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Reflections on my Faith Journey

Written by Judy Chan
May 12, 2008

I always find it interesting that people I meet – whether in Hong Kong or the U.S. – assume I grew up in China. It's plausible given that I look like I belong with the 1 billion other Chinese living in Asia. Even with my distinct American-accented English and distinctly non-native Chinese, people give me the benefit of the doubt.

In fact, I was born in Mississippi as the daughter of Chinese immigrant parents. My "all-American" upbringing included: membership in the Southern Baptist Church, schooling during the Civil Rights movement, mission work in New York City, seminary in an Ivy League university, chaplaincy in a mental hospital, and Presbyterian ordination in Washington, DC.

That's the beginning of my story.

The rest of the story takes place in Asia.

I first came to Hong Kong in 1986 for a year of study and cultural enrichment. I knew the visit would change my life – and boy, did it ever!

I fell in love with Hong Kong in the course of those exciting 10 months. I also fell in love with a handsome Hong Kong native, Joe Chan, who became my husband. 20 years and 4 children later, I still love living in this vibrant, international Chinese city of 7 million.

Since 1994, we've witnessed the handover, the Asian financial crisis, SARS and the democracy movement. We've seen the churches united in facing political and social challenges, yet divided  over doctrine and strategies. We've seen both positive and negative developments in mainland China, but we always hope and pray for the motherland because it is our destiny.

I am grateful for the opportunity to minister through the ecumenical Council of Churches in Hong Kong. It provides this sojourner with both a spiritual and physical home in Asia. It's been my joy to serve the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ in mission for the past 15 years.

May all we do and say bring forth the blessing of Jesus to all the world:
"Your faith has made you well. Go in peace."
(Luke 8:48)

Current Description of my Work:
I work for the Hong Kong Christian Council, which is one of the main ecumenical bodies representing the Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox Churches.  We cooperate with the Roman Catholic Church to produce daily radio ministry programs that are broadcast over the HK government station.  I also coordinate the English language publications, liaise with international partners and participate in the environmental faith group, Christians for Eco-Concerns.

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