Rebuilding From Hong Kong to KCC.

A young student leader called Nathan Law was the youngest person ever to be elected into the Legislative Council of Hong Kong in 2016, equivalent to an MP in UK, I suppose. At the time, he had only just graduated from his university studies.

Fast forward to 1 July 2020, when the Chinese government introduced the National Security Law in Hong Kong. The law punishes what China broadly defines as ‘subversion and terrorism’ with a maximum of life imprisonment. In response, Nathan fled from Hong Kong to UK for fear of arrest in the name of the new law.

When I heard the news, I thought that he was a bit over-reactive to the situation. Surely it was not as bad as he thought?

But on 13 July 2020, the HK police ordered an arrest of Nathan in the name of the law. In fact, at the crack of dawn on 5 Jan 2021, more than 1,000 police arrested 53 people in HK. The crime for the arrest was to organise a preliminary election among themselves to focus the vote in the legislative council election in 2020.

Nathan Law has been staying in the UK since last July and on 7 April 2021 he was granted political asylum in UK.

The reason of sharing the story is to show just how rapidly the situation in Hong Kong has deteriorated since 1 July 2020.

Recently the UK government has kindly granted HK people who were born there before 1997 eligibility to live in UK. 1997 was the year HK returned to China from UK. It is estimated that there might be around 130,000 people coming to the UK from HK this year alone, many of whom will be living in the UK for the first time.

This represents a great opportunity for the churches in the UK to show hospitality and care to these newcomers.

KCC has joined a new initiative where the newcomers can go to ukhk.org and see a map of churches ready to welcome them. There is a WhatsApp group of more than 140 people who either have recently come to live in Southampton or have such a plan in the next 6 to12 months.

They have needs from the basic stuff like registering NI and GP to finding schools for their children and job search. Most of all, they would welcome friendship and kindness from their new neighbours.

So do look out for the new Asian faces when we resume our worship and meetings in person, or in your neighbourhood. A few of us have organised some English conversational classes for them. If you think you can contribute, you are most welcome to get in touch with me.

After one year of lockdown, we are excited how the Lord will rebuild us in UK. We are equally excited how we can bless these people from HK who are also looking to rebuild their lives and families.

When the people of God returned to their own land from Persia, rebuilding the temple and the city wall in Jerusalem seemed like impossible tasks.

Let us not forget the great promises of our Lord:
‘Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of 'Grace, grace to it!'" [Zechariah 4:6-7 ESV]

Victor Lau