Apidion - Issue 9


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Apidion - Issue 9

  1. 1. October 2010 ● Issue 9 ● Emmanuel English Church● A word from Rev Dennis what’s been happenin’?Time flies when one is having fun. It is amazing that I have been serving at EEC for exactly two years when this issue of Apidion is released. I have journeyed through the honeymoon period (the first few months) where I got to know the congregation. I then entered the searching stage (the first half of 2009) where I seek God‘s guidance in serving at EEC. Through these journeys God guided me to see the vision/mission He has given to EEC—we are to reach out to people who are comfortable with English/Western culture and at the same time would like to have a bit of the Hong Kong culture.For the last few months of 2009 I started to think a bit more about how we can fulfill such vision/mission. I remember sharing with the congregation the need to locate ‗development platform‘ to reach out to our target group in the beginning of 2009 and at the AGM. At the time, our youth ministry was the most available means for us to reach out to our target group. Therefore, I thought of developing partnership with high schools (in particular ICS and CAIS) so that we can reach families through the students. Even though the pastors are a bit more involved in these high schools during the current school year, we have not made close connections with the students such that we can reach out to their family. We will not give up this approach in building a development platform because there is basically limitless amount of opportunities with a student body of around 300 students in each high school. Besides looking into connecting with other high schools (local and international), it was discussed in the recent Deacon Meeting that the church should mobilize the EEC congregation to locate ‗development platform‘ for the church. Maybe many people in your Mother‘s Group (or whatever interest group) fit the profile of our target. If this is the case, the pastors/leaders can work with you to reach out to them. Maybe you are passionate about forming a group to reach out to others. If this is the case, we can also work with you to get things rolling. The idea is instead of just having the pastors going out to build the development platforms for the church the whole congregation should contribute to such project by looking around to see what possibilities are available. I have always thought our congregation members are too busy (with work, family, serving at the church, etc.) so the pastors need to drive the development-platform-building process. Praise the Lord for revealing to me that each one of you can and should be involved in this process. Please let me know if you think of how you and the pastoral staff can work together to build these platforms. God gave me the above picture as I enter my 3rd year serving at EEC. I am very excited because I anticipate great things as we launch out (our 2011 theme) Together as One (our 2009 theme) to build a God pleasing church (our 2010 theme). Please join us in prayer asking God to prepare us for such journey and prepare to actually give ourselves to take action to fulfill the vision/mission of reaching out to our target group. Ap’idion Newsletter Find us on facebook! Get the latest news on the EEC family! facebook.com/eechk Check out our website! www.eechk.org Hello~ EEC’ers! Where has the time gone?! We’ve had a very productive year – we’ve developed a website, renovated a new office in Mongkok, brought in an assistant pastor, worked with a school and as we write this, we have quite a number of baptismal candidates so thank you Lord for all of these provisions. We have so much to update you on and hope you enjoy this edition. Oh and enjoy the fun quiz below! What’s up Croc? Who owns these shoes: Choose from Sally / Didi / Cici / Fefe / Katrina Red Left Purple Blue Orange Right Purple Submit answers to apidion@gmail.com
  2. 2. October 2010 ● Issue 9 ● Emmanuel English Church● Pastor Vicky Lo or a snowman? Introducing Pastor Vicky Lo – Assistant Pastor EEC Grrrrr………… Hello – it‘s great to be part of the EEC family in the capacity of Assistant Pastor. I have been worshipping at EEC since 2008 and joined as staff in September 2010 My parents are Vietnamese born Chinese and because of the Vietnamese War, my parents and other relatives were scattered around in different countries so I lived in different places in Asia. I was brought up in Taiwan and came back to Hong Kong when I was 15. After graduating from the University of Hong Kong, I became a history teacher in a local Hong Kong Secondary School. During the three years I spent with high school kids, I discovered this is a really great place for people to get to know Jesus Christ - when they are still young in high school. Therefore, I decided to enter into full-time ministry to serve the youth and I got my Masters degree of Divinity in the China Graduate School of Theology. After graduating from the Bible seminary, I served in an international school as a Christian Worker and right now I am serving in Emmanuel English Church. My passion is not only serving the youth but also serving people from different cultures because I myself am from a multi-cultural family. During the Vietnamese war, my relatives were scattered around US, Canada, England and France. We experienced the pain and tears of moving around to different places and it made me want to serve people from different places and I want people to feel that Emmanuel English Church is their spiritual home in Hong Kong. The Bible in Psalm 34:8 says ―Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.‖ Would you like to come to our church to get to know our God and His love more?
