One, J. Lilley, writing from this place for himself and brethren, on the 27th July last, says “In this far-off heathen land, I and a brother of mine by chance saw your Twelve Lectures , and they were the means of our being led to search the scriptures. I am glad to say that the way that was so dark before, has now become light. We had often before wondered whether so many millions in the land of China were doomed to suffer the everlasting pains of hell. But when we came to search the scriptures, to see whether things in your lectures were so, we saw at a glance that they would perish without law. We have a hard fight among those who believe that the soul is immortal. We have sent for your Lectures . I suppose they can be had from any book store. The one I have is only borrowed. We hope we may be able to press on. There is no liberty here. There are missionaries, and a few Chinese people profess to be Christians, but we may truly say that gross darkness prevails.”
PREACHING THE GOSPEL IN HONG KONG
“The Australasian Christadelphian Bible Mission has planted a tree of Gospel Truth in Hong Kong, and the fruit so far reaped is indeed a token of God’s blessing on the labours carried out there.” So writes bro. John Doble, of Arnecliffe, New South Wales, who with sis. Doble spent six months there from Dec., 1963. Hong Kong is a British Crown Colony of four million population, 98 per cent Chinese and about one tenth nominal Christian. Probably one in fifty Chinese speaks English. Bro. and sis. Doble were assisted for periods up to several weeks by brethren John McColl and R. Hicks (Sydney) and L. Cresswell (Melbourne). Mr. John Shaw , a Chinese friend who first heard the Truth through the C.B.M. by correspondence and had had talks with brethren R. Herman and H. Rydings, after further discussions was baptized on March 13, 1964. This took place at Deep Water Bay (Hong Kong Island), with brethren Rydings and L. Cresswell also present.
The campaign opened with letters to forty existing contacts and coupon advertisements in English, displayed in both the English and Chinese language press. These brought 250 inquiries for literature. From all these letters with many more of a personal nature, they interviewed about forty friends, some a number of times. There were over a hundred interviews during the last three months of the stay. They used the Revised Standard Version since the Chinese find the A.V. very hard to understand. They all spoke English but some imperfectly.
One of those interviewed was Mr. Richard Tsong , who for more than ten years had read his Bible daily, praying night and morning for understanding of its message. In due course he was baptized at Silver Strand Bay, seven miles from Kowloon, on May 21, 1964.
Four lectures were given during March, in the new City Hall in Hong Kong. Attendances for all lectures numbered 126. Attentive audiences, nearly all English speaking Chinese, afterwards took literature. Two very interested contacts came from these lectures, and at least 12 others from advertising. These included a number of fine young people around 17 years of age, and who attend college. One such was Lawrence Chu , a boy who left Mainland China alone at the age of eleven, to make his way in Hong Kong. His will to survive, to earn his living and pay for his education to matriculation standard, is indicative of character and great tenacity of purpose. After personal talks in Hong Kong bro. and sis. Doble continued instructing Lawrence by correspondence after their return to Australia. Bro. Rydings, who had returned from leave in England, heard his confession of faith, and he was baptized on Nov. 8 into the Name of Jesus Christ. This was consummated on Sunday, at Deep Water Bay.
Bro. and sis. Doble are continuing work by correspondence with a number who are taking the Bible course. Bro. Doble records the special help of a friend, Mr. Herrick Chung, at the lectures and in translating leaflets into Chinese.
Bro. Doble concludes: “To know these new members of our household of Faith is to love them for their warm faith and sincerity in Christ. They have steadfastly met to remember Him week by week, despite difficult living conditions and long working hours. We pray that God may adorn them in fulness of faith and understanding and add to their number such as should be saved.”
He appends the following prayer given by bro. John Shaw when receiving into fellowship bro. Lawrence Chu:
“Our Heavenly Father, with joy and reverence we introduce our new brother Lawrence Chu to Thee, and we believe truly that Thou art here present to witness our acceptance of brother Lawrence Chu into this household. Thou willest then, that he receives Thee and unites himself to Thee.
