10 October 2008
Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR.
My brother Arnel and I arrived in Hong Kong last Monday night. It’s our first visit to “Asia’s World City.” As our Cebu Pacific plane descended, Hong Kong’s magnificent lights welcomed us. The yellow glow below us made it appear like we were alighting on gold-sequined land. Commuting from the airport to our hosts’ flat in New Territories area became an instant tour complete with rides in double-decker buses and the MTR. (In no time we were swiping our multi-purpose Octopus cards like pros.)
On Tuesday Kuya Arnel spoke to over 400 kababayans, most of whom are pinays working as domestic helpers in Hong Kong. He delivered an inspired message on the importance of prayer. I pray that the seeds planted in the listeners’ hearts will grow and yield fruits of faithfulness and prayerfulness.
I too have been reminded of the utmost importance of depending on God through prayer – to remain in a position of helplessness so that the Father can demonstrate His might. As I listened, the Spirit revealed to me once again how prone to pride I am and how often I have acted independently of God. It is refreshing to be reminded that the Lord delights in answering the cries of His children, if only they would come. If only I would come.
I came to this trip thinking I could just be a spectator (I’ve already heard the “prayer” messages when Kuya spoke at our company retreat last April). I did not plan for deeper engagement. After all, my main purpose was just to encourage and assist my (travel-aversed) brother through his eight speaking engagements. Of course, I was also excited about being in a new place and experiencing new things. But it is becoming clear to me now that this trip is God’s appointment with me as well.
Away from my routine, there is fresh spiritual air to breathe. There is time to let the Spirit order a cluttered heart. There are moments to glimpse grace in the lives of Filipinos uprooted from home, even as I struggle with a silent outrage towards a government that has so failed its citizens that mothers, sisters, wives have had to be exported to foreign lands to toil as maids.
Like an elaborate Chinese lauriat, this trip is at once invigorating and overwhelming — there are so many experiences, insights, observations to chew on. It’s a blessing in so many ways, and yet I must find time to reflect (digest, if you may) so as to make the most out of it.