The year of 2021 was a challenging year. Whilst it becomes a daily routine to wear masks, wash hands and keep social distancing, people are struggling financially, physically, emotionally and, I must add, spiritually. Without much chance to meet people face to face, it is a challenge to shepherd a flock. Without much chance to meet fellow Christians, it is a challenge for everyone to maintain and enjoy fellowship fully.
Nevertheless, there are three things to be thankful for. First, whilst the retirees are more vulnerable, more than 60% of the Cantonese congregation seize any opportunity to attend the worship service and many are willing to serve in any capacity. Second, although the economy has been impacted by COVID 19, members are still faithful in offering, lest the House of God is short of supplies. Some members even handmade and sold face masks to raise funds to support the church. It is heart-warming to see such actions of love. Third, people got sick and some even passed away during the lockdown. Although people could not visit or freely attend a funeral, words of comfort and prayers flooded the church's social media. I am humbled when I see that members of the Cantonese congregation see this as their spiritual family, a place to love and be loved.
Looking ahead to the coming year, there are three things on my prayer list. First, when the COVID 19 restrictions are lifted, I pray that the number of infections and deaths will not increase uncontrollably, and God will guard us and keep us safe. Second, worship at home will not become a norm and people need to stay alert but, at the same time, also need to gradually get back to a normal life. I pray that members will start coming back to church so that we can worship and serve our Lord together. Third, I pray that God will give us a breakthrough to expand our age group to include younger families. The Gospel baton needs to be passed from one generation to the next generation. May God have mercy and show us His will, and may we have the heart and strength to fulfil His will. Amen.
Assistant Minister (Cantonese)