This is the most focused aspect of our work in Hong Kong. In our combined ten years experience in University Ministry, we have heard their stories and are confident that this ministry is ESSENTIAL. God has driven deep in our heart the needs of this segment of our community. Acknowledging that the spiritual identity is formed (which includes leaving it behind) between the ages of 16-26, we must reach out to this group of people who are relatively unreached compared to other age groups in Hong Kong. Many leave the church in high school never to return. This generation is one so full of potential yet so disillusioned by what they see in their family and society today. Moralistic religion will not answer all their questions, nor will the pursuit of money and power, even though they are pressured to pursue this and “get to the top” in order to survive. “Who am I?” and “Do I matter?” are the “soul questions” asked by these students.
We read James 1:27 in a whole new light:
27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
The orphans we encounter are not without earthly parents, yet they are what we would call “spiritual orphans”. Their physical needs are provided for, yet they have limited interaction with their parents and are emotionally and spiritually abandoned. Many come from homes where an extra marital affair is openly happening. They come to University with a story of shame and hurt, feeling alone or just simply lost. There is a great need for mentors- people who will walk alongside them and demonstrate Christ.
- They grow up required to stay busy with their whole lives planned out, therefore they feel lost when they have to figure out life on their own.
- They earn acceptance through performance, and then are criticized for every good and bad thing they do, therefore they fear failure and trying new things (even though they are extremely gifted).
- They have been emotionally neglected or abused by parents, therefore they have never shared how they really feel and it weighs on them. It weighs on them so much that suicide and depression is rampant in this environment.
THEREFORE, our hope is to point to the redeeming story of Christ, where He comes in, carries their burdens and speaks value and hope into their lives. Our hope is to be a vessel of this good news that we are not alone and our life finds its supreme meaning and purpose in Him.
We have seen a need and we can’t ignore it. If you see the need too, please join us in praying that God would work in these students, filling them with a passion for Christ and equipping them to lead the church to come!