From Curses to Blessings // 化咒詛為祝福
化咒詛為祝福 — 菲律賓人質事件後感 // From Curses to Blessings – Reflection Upon the Philippines Hostage Incident
看見埋怨、苦毒的聲音不斷在香港蔓延，甚至有人在Facebook留言發動停止前往菲律賓，數位我訓練出來的青年人有感動回應此事，便隨即在Facebook開設了「HK still Love FiLiPiNOS」的專頁，希望藉此發放愛的信息，以神的愛勝過一切怨恨。意料之外地竟有過千人在短時間內加入了這專頁，而且當中過半數是菲律賓人，他們都被這份愛所感動！
The Live Broadcast of Death
On the morning of Monday, 23 August 2010, at around 9:40am, a Hong Thai tour bus with 20 Hong Kong citizens was held hostage by a dismissed police officer with an M-16. This shocked the city of Hong Kong. My heart’s cries became more desperate as we watched the horrendous scenes broadcast on the screen. The gunshots finally ceased at around 8pm, yet this deadly broadcast scarred us with a painful memory.
It All Began with Prayers
I was meant to share a message about the Internet culture with a group of young people on the morning of 24 August 2010, but the attendance was lower than we had expected. We then decided to change this into a prayer meeting instead, seeking God together, and desperately cried for the Lord’s love, comfort and hope to touch Hong Kong with regard to this incident. Afterwards, we felt that we should respond to this, so I took a leap of faith and asked Mrs. Linda Ma, the chief organizer of “Global Day of Prayer” in Hong Kong, for assistance, hoping that we can gather the Christians of this city in a short span of time to cry to the Lord in unity; and hold a memorial service the following Sunday at Charter Gardens in Central, which is known to be the Filipino gathering hotspot, to welcome God’s love, favor, hope and comfort.
On 25 August 2010, Mrs. Ma told me that the venue has already been booked for the following Sunday. As I was about to give up, the Holy Spirit stirred in me, insisting that I should keep praying for this…
In response to the blaming and bitter voices spreading all over Hong Kong and the Facebook messages urging people to stay away from the Philippines, a few of the young people I had trained started a Facebook page called “HK still Love FiLiPiNOS”, hoping to send out a message of love and to conquer hatred with God’s Love. To our surprise, over a thousand people joined this page within a short time. More than half of these people were Filipinos and they were touched by this love!
Trust that the Mighty God Listens to Our Small Prayers
At noon of 26 August 2010, I received a phone call from Mrs. Ma. She informed me that the government told her that there was no available venue on Sunday, but for the whole of Saturday, we could use Charter Gardens, which was right outside of legislation council building, in the heart of the financial district and with easy access to transportation. Mrs. Ma believed that this all began with our small prayers, therefore she invited us to be co-organizers! The Lord is definitely a God who listens to prayers, and His will always exceeds our imagination and desires!
Over the next two days, we sent out invitations over the Internet and church’s community networks and contacted various brothers and sisters to participate in this event. The speed at which everything was answered and came together was a miracle in itself!
Let the Blessings Pour over Hong Kong
On Saturday, 27 August 2011, it started pouring at 1pm and a thunderstorm warning was issued! Knowing that the service would begin in two hours’ time, we were all very anxious; yet the only thing we could do was to pray desperately. It was finally 2:30pm and the rain suddenly stopped. The ground was dry within an hour. We instantly felt that it was God opening the gates of heaven, pouring His blessings over Hong Kong and washing away all the bitterness and complaints.
On the day of the memorial service, not only did we have more than five to six thousand attendees, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, multiple government officials and a group of Christian artists also came and prayed together. We also invited various individuals who were related to this event to share on stage, including the Philippines Vice Consul in Hong Kong, who apologized to Hong Kong on stage.
The whole memorial service was broadcasted live by two cable networks, five TV stations and over 83 reporters came to interview and report on the event. On the next day, 13 newspapers reported this event on its local news and entertainment news pages, putting this event under the spotlight of the city. Reports even reached the main cities in Mainland China, as well as overseas cities with significant Chinese populations! The most important thing was that we followed the Holy Spirit’s guidance every step of the way that day, from raising our hands during worship, praying passionately, giving encouraging testimonies, and kneeling and reconciling to each other etc.. Everything was put on stage without reservation and the TV stations broadcasted all of these live, without editing out anything! May the Kingdom Culture change the whole Spiritual atmosphere in Hong Kong and may the Lord’s name be lifted high!
Small Actions, Huge Blessings
Simultaneously, our group of young people made some greeting cards, hoping to give them out the following Sunday in Central – where the most Filipinos gathered. They wanted to send love through these small gestures and to tell the Filipinos there that we still loved them. This small plan of action gathered over 20 young people over the Internet to respond in love, and the action plan was filmed and uploaded it onto the Internet. To our surprise, the Filipino national TV news channel caught wind of this and aired this clip on national TV news! These young people even volunteered to visit the Philippines from the 19th to the 24th of December. We could see that not only did the Lord’s love bless Hong Kong which had been hurt, but it also poured over the Filipinos.
The whole point is not about how many TV stations or newspapers reported on this event, but that we have experienced that as long as we are willing to respond to the Lord and to the society, and that as long as we are willing to respond to hatred with love, God will make good use of us even if we’re as small as a booger. (“Booger” is phonetically similar to “to be used” in Cantonese.) The key to “to be used” is to begin with a simple and faithful prayer, and to strictly obey and persevere! It is definitely hard to respond to hatred with love; it may even seem unfair or weak. However, when we think back to how Jesus never questioned justice when He was on the cross, nor did He retaliate in the face of humiliation; he just quietly sacrificed Himself. Was that weak? No! Was if fair? No! All these were because He loves us. His Love has said it all. He is the most courageous and at the same time, the most gentle and humble; He is love.