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A glimpse at my past: Christianity, Charismatic Churches, Missionary Work and God's Calling; Part 4
Living in Christian Shangri-La: Hong Kong, part 1
So, as I said in part 3, God did get me to Hong Kong.
My friend, Bob, who is a very disciplined and dedicated Christian man said, "I am going to pray you to Hong Kong." And he did. He prayed and he sent a reference letter for me. The letter arrived in Hong Kong FOUR days later. I received a job offer that night.
The next two months were a whirlwind. But more than that, they were faith building on a monumental level. My position at ICS allowed me to witness for God and make enough money to pay off my debts. I had a myriad of people within the Christian Church act as nay-Sayers about absolutely everything regarding my desire to do missions overseas.
I, also, had questions in my heart that had to be resolved. I was moving to a Communist country. There were a series of thoughts that manifest as a result of that reality.
A huge question for me was, "Can I die for God if He chooses me to do so?" I went to church one night to watch a missionary video. The question came loud and clear. I had heard it before; but, this time God spoke to me directly.
I answered, "Yes."
But ironically, my mother would test my resolve. She actually sent me literature about the Chinese killing Christians. She was panicked.
Yet my Christian call would not be about dying. It would be about illness, disgrace/shame, and leaving that which I loved with every part of my being.
When you receive the Call, you know it is God. There is no space for doubt. This is an experience that is part of the multidimensional zone. It is hard to explain to anyone who has never had a "God" moment. A profound "God" moment.
In August of 1997, one month after the Communist hand-over, I flew from the United States to Hong Kong. I had a 16 hour flight over the North Pole. When I arrived at the airport, I got off the plane. I was stunned. My very breath was sucked from my lungs. The humidity was stronger than I had ever experienced.
I thought, "Oh, what have I done?"
I went through customs and I sought out the baggage claim. I was supposed to be meeting someone from ICS. I saw signs with peoples' names on them but there was no one from ICS. I was afraid but I kept my head. I got my bags and located the money exchange. Suddenly, a woman said, "Are you Joan?"
I was so relieved. Her name was Mary and she was the elementary school principal. She took me home to her place. The cab ride was a surreal experience. I soaked everything I could in through my senses. This was Hong Kong. I was in a foreign country, half way around the world. Amazing!
There is a lot to say about the country and what I felt, but the main issues I want to share are that this job position was my Shangri-La (a place originating in the book/movie Lost Horizon), the people (including my students) I had in my life over there were wonderful, I became a 10th grade Bible Doctrine teacher, I fell in love with the middle and high school principal, I had a great church, and a fabulous Bible group. Furthermore, I got to go to Beijing, China. Nothing could have been better.
The whole time was filled with "God" moments. My faith cascaded. I engaged in spiritual warfare daily. I shielded myself with the book of Ephesians. Prayer was my mainstay. I was alive!!! Every second felt like the glory of birth. I was in love with my life. God was so tangible. It was extravagant.