“We beseech Thy clemency, and we beg of Thee to give him Thy grace that he may be wholly dissolved in Thee, may overflow with Thy love and may no more concern himself about any other kind of consolation. For this most worthy immersion is the new life of our mortal body, the medicine of every spiritual malady, in which our vices are cured, passions restrained, temptations overcome, faith confirmed, hope strengthened and charity inflamed. And through immersion Thou art pleased to deal with Thine elect. The life of the elect ought to abound in virtue: that he may be such inwardly as he seemeth to men outwardly to be. And with good reason ought he to be much more within than he appears outwardly, for it is Thou that overseest us, and we should stand exceedingly in awe of Thee, and walk in Thy sight wherever we may be. Every day we ought to renew our purpose and stir ourselves up to zeal, as if it were the first day of our immersion. And to say: ‘Help me, Heavenly Father, in my good purpose and in Thy holy service, and grant that I may this day begin indeed, since what I have hitherto done is nothing.’
“O our Heavenly Father, let the immersion obliterate our old selves but give us new ones to live to Thee and for Thee. Thou must be weary of the inefficacy of our desires, and of offering Thee only thoughts which we reduce not to practice, and promises which we never fulfil. We earnestly supplicate Thee to grant us the grace of adding effect to our desires and of uniting the practice with knowledge of Thy Word. We ask all this in the Name of Thine only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
IMPRESSIONS OF HONG KONG
Dear Brethren and Sisters,
At times over here in Hong Kong one gets a little depressed and begins to feel very sorry for oneself. Then I stop to think; what have I got to complain about?
How about the lift in the building? The only means of transport to our room, full of undesirables, and rubbish; it often gets stuck; we shall be glad to get away from this. Yes, but what about the families who live in the shabby apartments above me? They have to put up with the lift year in and year out, we only for a few months. So why should I complain?
Well, how about people spitting in the streets? What a filthy habit; but I am starting to do the same. It is due to the food they eat. So why should I complain?
How would you like to be confined to one room? This is most depressing after being used to a large home with a garden. Surely this is a genuine complaint? Yes, but how about our friend Lee Hung Kwam, a young man of 20 years, living in one room half the size of ours, with seven other people; no toilet or bathroom. This is where he has to study his Bible, and he is confined to his room every evening, because it is not safe to go out at night; there are gangs waiting to beat you up. He does not want to mix with these so he stays home. Also when we stop and think, we have our own bathroom and toilet and room service. Yes, our room is a palace to what our friends endure. So why should I complain?
Well, what about the food here? Most of it is unhygienic, and there are plenty of ants on the table in the Guest House. This is quite hard to endure after the food back home; spring lamb chops, T-bone steaks, apple pie, etc. Yes, but surely back home we eat too much. So when we sit down to our next meal, enough for two or three, think of the millions of people who exist on a bowl of rice, and the poor beggars in the streets who eat rubbish out of rubbish bins. So why should I complain? At least I have a choice of restaurants.
Yes, but over here we cannot go for trips in the country in our car, like we did back home. In Australia we had two days each week off and one could always take a sickee and get paid; we had plenty of leisure time to enjoy ourselves. How about the Chinese here? Only one day a week off, then they are too tired to enjoy it, because of the long hours during the week, 7 a.m. till 9 p.m. Have you heard of the young lady in the coffee shop? She is 19 years of age and supports her family. She works till midnight, then commences at 6 a.m. the same day. Only a 4-hour break, and there are no trade unions one can take grievances to. What a paradise back home: 8 a.m. till 4.30 p.m., 3.30 p.m. Friday; don’t come back till Monday.
So why should I complain? Although we cannot enjoy those trips in our car when we take our lives in our hands, and hardly exercise our legs, we don’t have to endure the long hours of labour like our Chinese friends.
How about the weather here? We are not used to the high humidity or the cold winds when the change comes, and the place is very depressing when it rains all day. Ever heard of Melbourne’s weather? Four seasons in one day; one can leave home in a heat wave, and come home with an overcoat on. But the weather is something people will complain about no matter what country they live in. We do have some beautiful warm days here in the winter, suitable for swimming, so we cannot really, can we, complain about the weather?
What else is there to complain about? How about loss of income? But one does not worry about this when doing the Lord’s work. He will always provide; “having food and raiment let us be content”. The extras are not looked for. When one is fully engaged in the Lord’s work, one does not worry about the payment on the new car, or the extensions to our already spacious homes, or investing money for our retirement. The more gadgets and the greater luxury we live in only mean more worry to maintain our status. This can contribute to a break down in our health.
I am running out of complaints, but when I think it over what have I got to complain about? Nothing, absolutely nothing.
