A City Harvest Church mission team ministers in practical ways at a church in Hong Kong.
Contributed By Celest Foo
From Feb. 9 to 13, nine members of City Harvest Church accompanied missions pastor, Bobby Chaw to The Praise Assembly Church in Hong Kong. Chaw was invited to preach in a churchwide Bible seminar and the weekend services while the rest of the team helped to organize a workshop on building positive relationships and hospitality.
During the Bible seminar, Chaw shared a message on servanthood over six intensive sessions. In his opening meeting, Chaw took reference from Matthew 4:17-19 and taught on the ministry of Jesus. He emphasized that following Jesus is the first thing that Jesus preached, and that Christianity is not just a belief, it is about a life of following Christ and serving Him.
Throughout the sessions, Chaw expounded on the theme of “loving through serving,” sharing his own personal testimony of how he has been faithfully serving the pastors and leaders in CHC all these years because of his love for them and his love for his church. He then encouraged the congregation to adopt a servant heart and learn to enhance the lives of people around them.
One of the Hong Kong church members was extremely moved by the message and immediately decided to act on it. This member shared with the mission team over a meal about her upbringing. She was not used to serving others, having been brought up in a rich family and having everything at her fingertips at home. Now as the managing director of a large shopping mall in Hong Kong, she would also get her staff to run errands for her. But after hearing Chaw’s message that weekend, she personally went to a shop to buy gifts for the mission team members—something she could have easily asked her staff to do. This was a small step but it was evident that God was working in the lives of various ones that week.
Apart from this, one of the team members, Celest Foo, a leading flight stewardess by profession, conducted a two-day course on hospitality. She shared the importance of the four stages of hospitality in welcoming new friends in the church. First, there is a need to make a positive impression (“I feel good”). Second, people need to break the ice (“I want to come back again”). Third, create opportunities for these people (“I want to stay on”). And lastly, build relationships to last (“This is my home”).
Foo then emphasized the importance of how relationship precedes ministry because how people treat others is more important than just growing a ministry. Foo shared that growth will happen in the church if its members master the skills of building strong and lasting relationships and learn how to treat people well. Even though church events may bring in the crowds, the congregation needs to be ready and equipped with the right attitude and hospitality tools to host them and ensure they remain connected to the church.
For the church’s weekend services, Chaw shared a message from Proverbs 23:7 about the condition of the human heart. Since the heart defines the essence of one’s character, Chaw highlighted that people’s problems in life stem from the heart. As such, it was important to guard it with all diligence because if a person’s heart can be dealt with, his or her life would change. Chaw then gave an altar call for those who needed healing in their hearts and many who came forward were healed, delivered and set free by the love of God.
As Chaw prayed for the people, the rest of the mission team helped to lay hands on different ones. Among them was Cherrie Wong, 32, a flight stewardess, who was on her first mission trip. She shared, “Being a very young Christian, I have never laid hands to pray for anyone before. It was certainly a challenge and I was very nervous. As I prayed for others, I could also sense God healing me. This encounter strengthened my Christian walk and my faith in God in return and I am greatly encouraged.”