Help, Thanks, WowDecember 6, 2012
Help, Thanks, Wow
Every 4 years, I have the chance to come back to the United States for speaking and meetings as your Global Ministries mission personnel in Hong Kong. It’s been my fortune (or fate) to have itineration coincide with the U.S. Presidential election. That means I not only get to see American democracy at full blast but I also get to enjoy fall foliage, pumpkins at Halloween and Thanksgiving turkey. On a sadder note, this time I followed the events unfolding around Hurricane Sandy and its devastating aftermath. For someone who cares deeply about the natural environment and God’s creation, this was truly a wake-up call.
These past 3 months have been filled with many meaningful experiences in UCC and Disciples churches. Wherever I have been – Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Pennsylvania – I have been received with such generous hospitality in your conferences, regions, congregations, homes and headquarters. Thank you to all those who made this such a positive time of sharing faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ.
Writer Anne Lamott says there are 3 essential prayers in life: Help, Thanks, Wow. Surely I prayed them all during this itineration.
Help me Lord: I need to finish this sermon…I don’t want to miss that plane…I miss my children in Hong Kong…I need to be more sensitive to others.
Thanks Lord: For giving me the words at just the right time…for introducing me to new friends and helping me find old ones…for precious conversations from the heart…for all those who support me through funds, prayers and their own blood, sweat and tears.
Wow Lord: How beautiful are the spacious skies…how beautiful is the body of Christ…how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!
As I prepare to return for another 4 years in China, I am grateful to be reappointed to our Global Ministries partner – Hong Kong Christian Council – in the area of ecumenical communications. The Council has been my spiritual ‘home’ in Hong Kong for 18 years. It is the place that is waiting for me to return, the people that make God’s mission possible in my life. I look forward to seeing them soon.
In this Advent season, let me close with words from beloved Anglican Bishop K.H. Ting, who died on November 22nd in Nanjing at age 97. In his book God is Love, he says:
“Christianity moves and compels people, not by its doctrines, but by the love made manifest, love held high and spread abroad, love waiting eagerly for the final coming of a world of love.”
May you and I be a sign of Christ’s love coming into the world anew through the sacrifice of hearts and hands and voices for real peace.
Judy Chan is a missionary serving with the Hong Kong Christian Council. She is responsible for communications for the Council. She is also in charge of ecumenical radio broadcasting ministry, English publications and ecumenical partnerships in Hong Kong and overseas.
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