Kenny Zheng and I are back in Hong Kong reconnecting with those we have met before and meeting new friends with whom to partner. We are talking to a couple of churches about partnering with us to help people trust Jesus.
We arrived in HK on Saturday evening, and the place was decked out for Christmas. It is part of the British influence that remains. (Driving on the left-hand side of the road is another one.) Here is the outside of our hotel, The Royal Pacific, in Kowloon. Christmas Carols in English are piped into the lobby, shopping centers and hallways everywhere we go.
We traveled by ferry to Macau, a once-Portuguese colony, which like HK is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. We visited the Macau Baptist Church, and witnessed the baptism of two women who work in the restaurant industry in the city. The church has English class which they attended and learned about Jesus. It was a wonderful celebration, and we had a traditional Chinese family-style lunch after the service to share our stories and see how God may use us together for His purposes.
Notice the Portuguese, English, and Chinese characters on the signs of the church. They speak Cantonese in Macau and HK. English has become prominent while Portuguese has fallen to government language only. Mandarin, the language of the mainland, is spoken more and more, but Cantonese remains dominant. This matters more to Kenny than me, of course, as he is my guide!
Macau is the Las Vegas of Southern China. 60% of those in the streets are tourists. There is a Wynn and MGM Grand casinos among others.
Notice the four languages on the Christmas stage in front of a government building here. Like HK Macau still acknowledges the Western holiday of Christmas, but is no more than a shopping season. The Eastern religions are prominent among the people, and Budhaism is still the most popular religion here. We trade four currencies: HK dollar, Macau dollars, RMB (mainland China) and USD. It's nuts trying to exchange and keep up with it all. I'm glad Kenny is here!
Macau, like HK, have beautiful parks and are well-kept. People here are like those who live in urban areas all over the world, and on Sundays when the weather is beautiful, people flock to the parks and sidewalks.
We will meet friends in Kowloon tomorrow, but it has been a great start to our trip.