Your brother and sister in Christ,
– Carl and Lula Gee
THE TRUTH IN HONG KONG
Dear Brother Nicholls,
My wife and I are engaged in missionary activities in the colony of Hong Kong. The ecclesia at present numbers three members, Bro. J. Shaw, Bro. A. Rydings and Bro. Teddy Sun who at present is confined to a Rest Home. Sister Rydings and family have taken up residence in England, and a Chinese brother Lee Hung Kwan, together with his family, have settled in Australia.
A new approach to advertising was tried prior to our visit. We advertised in the local papers free Bible Studies, and although the numbers who responded was not great, the advertising did bring valuable contacts. The most promising was a gentleman from Sydney, who is in Hong Kong on business, the manager of an Import Agency with a factory in the Colony which employs a number of Chinese. He conducts weekly “Fellowship” classes with the workers in his factory, and being most anxious to learn more of God’s Word, he applied to take part in the Bible Studies. He is so thrilled as the message of the true Gospel is revealed to him, that he repeats the lesson given to him at the Fellowship meetings in his factory. I have prepared study notes on each lesson, which are given to contacts at the completion of each lesson. The gentleman has a Chinese wife and is a valuable contact in that he can speak Cantonese.
Our visit has proved that there is fruitful soil here, but there is a need for a brother to remain here. Short visits only awaken the interest; the people need leadership and care and guidance after acceptance of the Truth. Bro. John Shaw has offered (without charge) a furnished room, at his flat, to any brother who would care to labour here in the service of the Master. The flat is situated at the Ferry terminal connecting Kowloon with Hong Kong Island. There is also a bus terminal with regular services into the tourist section of Hong Kong. His address is Mr. J. S. Shaw, No. 6 Broadway, Flat C, 4th Floor, Mei Foo Sun Chuen, Kowloon, Hong Kong (tel. 3–7412132).
Without the voice of the true Gospel, people are turning to other faiths: the Baptists, Catholics and Mormons all have established churches—the Mormons claim 10,000 converts. There is also a group active here under the name of Christian Fellowship: followers of William Branham, whom they claim was an inspired prophet, to whom God had revealed the time periods relating to the time of the end, and also true Bible doctrine. Every day they have advertised their doctrines extensively in the local papers, under the heading of “Gospel Truth”. I took up the challenge and have had three letters published in the Hong Kong Standard free of cost: one letter on Eve and the Serpent was featured on the center of the middle page. They claimed Eve had a relationship with the serpent, a manlike creature, resulting in the birth of Cain. You may like to publish my letter in reply to this. I have received several letters from this group, and since the publication of the article on Eve they have left off advertising. I thought my remarks may be of interest to the Brotherhood in letting them know some of the activities taking place in Hong Kong.
Your Brother in Christ,
– Carl S. Gee
Hong Kong – Extract from Brother Gee’s letter in the Hong Kong Standard (Dec. 4, 1980) on “Eve and the Snake in Paradise”:
As a missionary here in the colony of Hong Kong, endeavouring to preach the simple message of John 3:16 , I am amazed at some of the strange teachings put forward in the name of Gospel Truth …
One of these very strange teachings is in reference to the sin of Adam and Eve. It is being promulgated that it was not the eating of the forbidden fruit that brought sin and death into the world, but Eve committing adultery with the serpent, and that Cain was the literal son of the serpent. Scripture given to support this is 1 John 3:12 , where we read, “not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother”. Those who claim this support their belief that Cain was the son of devil possessed serpent, are themselves the deceivers of mankind.
A reading from a revised translation makes it clear what John is referring to. Cain was said to be the son of the wicked one, because of his evil deeds … “We must not be like Cain, he belonged to the evil one, because the things he did were wrong.” The same can be said of the Pharisees. In John’s Gospel 8:44 , Jesus said, “Ye are of your father the devil, for he is a liar, and the father of it.” So if Cain was the literal son of the serpent so were the Pharisees. This is the only conclusion one can come to if they pursue this false teaching …
In Genesis 1:27 it is recorded that man was the only creature created in the image of God. The creation of the serpent is recorded in verse 25 , when “God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind”. This is proved to be correct when we read ch. 3:1 , which states that “the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made” … Ch. 4:1 shows that Eve conceived Cain through Adam, not the serpent, “And Adam knew Eve his wife. And she conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have begotten a man from the Lord” …
Readers are advised to examine all teachings in the light of God’s Word. “If any man shall add to what God has written, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book.”
In defence of the Bible Truth on behalf of the Australasian Bible Mission.
– C. S. Gee