I lived in Hong Kong until I was eight before my family moved to Canada. Hong Kong has a special place in my heart. I have fond memories of my relatives and cousins gathering together during Chinese New Year and other holidays. For Christmas, I would stay at my grandparents (my mother’s side). They would put up a Christmas tree filled with ornaments. One type of those ornaments was a small present tied together with a bow. Even though the inside was nothing more than a styprofoam cube, I would unwrap one of them each visit.
Earlier this year, New York Times published an article describing those who know their family background fare better in life. By understanding our heritage, we become more resilient in lives’ uncertainties. I am beginning to realize there’s certain truth in that as I reflect my family heritage.
With Wai Jia and I looking to serve overseas next year and then going back to Canada to renew my Health Care, we figure we won’t be able to visit Hong Kong for a few years. With this in mind, last weekend we went back for a short visit. Being in Singapore for the past two years, I had the privilege of going back to Hong Kong more often than when I lived in Canada. Each time when I go back, I gained gain another piece of my heritage.
My visit in Hong Kong always include seeing my 90 year-old Grandma. She’s a fragile old lady with immense joy, peace and full of faith. Since most of my relatives are not believers, it was a special moment for me to spend time with the same faith and raised me when I was young. She had a simple faith. There’s no deep doctrine discussion. Nothing about Calvinist vs Arminian. Nor Reform vs Charismatic. Nothing about mission methods. Simple and yet, deep faith.
Her church gave her Chinese poetry. Each line contains only three characters. But these three little characters will contain a piece of divine truth. Every morning she will go for a walk in the park. As she stroll, she will recite the poem. It will take her thirty minutes to recite the whole poem. Despite her age, her mind is very active. She knows that 30 minute = 5,000 steps. Since her walk takes one hour, her walk to the park will take 10,000 steps. Afterwards she goes back home and exercise some more. While exercisinng she will recite Scriptures as well! Wow, what an active phsyical life and spiritual life!
It was such a joy and frill to hear her daily prayer for us. It is seeing my grandma to have such a deep hunger for prayer that re-ignite my own prayer life. It is also an encouragement for me out here in Singapore to have a family interceding on my behalf. With all the things we worried when going on the field, medication, financial support, enough clothes for our back, at the end or at the beginning in following Christ is prayer and faith. All the other things are secondary, we need to stay close to God. He will guide us and open the door for us.
I don’t know if I will see her again. I wish I will (at least on earth). I often wished I have more time to hold on to to spend time with my family, my relatives and my love ones. But given the short two years in Hong Kong, we do the best that we can. With lots of hugs and farewell, we left the little unit and said good bye to my grandma and my aunt.