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Are you a linguist?

Apr 7, 2022

I wonder how many of the languages you can read from the picture above? One of the hardest things I have done as an adult is to learn a second language and I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am with the language without significant support.

There are a significant proportion of people born outside of Hong Kong who want to make this city their permanent home and see learning Cantonese as a crucial first step. For many years, St Andrew’s has supported newcomers in making Hong Kong their home by helping them learn everyday Cantonese. Up until the current restrictions were implemented, the Putonghua Ministry welcomed around forty students every Sunday afternoon to learn Cantonese.

The New Testament is full of linguists using tongues (different languages) to reach out to people of different backgrounds. You may not call yourself a linguist (even though many of you are reading this in a second or third language), but we are all encouraged to share the gospel with those around us using the language(s) that we have been gifted with.

Teaching Cantonese at St Andrew’s is one of the many ways that we seek to
fulfil our mission

Teaching Cantonese at St Andrew’s is one of the many ways that we seek to fulfil our mission of loving Jesus, teaching the Bible, sharing the gospel, building community, and serving the city. There are some people who come, learn some excellent Cantonese, thank us, and leave. However, there are also others who see Christians working together in a loving community and serving sacrificially, and are prompted to ask questions about life and faith. Often in evangelism, once the relationship is established, it makes invitations to church and events so much easier. We know of many who come to study Cantonese and end up joining our wonderful eternal Christian family. A few of them have even gone on to full-time Christian ministry in different parts of Asia!

How can you use your gift of language to share the gospel in Hong Kong?

It starts with prayerfully sharing your life and faith with other people in your life – your family and friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. But maybe you can also serve in our Cantonese teaching ministry. If you’re interested and want to find out more, please contact me (ryan@standrews.org.hk). We are looking for teachers that can commit 3/4 Sunday afternoons every month and one dedicated volunteer who can help coordinate the production of our first “Everyday Cantonese” textbook.

Ryan Muir
Director of Putonghua

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