**Here’s the latest from Team Hong Kong! Make sure you tune in for their Return events on August 14th. They will be sharing during a Q&A time at 4PM CDT and will play their final concert at 7PM CDT! Stream these events at ctimusic.org/live or join us in person at EPIK – 3821 Abbott Drive, Willmar, MN.**
I don’t know Chinese, so you’ll just need to deal with my English intro.
We have had a busy past week! We are still playing at the Community Center daily, and our evenings have included playing at Ladies Street and Star Ferry. The last couple of days we have had the opportunity to lead worship at a few Filipino churches! We have seen God and His faithfulness in many different ways. Let me tell you about a few of them!
Often times when CTI teams come to Hong Kong and partner with YFC, they will play at Ladies Street. Some have compared it to Times Square in NYC, but I would say that it is on a significantly smaller scale. I’m sure you have seen many pictures of one of our teams playing on this street. There are always street performers that are singing, dancing, doing magic, and you get the idea. This has been going on for over ten years, but with regulations put in place in the last few years they can only perform on weekends. And last week Monday the government actually shut down all street performances on Ladies Street. Like for forever.
And our team was able to play there on that final night of performances!! The streets were packed with people, including locals, tourists, and a lot of street performers. There’s actually an uproar happening among a lot of the performers, and tons of news articles being written on this topic. There are pictures of our team in some of them!
Another place that we’ve played is Star Ferry – a big tourist spot. It has a beautiful view of Hong Kong Island, therefore having a lot of traffic. A good portion of our days have ended with playing here. Because of Ladies Street closing down, a lot of street performers have moved to this location, making it more difficult to play with a lot of instruments. We’ve slowly had to cut down how much gear we are bringing with us, but we are still able to share the Gospel! We are constantly being reminded that we can share the gospel in any situation, no matter if we have a full band setup, or simply a guitar and cajon. Praise God for His faithfulness to let us share in so many different circumstances! It has been a stretching and growing experience for our team.
We’ve been able to play for several Filipino churches, like I said before. I think they help the whole team feel a little bit more at home. We are able to have conversations and share in English. The Filipinos have such an energy and excitement for the Lord, despite some of them not having the best life. It’s contagious. We feel incredibly blessed by our partnerships with them.
The seniors at the Community Center are also a blessing to us. They show up daily, they listen to us, smile, dance and sing along with us. We have been breaking off and praying over individuals during our days with them, and it’s an amazing experience. There is a beauty in praying over people who don’t speak the same language as you do. Although they may not know what we are saying, we are praying to a God who is beyond language barriers. He understands our every need whether we are praying with someone who can understand us or who cannot understand us. The Spirit is moving nonetheless! It always makes me think about how good our God is.
We had an afternoon and evening off this past week so one of our translators, Benny, took us out for a day of exploring. We went to a beautiful beach, and then that evening we went to Victoria Pier, an outlook over all of Hong Kong. It was breathtaking! We were so thankful for those opportunities!
As we are heading into our last week here in Hong Kong, here are some ways you can be in prayer for our team:
⁃That we would have motivation and energy to give one final push.
⁃We would stay focused on our ministry here – a lot of us have a lot to think about for when we get home. Pray that we would be able to live in the moment and not be distracted.
⁃Continued health! We have had a few colds and congestion circulating around the team, but nothing severe, Praise God! Pray for healing of those struggling with their health.
⁃That we would be able to communicate the JOY that we have in Christ because of the Gospel, despite language barriers. Pray that it would be a real, true Joy, coming directly from the Lord.
Thank you for following our journey and for your prayers!
⁃Hannah V / Team Hong Kong
Here’s some shout outs from the team!
Trey – What’s up homies, it’s your boy T-FIRE. I’m doing good over here in HK. I learned some Cantonese as well (Charlie-Victoria and Kenny, you guys would be proud!). Thank you to all the people who sent me letters! You guys are awesome! (I needed those picks thanks Nathaniel!) Shout-out to the staff and training staff. I miss you guys! We may or may not have written songs about you guys… CCC I miss you guys! Thanks for all the support! I have plenty of stories for you guys. Miss you guys!
Nicole – Loved ones! I just want to thank everyone who has been a part of supporting me both spiritually and financially on this journey. Thank you for partnering with what God is doing here in HK through CTI. Special shout out to my 38 financial supporters. You all know who you are and your generosity and partnership have helped spread God’s love here in ways I don’t have the word count to share, but will soon. We have been going non stop here but get to visit Macau on Thursday (Paivas: it’s a Portuguese influenced spot, time for me to practice all you’ve taught me)! Fam, thank you for the letters. Mom, I cried when I saw the pic and it is on my shelf (best MOH). Kevin: Aren’t I sneaky? Hope you are feeling loved even from an ocean away, but soon you’ll only be a moment awaaAAay. Can’t wait to hear about all I’ve missed and I have so much to share with you my love! Missing all of you dearly <3
Matt – Thanks to the CTI training community for training us so well in adaptation and flexibility. The YFC appreciates it a ton and is very impressed at our willingness to do anything. I’m currently writing this in the community center as David is throwing chocolate eggs into the audience. Also KPK, I got your letter. I opened it in front of the whole community center. Smh… Lol. But I really need that letter today so thank you. God is faithful.
