February 2021
Dear mission partners,

On 31 January, the UK government began to offer a special visa for people from Hong Kong with British National (Overseas) BNO status, allowing them and their immediate family members to live and work in the UK. They will be able to apply for permanent settlement status after five years of UK residence. Over the past few months, we have already seen many Hong Kong families arrive in the UK and settle in London, Birmingham, Manchester, as well as other cities. These families all left their familiar hometown to come to a foreign land and will have to adapt to a new environment. They must be anxious about many things in their lives now as they try to find suitable accommodations, find schools for their children, register with NHS, open bank account, buy food and essential supplies. The Covid-19 pandemic makes everything that much harder.


I have an affinity for new immigrants since I have been an immigrant myself more than once in my life. I was born and raised in Xi An, China, and my family moved to Hong Kong when I was a teenager. I remember the experience of learning Cantonese, a new dialect, and adapting to a world completely foreign to us at the time. Later, my family immigrated to the United States, and we had to learn a new language and adapt to a new environment all over again.  14 years ago, my wife and I with two primary school-age children moved to the UK. After living in the United States for over 20 years, it was immensely tougher for us to be uprooted in our early 40s to become new immigrants with young children, being so far away from our elderly parents.


This year, God is creating a great opportunity for Chinese Christians and churches in the UK, and I think we should take time to get ready to welcome the new wave of immigrant families in our midst, doing our best to help them transition and integrate into our communities here. I am reminded of Hebrews 13:2, which encourages us to welcome strangers with love. And when we do this, we may show hospitality to angels.


Recently, COCM has been actively involved in various initiatives to collaborate with many Chinese churches to reach out to those newly arrived from Hong Kong. We will hold an Oasis Online Special Pastoral Consultation on 15 February. Pastoral leaders from Chinese churches will come together to share experiences and resources in serving new immigrants from Hong Kong. 


With this new immigration wave from Hong Kong, we are presented with many challenges as well as opportunities in our ministry of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please pray for us, and together may we prepare for the mission wave engineered by our God.


If you would like to support our ministries or one of our missionary staff financially, please click the following link for details.


Donate to COCM by bank transfer or cheques (or alipay in Mainland China)

Serving together in Christ
Rev Henry Lu
General Director


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