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二○一八年九月二十二日/九月二十三日                                                                                    Click here for English version

一份來自身邊的邀請

林道川牧師

北宣家的弟兄姊妹們,主裡平安!

寫這封信時,我正身處他鄉,幫助女兒安頓她即將展開的學習生活。人地兩生疏,出發前雖做了許多準備,但她仍是感覺有太多地方需要摸索和適應。這讓我切身體會到初來香港的普通話人士的感受,他們也要經過一個這樣的適應過程;而對於9月剛來港的大學生們的處境,我和女兒都感同身受。

我想起前一主日,一對我所尊敬的長輩陪伴一位大學生來參加普通話崇拜,心裡很是感動。而這些年,我一直見證著參與親善家庭計劃的家長們以愛陪伴內地來的學生適應香港生活。我也親眼看過一位青年人邀請和陪同他大學的同學,來到普通話群體參加聚會、崇拜、初信班,直至洗禮;還有一對夫婦,他們在糖水店認識了一位普通話朋友,之後就陪伴她參加普通話崇拜,一直到她洗禮,前後有三年之久。

我很為這些弟兄姊妹的愛心與付出而感恩,也感受到主耶穌喜悅他們的工作。主耶穌在以馬忤斯路上一路陪伴著門徒,解開當時最困擾他們的「心結」,好讓他們最終認出祂來;今天,這些弟兄姊妹所做的正是追隨主耶穌的腳蹤,陪伴和幫助未信的普通話朋友去認識祂。

主耶穌今天也藉著我們對普通話同胞的接待,向他們發出生命的邀請。環顧周圍,我們不難發現有很多普通話朋友。因著語言、文化等的差異,我們和他們大多不會主動彼此接近。然而這些來到我們當中的內地同胞,說不定是神向我們發出的呼喚,要我們切實去關心和幫助他們,慢慢的,我們或會迎來他們對信仰的尋求、詢問。

這需要我們留意身邊的普通話朋友,並主動去接觸他們。或許我們會覺得自己的普通話不夠標準而不敢接近他們,然而一個以普通話去跟他們交流的舉動,本就是一份關愛信息的傳遞。試想,若不是主耶穌主動的走近門徒和走入他們的行程中,門徒又怎能認出祂來?

記得自己在修讀神學時,在「期望的實習教會」一欄上寫下「一間能使我愛上教會的教會」,最後我被安排來到北宣實習──是你們對我的接納和愛心,使我的心得以安頓這裡,並與你們一起服事到如今。就讓我們再接再厲,以愛留意和接待不時在身邊出現的普通話朋友,甚至陪伴他們至「回到父家」的一天。

從你們領受了滿滿恩愛的
道川牧師






Pastor's Sharing
An Invitation
Rev. Ning Doh Chuan

Dear brothers and sisters of NPAC:

Peace be with you! When this letter is written, I have flown overseas to help my daughter settle down for her studies abroad. Here, unfamiliar with the place and the people, we really feel we have to start everything anew. We have a lot to learn, a great deal to adapt to. This is despite all the preparations that we have made. Our situation echoes what happens to the newly arrived in Hong Kong who speak Putonghua. They also have a lot to adapt to. The difficulties my daughter and I are experiencing are exactly those that face the new arrivals who start their university education in Hong Kong this month.

I recall a respected senior couple who took a university student to attend our church’s Putonghua worship service last Sunday. I was much encouraged. All along, I have witnessed how, with love, parents of the host family program help students from the Mainland adapt to Hong Kong schooling and life. I also recall a young man among us who accompanied his fellow university student to attend the Putonghua worship service and meetings all the way through baptismal class to baptism. There is also a couple who, having met a Putonghua-speaking friend at a dessert café, accompanied her to attend the Putonghua worship service until she was baptized. The entire process took three years.

In all of this, I am grateful to God for the love and commitment of all those involved, whether they are familiar or unknown to me. I am sure the Lord Jesus is pleased with their work. The Lord Jesus accompanied the disciples on the road to Emmaus and resolved the deepest trouble in their hearts so they could recognize Him. Likewise, these brothers and sisters today have followed His footsteps. They walk with the non-believing Putonghua-speaking friends and bring them to the Lord.

Today, the Lord Jesus makes a life-giving invitation to our Putonghua-speaking friends through our reception of them. If you look around – in your social circle and workplace, it is quite likely that you will find many Putonghua-speaking friends. Language and cultural differences between the new arrivals and us may hinder our approaching or getting to know each other. But these friends from the Mainland may be God's invitation for us to genuinely care for and help them. Gradually, their interest in faith may be aroused and the ensuing questions and answers will follow.

This requires our attention to the Putonghua-speaking friends around us, and taking the initiative to approach and get to know them. Our Putonghua may not be very good and can be an obstacle in approaching them, but the act of communicating with them in Putonghua is itself a message of care and love. Had the Lord Jesus not taken the initiative to approach the disciples and stepped into their itinerary, how could the disciples have recognized the Lord?

When I studied in theological seminary, I put in the column "Preferred church for internship" these words: "One that can make me love church." I was arranged to do my internship at NPAC. And it was your love for and acceptance of me that enabled me to settle down here and to serve the Lord with you since then. Let us keep up the good work and pay attention to and receive with love the Putonghua-speaking friends around us so that some day, we may be able to bring them home to the Father.

Having received much grace and love through you,
Pastor Doh Chuan