  3. 3. October 2010 ● Issue 9 ● Emmanuel English Church● Chris Ng - EEC Summer Intern and now a Queen’s graduate! Visitations Every year we have a returning Igniter to help out the different ministries in church. This year we‘ve been blessed with Chris Ng. Being one of the founders of the Ignite youth group, Chris helped with the planning of the theme and programs of Ignite‘s new school year. They came up with the theme ―Prioritizing God‖. Chris also started the core to take up leading devotions every during the Monday Prayer Meeting. This year‘s Ignite Camp (Believe Camp) took place in July at the Breakthrough Camp. The speaker was Pastor Ho-Ming Tsui flown especially from Toronto to speak ata this camp. Chris was able to help the core in planning and executing this camp As there were many university returnees during the summer months, Chris started the College Fellowship under the guidance and blessing from Pastor Dennis. This college group is still continuing now for the students studying in Hong Kong. Another area that Chris helped out was in worship and worship training. IWT (Intensive Worship Training) started last year to train up people interested in joining the worship team. This year we had about 20 sign ups who were trained in different areas such as guitar, drums, keys, worship leading, harmony and sound. Many have since signed up to help out in worship. January 2010 ● Issue 8 ● Emmanuel English Church● EEC SUMMER INTERN BAPTISMAL CANDIDATES Joanne Gui shares her testimony with us……. Since I was young, I’ve always known about God. I was born into a Christian family and grew up going to church, so I learnt all about Jesus and I heard all the stories. I accepted Christ when I was around 7 and at that time, I thought it was normal to do so. Of course I would accept Christ, because that’s what my parents did, what my sister did, what my friends did. In my first few years of being a Christian, my life was no different that it was before I accepted Jesus. Because I grew up saying my prayers, going to church and reading the Bible, everything was the same after I had accepted Christ, it was just a habit, a routine that I went through. It was this way for a few years, and when I was ten, I found out that I had to move to Hong Kong. I didn’t like change and I didn’t want to move, to leave my friends or to leave my school. When I came to Hong Kong, I came to a Christian school where chapels were held weekly, Christian classes almost every day, and it was all very different from my old school. Everything around me was of Christian influence, but learning about God all the time was nothing new to me. My life still went on the same, except I learnt about Him every day now, instead of just on Sundays. All my life, I knew God and I believed in him, but I didn’t understand what believing in Him meant. The summer before I started grade 7, a friend went to a Christian camp and told me about it. He shared his experience; how he felt God, how he cried when the pastor prayed over Him because he could just feel God’s presence, and how great it all felt. This really impacted me because I had never talked to that friend about God and he was not a person I expected to hear these kinds of things from, so in that way it was even more encouraging. I realised that God wasn’t a distant God, not just for big people or adults, but even for little unimportant children like us. That night was the night I remember reading the Bible that seriously probably for the first time. Starting then, it was in my secondary years that I started understanding that God wasn’t just a God far away watching us, but a personal God. It didn’t happen suddenly and I don’t remember when it did, but it was a gradual realisation that God was there with me every minute of every day, and I could trust in Him no matter what. My relationship with God became a real relationship and not just a routine one, and saying my prayers became a regular thing throughout the day, not something I had to say every night so I could sleep. Gospel camps and outreaches at school were always something to look forward to as we always had guest speakers who would share their experiences, and those talks always encouraged me to grow in my relationship with Christ.. Recently, I’ve had lots of reminder of how important having Christian friends and Christian influences are to encourage and build each other up, and it is only while writing this testimony that I remembered that it was my Christian friend’s experience that lit the fire within me, that encouraged me to have a personal relationship with Christ. Through having a personal relationship with Jesus, the most important thing I learned is that no matter what happens, God is with me and everything will be okay. As Psalm 27 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” I used to be afraid of a lot of things, and I still am, but remembering this verse has helped me get through a lot. God always knows what’s best, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem like it and I know He brought me to Hong Kong, to my school for a reason: so I could have a relationship with Him, grow in Him, and serve Him.
