Caring for the most needy
In our midst are an incredibly vulnerable and marginalised community. Many refugees come to Hong Kong for shelter and safety. A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence and cannot return home due to a well-founded fear of persecution. They are considered ‘asylum seekers’ until their claim for refugee status has been granted.
According to the UNHCR, in 2019 there were 26 million refugees and 45 million internally displaced persons worldwide. In Hong Kong, there are around 13 thousand protection claimants. The process to gain refugee status can often take years. During that time, claimants cannot work or volunteer, and are forced to rely on government subsidies, normally living under the poverty line.
We seek to love others because Jesus has shown overwhelming love for us.
The government gives $3200 per adult per month for rent, food and transport, making life understandably very trying. The lack of adequate provision is often compounded by the trauma asylum seekers have experienced in their home countries. Within Hong Kong, they are often treated with suspicion.
The Bible gives a clear picture on what a community of grace should look like. God says to his people, ‘Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner’ (Jer. 23:3). Jesus compares caring for the oppressed to caring for him, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in’ (Matt. 25:35). We seek to make a difference by caring for those whom God cares for. We seek to love others because Jesus has shown overwhelming love for us.
How can you be involved?
Firstly, be aware of the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in our city. Secondly, prayerfully support them. You can do this through volunteering (as individuals or in your Growth Group). The Christian Action Centre for Refugees will soon be ready to take volunteers. You can also contribute financially either through Christian Action or also through St Andrew’s CARE Fund (we support refugees and asylum seekers at St Andrew’s though this fund). For more information, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last week, I’ve noticed more heat than usual in online discourse. Think of the US Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade, or the debate over transgender in sport, or closer to home, the political changes in our city. Sometimes we get in arguments. We feel...
Five years ago, I joined the Youth Ministry team as the leader for the 14 and 15-year-old girls at the 9:30am service. Watching that group mature into the university students they now are, has been such a blessing. Since then, I have known many more students and...
I was born into a Christian family, but that does not in any way qualify me as a child of God. Since I was young, I knew the so-called appropriate words to say in prayers and the rules to follow in church, but deep down, I disliked the idea of being “bound by”...
If you would like to learn more about what’s happening in our community, receive stories, scripture reading, prayer points and catch up on previous sermons, click to subscribe.