Hannah C. (Demi/ Dina) – I’ve slowly come to the realization that I won’t find Tina this trip… But on the bright side, I’ve possibly found a drink I like more than Ramune, and I can (possibly) make it myself! Mom, I’ve used up 2 1/2 bottles of hand sanitizer, so you’d be proud of me. I love you all and miss you! Counting down the hours until I can tell you everything and see you again!
Charles – It is day 19 here in Hong Kong and we have all managed to survive. I have discovered boba and am considering opening a shop in Thief lol. I am thankful for the training as much of it was actually practical. I am ready to finish this mission strong, and am excited to reunite with my peeps from home, training, and team Hondo (#COREY!!! #I’mastar #pineapples #Treyisalemon). I want to thank all of my supporters and bois for prepping me practically and with love for this trip. It has been an eye opening experience and can’t wait to come back to continue spreading the gospel. In closing, I hope Coconut will remember my face, and quite the contrary for the rat. Also, hi mom and dad (Jimbles and Kelly), hola Estèban, and have a Holly jolly Christmas this year
Justin – Hello there! We have been rocking the cat box over here in Hong Kong. It has been so much fun and very fulling to play for random people as well as elderly people, even though some are asleep while we play. The Filipino church people have been such a huge blessing to be able to worship with and celebrate God’s love with. I want to thank everyone that has been supporting me with prayer because it has been a great experience so far. I want to shout out my all of my family, and the people at my church. I love and miss you guys! I will see you all in a few weeks!
Zoe- Hey guys! I can’t believe it’s already been 19 days! Time flies here in Hong Kong. I miss everyone back at home and I can’t wait to see you all again! This trip has been an amazing experience and I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. It’s been so amazing to see God work through everyone on the team. I’m so excited to tell everyone stories and share the gospel with people at home. Also, I may or may not be addicted to boba, which is sad because we don’t have that in Iowa.
Molly- My trip here in Hong Kong is coming to a close and I will be back home before I know it. I have been having such an amazing time here learning, growing, and experiencing God in so many new ways! Also completely unrelated note, I have become the team hairstylist which has been a blast. Thanks once again for all the prayers and support back home I love and miss you all! Special shoutout to my best buddy Juliet Woodward…I miss your face and can’t wait to see you!
Hannah aka Hanaynay aka TLH – Well I got slammed in some MTR doors the other day, and that was a painful experience but I’m okay, no worries. Hi Mom and Dad, Kasey, 1421, Brooke, training staff, etc. I miss you all. Phoebe, all of the adorable children here make me miss you and how we would point out all the cute kids to each other on the road. Katie – can’t wait to see you and hug you and help with wedding things!
Team Hong Kong is busy busy busy! We have played about 25 sets (or ten concert set ups) since we’ve been in Hong Kong. Most of our days have been spent doing two things. Let me tell you a bit about it!
Firstly, in the morning and afternoons we spend several hours supporting Youth For Christ HK in the community center. These audiences are primarily senior citizens of Hong Kong. These sets have ranged from 10min to two hours! We see a lot of the same people every day, which is such an amazing opportunity to build long term relationships with the seniors here. It is such a honor to be able to sing, pray for, dance with, and physically show God’s love with these people everyday. God is moving here.
Each evening we have been doing street concerts. We have primarily played at Star Ferry. This is a busy port where people can travel to and from Hong Kong Island with the ferry. Perhaps one of the coolest things about these street concerts is the opportunities we have received to have one on one conversations with people in between sets. Let me tell you, my teammates have told me some incredible stories about their conversations with people here. There have even been times when people came back the next day JUST to hear us and to talk more. I just think, “Who comes to a place pretty far from home just to listen to and reconnect with a street performer?” There MUST be something more happening. God is moving here.
Although we miss home and are tired, we are so encouraged that God has us here for a purpose. I am reminded of John 16:33 where Jesus says,
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Please continue to pray with us for the following things:
-Pray that, as we continue to actively share our faith, that we could come to understand every good thing that we have in Christ.
-Pray for the people that we have come in contact with. Pray that God would continue to water the seeds that we have planted and that they would come to know Him.
-Pray for continued strength, energy, and health for us.
Thank you for your prayers! See you all soon!