  4. 4. October 2010 ● Issue 9 ● Emmanuel English Church● BAPTISMAL CANDIDATESBAPTISMAL CANDIDATES Peter Zhang shares his testimony with us……. I was born into a Christian family, and was brought up in church and Sunday School. I knew all the bible stories by heart. For me, I never had a “decision” moment like most other people did where I decide to give up everything else and announce the commitment to Christ. The concept of “Jesus Christ” was very natural to me and I’ve always had Christ in my mind for my whole life. And that’s exactly why I felt like something I experienced when I was in 8th grade was a kind of a “test” for me. It was the time when I first moved to Shanghai from Guangzhou because of my father’s job relocation, and I had a hard time adapting to the new community. I was just like the classic kid that gets bullied everyday: kind of fat and short, wears glasses, gets decent grades, sucks at sports and doesn’t know how to speak properly. I still remember clearly how I was trying start the social journey in the school first with the rest of the newcomers. We had a newcomers’ lunch table just for ourselves, but as time passed and as they found their own friends, I left to be the only one in that table. When I try to fit in, the other students would seem to use me instead as a “tool” to make me do things such as letting them copy homework and what not. There was especially this gang of people that’d tease me the most. The things they do was more than just verbal, but more like messing up a chess game, putting a cactus on my seat waiting for me to sit on, or worst of all, panting me in the classroom and claiming it “this happens to everybody”. What hurt the most was not the fact that it happened to me, but the fact that nobody else cared or did anything to help. At that point, I really wondered if God existed, and if so, why did he let such things happen to me? I wasn’t exactly mad at God, but I just wondered what I have been doing to make me deserve all this. I wasn’t able to talk about it to anybody else, and that just make the situation even worse by holding all the pain by myself. All the pain from denial and tease of other people eventually stacked up to a giant pile, and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. One day (about three months after joining the school) I finally sent an email to my teacher telling about the things that I have been going through in school. And of course, as a responsible teacher, he immediately had a meeting with me comforting me while asking the involved students to come in and individually apologized to me. As they did so, I notice one of the boys was so ashamed of what he did when he realized that he burst into tears. I recognized him from church fellowships, and suddenly realized that he was probably just a regular kid who was pressured by peers to join in the “crowd” in bullying. At that moment, the only thing going through my mind was Jesus telling His disciples to forgive seventy times seven times. Out of compassion, all the grudges I had in my head was genuinely wiped off as I took the pack of tissues next to me and gave it to him. Apparently the scene was so touching that the non-Christian Students Affairs Officer standing had tears when he witnessed the scene. After that, I had a talk with that particular person. He confirmed what I noticed about how he was only following the crowd for the sake of doing so, and how he told me that he was willing to change. We became true friends after then, telling each other about the concerns we have and helping each other. As I look back, I realized how it is indeed a miracle how God was able to teach me to genuinely forgive and forget about all the wrongdoings of other people. Moreover, he reminded me that Christians live through sufferings so that we can be a living testimony to what Christ is capable of doing. In this case, God has used to me to show the forgiveness of Christ to the Students Affairs Officer, and I’m just extremely and humbly glad that I could be a tool for Christ. Peter Philip Joanne Ouch!! my knee
  5. 5. October 2010 ● Issue 9 ● Emmanuel English Church● When I moved back in Hong Kong in 1997, I asked my dad whether I can live in one of the apartment unit he owes. He took us (Joanne and I) to look at a unit in the Mongkok area. We loved the place even though it was in very bad shape but having the opportunity to live in a ‗rent-free‘ unit in the heart Mongkok, we immediately thought of how we should renovate the place and make it our home. However, after further discussion with dad he suggested we live elsewhere for various reasons. The unit was then left vacant for the next 13 years! Since we had to live with Joanne‘s godmother, we never thought of bringing up the idea of living in the Mongkok unit when we moved back to Hong Kong in 2008. It was somewhat interesting during a conversation one day, my dad brought up the idea of giving the unit away to a charity. I don‘t know why but I asked him if he would give it to a seminary because I know they have a need to find housing for some students. My father is not a believer but he immediately asked me to find out if the seminary would take the unit or not. After a few rounds of discussion, it was disappointing to hear the seminary decided not to take the unit. I then asked dad if he would consider giving it to a church. Again, he did not hesitate in asking me to find out from the church whether they would take the unit. This is how EEC got the Mongkok unit at 71 Argyle Street. Even though it is an old building (built in the 60s) with no elevator (you have to walk 84 steps to reach the unit), it is located in the heart of Mongkok. We went through a 15-week renovation process where every inch of the unit was fixed up. We have since moved our church office to the unit. A couple of small groups are using the unit regularly with some other groups using it once awhile. We are in the process of adding some tables so that students (from EEC) can come to study at the place if needed. We are also looking into setting up a library and see how else we can use the unit to reach out to others. I personally could not figure out why God provided the unit to EEC. However, as we started to use the unit more, I can see great potential for the church to have a unit in such location. Let‘s continue to pray and seek how God wants us to use the unit for His Kingdom. God’s Provision – Mongkok Flat… by Rev. Dennis Ng
