Hong Kong the Populous

Just got back from Hong Kong. Our first time going down south, and it was a welcome relief from the frigid weather where we live. Hong Kong is an incredible city – here’s some lessons learned this week:

1. Cantonese is not just a fancy word for bad Mandarin.
Hong Kong’s predominant language is Cantonese. Some people speak English, some speak Mandarin. Seems crazy, but it’s common to hear Chinese people from HK using English to converse with Chinese from the mainland! Apparently a very difficult language to learn – I wonder how many Cantonese-speaking missionaries are there. It does seem to be a trend that missionaries in places where even a small percentage of people speak English as a second language do not learn the native language. But it is definitely needed there.

2. It’s one of the most densely populated places on the planet.
We stayed in Kowloon, where about half of HK-ites live. About two million people living in only 18 square miles! Looked like those pictures you always see of crowded Chinese streets. 7,700 skyscrapers – supposedly more than any city in the world. Cramped spaces make for some high living costs. I imagine a church plant there would have to get pretty creative to solve space issues.

3. Foreign much?
Is anyone actually from HK? More foreigners than you can shake a stick at (and believe me, I tried). Tons of westerners – the city’s British past is still apparent. There are 300,000 foreign domestic helpers in HK, the vast majority of which are from the Philippines and Indonesia. Indians are another big expatriate group – hawking wares on the street, working in restaurants and hotels, and even working construction jobs. There are a good number of English speaking churches there, but I would like to learn more about what kind of evangelism is being done to these specific groups.

4. Weeds thrive in good soil as much as more desirable plants.
You run into a lot on the streets of HK that you don’t see much of in the mainland. People singing songs about how Jesus loves you. Church signs. Buddhist altars everywhere. Protests against the Party and the government. Rampant pornography. Turns out the church isn’t the only organization thriving on freedom. Yet another reminder that an increase of political freedom in the mainland is not enough to advance the Gospel. Our hope in a closed country never lies in the relaxing of government restrictions, but in the Spirit’s work through the Word proclaimed by obedient servants.

So take a minute today to pray for Hong Kong – and her more restricted sister cities to the north.

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  1. Tweets that mention Hong Kong the Populous « The Gospel in China -- Topsy.com - January 24, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Global Christian, Googlyfish Hong Kong. Googlyfish Hong Kong said: http://www.googlyfish.hk Hong Kong the Populous « The Gospel in China http://ow.ly/1aZZos […]

  2. Hong Kong & Shenzhen : China Ramblings! - September 21, 2012

    […] going to link to an article that my colleague wrote after recently returning from his trip there: Hong Kong the Populous. Published: February 4, 2011 Filed Under: Survey Leave a Comment Name: […]

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