Zoe: Hey guys! I’m having so much fun here in Hong Kong! The food here is great and the people are amazing! I miss all you guys at home and am excited to see you all again! Shout out to Courtney: 71. Shoutout to Jacob, happy 17th birthday!
Molly: Hey everyone! I made it and now I can use chopsticks! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support! Mom and Dad I love you so much and hope you have seen lots of pictures lol! Happy late birthday Em love you too!
Hannah C: Hey everybody! Love you all and thinking about you. We’re playing Spot the Pineapple daily (you know that’s right). Wish you all were here to see all the cool stuff and eat the delicious food (you should definitely be jealous). No Tina sighting yet, but I’m still hopeful (Zoe says it’s only Day 5, so there’s still hope).
Justin: Hi Dad! And Mom. And Payton. And Kaia. I guess I’m doing better than Josiah already. It’s been a blast so far. The landscape has been beautiful and the YFC volunteers have been really nice. I miss you guys, and hope you’re doing well.
Trey: Whatup fam, how you doing. Shoutout to my mom for giving birth to me, (you the best!). Shoutout to frank, the pumps are saving my life. I have seen so much fake hype it’s rediculous. I saw one lady wearing a “Colvin Klein” shirt. I also saw a pair of nmd crocs, they were pretty awesome. Caden I miss you homie, I hope you come to my final concert. Ryan I miss you, thanks for the prayers. Chloe, lance, and Frannie I miss you all equally. Mom, dad I miss you too. Tell, mulder I love him. To all my church homies I miss you guys so much, keep it real in Rockford. Thank you for the prayers, God is doing great work in Hong Kong! Later homies
Nicole: Hello loved ones! I can’t believe it’s only day 5, it honestly feels like we have been here for a month. I hope the we miss Nicole chat hasn’t been too sad. I’m sure ya’ll are sending pics of me and reminiscing and awaiting my return right? Fam: I’ve been praying for the house and hope things are going smoothly. Missing our random calls through the week. Hope the 48hr shifts have been going well Jake, hang in there! Tiff: HAPPY BDAY. ILY #notforced. Aunties and Cousins: I love and miss all you nuggets and HAPPY EARLY BDAY ALEX!! Andrew: Hey FRO. Ryan: Come work at Disney here so I can see you yeah? Kevin: Love of my life, I miss you dearly. I am praying for you each day and hope PA stuff is going smoothly. Thanks for being the most supportive and loving blessing of a human. Up the triangle. Every step #BB323HSx3. Until next time! Prayers please for peace, joy, and endurance.
Team Leader Hannah aka TLH aka Hongmom: Hi guys! Hong Kong is going well! Being a sound tech for the first time is a challenge in itself, but being a sound tech for the first time in HK presents itself with a lot of obstacles and challenges, but I’m trying to embrace all of it. 1421 – I miss you all so so much *cries* A lot of things here remind me of all of you – Love you!!
Kobe: greetings to my parental units! im still alive. dad, I’m using the acne medicine just as you insisted. HK feels like I’m just hanging out in Chinatown or at church except that im the most asian person in my group LOL. also it’s been quite enjoyable watching everyone be confused and intrigued by all the different Chinese foods. after going 3 miserable boba-less weeks since leaving for training, I’ve finally got me some bobez (shoutout to mah boi John Jae Lee who’s visited us basically everyday so far and bought our whole team boba). jordan, some YFC volunteers still remember you even tho it’s been 9 years and they keep showing me pictures of you from fb. it’s quite funny. to all my supporters, thanks so much for your prayers and encouragements! overall, it’s already been an incredible time of growing in humility, servanthood, and selflessness. God is good!
Charlie: Hello fam, friends, supporters, and random fans! It’s all Gucci here in Hong Kong, or I guess Cuggi (everything is sweatshop fake lol) – shoutout to my Lam Gi Trey. The experience has been both fun and real. Hong Kong is really amazing, unique, and beautiful. I’m always reminded how many different ways there are to spread the gospel-especially here in Hong Kong. So far this mission trip has been quite humbling and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve these people and share the message of Christ. Can’t wait to hook you guys up with all the moments happening as I am the plug. See y’all soon! #notdeadyet #JKit’schill
Brad: Greetings family it’s day 5 in HK. I’ve met so many nice people in these past few days including Mary and Mr.ho. I am taking a lot of pictures for you to see. I can’t wait to get back to the US and to my job. Love you all please continue to pray for me and my team.
Matt: Hi everyone! Everything is going great in Hong Kong. I’m still learning a ton and being convicted, yet inspired everyday. Hi Mom and Dad! I’m alive and not sick. 14:21 – I agree with Hannah. Being here makes me miss you more. So many memories. Also shout out to HK Summer 17. We are still cutting the cloth you brought up every now and then. Thank you for your service.