  6. 6. October 2010 ● Issue 9 ● Emmanuel English Church● The theme for Ignite this year is ―PG.‖. What is PG? We need Parental Guidance? Oh…no no... ―PG‖ means Prioritizing God in our life. We all know that God is important and we want to Put HIM as the priority in our life, but most of the time, we find this idea is only head knowledge more than something that we can take into action. Therefore, we want to go back to the Bible to see what it means to prioritize God. We try to explore the theme PG from 3 areas: 1) WHO IS GOD? What you think about when you think about God. Rev Dennis led discussions on watching Louie Giglio‘s talk ―seeing God as a perfect Father‖. Louie Giglio told us we may respond to God differently because we may see God from different perspective. Yet, God longs to be known as a Perfect Father. Through Jesus Christ, this relationship -- and the promise of a Perfect Father's blessing -- is available to everyone. Through spiritual birth, we all can see, know, and enjoy God as a Perfect Father. The Ignite core members also produced video clips interviewing different people about their thoughts about God. By the end, we praised God for who He is and prayed for the desire to know Him more. 2) WHO AM I? The bible says we are created in God‘s image. Prioritizing God is a journey that we want to be more like Christ. Pastor Vicky led us to discuss the characters we want to be like God and we also prayed for the struggles that we couldn‘t be more like God. 3) WHAT SHOULD WE DO? This is the part you couldn‘t miss. We invited different speakers to share their thoughts with us. Oct 29th Rev. Stephen Durie : how we respond to God when we receive His grace Nov 5: Dr. Louis King Yip : My God is the King Nov 12: Vanessa Manchester (ICS teacher): Balance things between youth group, church and family Dec 3: Mr. Best (CAIS teacher): My God is eternal. Of course you can‘t miss our Christmas celebration on Dec 17. We will present the Nativity story through games and Christmas Carols, and our core leaders will also share their stories with God on their day!! Ignite Prayer Meetings Thanks for Auntie Ruth‘s hospitality in sharing her home every Monday for our Ignite prayer meeting. Our body and soul are always satisfied after joining the prayer meeting. Auntie Ruth cooks delicious food and dessert for us. Also, bubble tea has become a highlight before we start our prayer.  The core leader takes turns to share with us a devotion passage before we pray and brief us on our upcoming programs in Ignite. We also have a deeper sharing about our joy and struggles in our life. In the coming prayer meetings, we also focus on praying for our friends from ICS, CAIS or other schools who do not have a home church or do not go to youth group. We pray that EEC will become their home church and Ignite will embrace them in God‘s love. Ignite: Keeping it in PG by Pastor Vicky Lo
  7. 7. October 2010 ● Issue 9 ● Emmanuel English Church● I remember during my basketball playing days, I would ‗get back to the basics‘ when my game was a bit off. Getting back to shoot few hundred free-throws would help me regain my shooting touch. Getting back to running drills would help me reshape my mindset to play the game with my feet rather than just my hands. While the stuff we do as we ‗get back to the basics‘ is the same old stuff, it works to reshape us for a better performance. EEC has spent time pondering upon the theme of ‗Together as One‘ in 2009. Since I was new to the church then, we set our focus to come together as a team as we looked to march forward in the future. For 2010, the theme is ‗Building a God- Pleasing Church.‘ The focus is for us to reshape our personal walk with God and become convinced preaching the Gospel is a calling for all of us. As we will soon enter 2011, we are preparing to ‗Launch Out‘ to touch more lives and reach out to more people. In order for us give ourselves a chance to make this happen, we must return to the basics to develop a firm footing before and as we launch out. We MUST get on our knees (corporately in particular) and rely on prayer as the pillar to support all that we will be doing. EEC has a weekly church prayer meeting on Wednesday night at the TST chapel but only few can come. We realize work and family obligation quite often make it difficult for people to join the church prayer meeting but EEC will not give up on the spiritual discipline of praying as a corporate body. We would like to invite the whole congregation to commit to pray for the church on every Wednesday. You can pray during your quiet time, at a gathering with other congregation members, when you are riding the bus/MTR to work, etc. It does not matter when and where as long as we come together as one to make time on Wednesday to pray for EEC. We want to start this prayer movement before we launch programs because prayer is more important—it is one of the foundations we must built our ministries upon. We encourage you to sign up with the pastors by giving us your name and email address. We will then email you the prayer items every week. The next thing for you to do is to set aside time to pray for the church on Wednesday. As a member of the EEC congregation, we all should be praying for this body. Let‘s get off our seat and PUSH (Pray Until Something Happen) for the church. There is one thing worth noting—while this approach can become a way to mobilize more of us to pray for EEC, all of us should still try to make it to the church prayer meeting at the TST chapel. There is nothing more blessed than to be able to pray with each other in person for the community that God has built for us. Thinking about……by Rev. Dennis Ng Prayer Requests 1. Pray for the congregation to develop a deeper passion towards God’s words and prayer. 2. Pray for a positive respond from the congregation towards the Prayer Movement that began in October. 3. Pray for the congregation to give their all to ‘Launch Out’ to grow EEC spiritually and physically. 4. Pray for God’s provision of more Deacons in the upcoming years. 5. Pray for wisdom for the Council to think through our facility needs.