Monthly Prayer Letter (October 2021)

26th October 2021

Dear companions of FES,
 
Are you able to adapt? This is not only a question for the Hong Kong people who have migrated to other places, but also for those who are staying behind, is it not as difficult to adapt to the changes in people and circumstances? With no more Students’ Unions in the universities, can other student groups still operate as usual? I have heard recently that some committee members of campus fellowships are worried about this and do not know what the future holds or how much resources are available on campus. At the same time, we are seeing more young people participating in campus fellowships this year, from new believers to inquirers who are willing to earnestly study their faith and seek the Lord’s heart. Our staff are busy preparing various activities for them, such as Bible studies, devotions, faith reflections and weekly meetings, in order to nourish and inspire their lives each time they meet and to help them renew their strength and move on.
 
The young generation needs the hope of the Gospel and the guidance of faith. Some churches are stuck in worrying whether they can return to the physical model of the past and retain young people as pillars of the church’s future. Before they realise that, under the gloom of the endless pandemic, a different order and habit has been established in the world, and that young people may have already moved on to pursue other things. If we only stick to the principles of our own faith and do not look outside the box to explore and try something different, and still wait for God to fulfil our own expectations, we will only find ourselves moving farther and farther away from the young people.
 
The theologian Bonhoeffer once wrote Eight Theses on Youth Work in the Church, reminding us that “It is the task of youth not to reshape the church, but rather to listen to the word of God; it is the task of the church not to capture the youth, but to teach and proclaim the word of God.” The first thing that young people learn in church, as with other believers, is to listen to the Word and to let go of self-righteousness. The Church is not about meeting the unique needs of young people, but about Christ being exalted in the lives of young people, seeking to keep “the place of youth within the Church-community”. The apostle Peter instructed the young believers to “submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble'” (1 Pet. 5:5b)
 
Praise God! Our Literature Department was able to complete the sale of Christian Book Fair this year under a tight staffing situation, and to promote the new book, “Stay Salt: The World Has Changed: Our Message Must Not”, to encourage believers to be motivated to share the Gospel. In addition, our Inter-College Team has also started to prepare for the Bible Camp to be held at the end of the year. We will study the book of Ecclesiastes with our students to discover the wisdom in the book, to learn how to persevere in the practice of faith in the dark and uncertain reality, and to enjoy the fruits of life’s toil. Due to the limited gathering arrangement at the camp site, the cost of the camp fee will be higher. But in order to encourage more students to participate, we will not increase the fee. If you would like to support the Bible Study Campaign, please indicate your support for “Bible Camp 2021” when you make your donation to reduce our expenses. The LORD said, “I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.” (Jer 32:41).
 
Your brother,
Barry CHEUNG
General Secretary


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