What will it be like if you die and see Me now?” I realized that I was not ready to see Jesus because I was ashamed. I had not been faithfully doing what He had given me, so how could my death be a gain for me and others? Then I said to God, “Lord, forget what I have just said. I want to live!” I prayed and am still praying that when the Lord Jesus receives me in the heavenly home, I will not be ashamed and people will celebrate my life joyfully.

Brothers and sisters, if we do not glorify Jesus Christ while we live, how can our dying be even better? It is only when we glorify Him in our earthly life then our death can be a gain. So, if Jesus is calling you to the heavenly home today, are you ready to see Him face to face? Can you say that “to die is gain”?

The English Ministry had a day camp for teenagers at the Truth Centre last week. We challenged the campers (and ourselves) to make a commitment to live a Kingdom-first life. Why is it important? Regardless of who we are, each one of us has only one life to live, and we do not know when Jesus returns or calls us home.

The Apostle Paul’s expectation and hope is that he would not be ashamed for not glorifying Christ in everything he does and says (Philippians 1:20). It is about living out the gospel and sharing it with others. And the only thing that could put us to shame would be the failure to win the approval of our Lord Jesus, who has already given us eternal life, promised His presence, provided all we need to live a Kingdom-first life in the midst of uncertainties and trials.

May we put hope in God alone and dispose ourselves to His sovereign will! And may we rely on the Holy Spirit to share the gospel and to glorify our Lord Jesus by life and by death!

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What Are You Doing Here?

What Are You Doing Here?

By Rev Ellice Lau

July 24, 2022

At a day retreat for deacons and fellow pastors I attended recently, there was a very meaningful group activity, which included three parts:

  1. Identifying a certain corner of the church with clues from pictures provided and then the entire group went and take a picture to verify the place. We found that if we had not paid special attention, these places could be really hard to find.
  2. Identifying locations from precious photographs of the old and new church premises before recounting our experiences at NPAC. Some of the places were there before the Main Church was renovated but they no longer exist now. Some others were venues at Winner House. Due to the shortage of space at that time, even the quarters of Rev Hu Qin and Rev Gordon Siu were used as classrooms for Sunday School.
  3. The last part was the most touching. Participants shared their growth stories at NPAC. One participant was among the returnees from overseas studies and came to know about NPAC’s initiative that welcomed believers returning to Hong Kong to attend meetings at NPAC. Several young adult fellowships with similar backgrounds were also set up, where members served and grew. Another participant shared about the pleasant surprise of meeting a pastor of the former church he attended at NPAC, who became a voluntary pastor here. As for me, I was baptized during the time at Winner. At that time, there was a long, narrow baptismal pool right behind the podium. One of the two pool entrances was a small room connected to the kitchen, which also served as a nursery room on Sunday. I had served there. The young adult fellowship I attended also met there and so I feel deeply for the place. The other entrance to the baptismal pool was connected to the Side Hall-cum-Library, which used to be the pastoral offices. In ordinary times, the pool would be filled with miscellaneous items with a wooden plank in the middle connecting the two exits. Walking on the plank felt like parkour.

The sight of these places reminded me of the pastoring I received, and a host of people and events that had built me up came back to mind. One of them was Rev Hung Kwai Fong who, in the young adult fellowship I attended, offered me much help in personal growth. Rev Siu illuminated me when I was a seminarian, helping me to resolve the struggle between living out one’s true self and becoming a role model of witnessing as a pastor. The deacons who were humble and faithful in deliberations also set good examples…. The NPAC family today carries with it the fruit of the faithful service and hard work of generations of pastors and spiritual leaders. It is now time for a new generation to take up the baton. Are you ready for it?

I was reminded of 1 Kings 19:9-18 in which the LORD asked Elijah twice: “What are you doing here?” After that, God encouraged and comforted him, and asked him to anoint Elisha to succeed him as prophet. I am grateful to God for His guidance whereby I have received the nurturing from pastors, deacons and leaders of the NPAC family. I therefore greatly support the new generation to take the helm. What nurturing have you received at the NPAC family? In what ways are you willing to let God use you so as to continue to help others in the NPAC family to grow?

(After the day retreat, we came up with the idea of making an activity kit for NPAC’s 70thAnniversary with reference to the three-part activity above. It will be available on loan to fellowships and small groups from August.)