From Byron Barret: December 2019
CCU Doctoral Student, Missionary To China
We have had protests in Hong Kong that have turned violent. In a previous update, I made a comment that they are slowing. On the contrary, last week we had some of the most extremes of demonstrations. A couple of the university campuses had become ground zero for clashes between demonstrators and police. The campuses were vandalized, and the public transport system was disrupted.
With the disruption of transport, I have been scrambling for transport to and from work; waking up early, walking more and praying more for Hong Kong.
The other morning while making my trek I found the bus terminus in Sheung Shui along with the area destroyed from a night of vandalism. The streets were covered with guard railings, boulders, and bricks that were taken up from the walkways. It was troublesome for the traffic to move around the area.
I decided that I would not make it to work and began my walk back home. On the way back, some of the local residents were cleaning up the mess. I did what any good Samaritan would do, I joined them. We began kicking the bricks to the side of the road, rolling boulders and lifting the heavy guardrails out of the way. I guessed it to be at least a quarter-mile of mess on both sides of the road. It was amazing to see more and more people join us as we neared the end of our task.
As I was leaving a small group of young protesters had been watching us. For some reason, they did not challenge us or come to stop us. We must have had angels surrounding us or the sight of an extra-large size American helping may have steered away from any thoughts they may have had of stopping the clean-up. I like to stick with the fact that our protection comes from God. The situation is serious, recently a man had been killed for arguing with the protesters in this same area. Praise the Lord, our duty was accomplished with no hindrance. I was amazed at what we accomplished with some caring residence and hard work.
While making my way home I was approached by a young man in his early twenties. He was one of the protesters, one of the people who made the mess we just cleaned up. He was so interested in me. Why did you clean up, who are you, what are you doing here? He was filled with questions. Obviously, I had his attention. Because of the violence going on I gave him a pat-down before I continued my talk with him. I asked him about his home life if he is being loved at home. He said he is being taken care of but not really shown love or have any expression of affection in the home. No hugs, no affirmations, or “I love you” while heading out the door for school. I told him that I love him, I care about him and concerned for him and the others that have been warring. Right there and then I gave him a hug and invited him to have a coffee with me.
It was more than just coffee; I spent a couple of hours with him sharing my life story and how God intervened in my life. God’s love, grace, and mercy through Christ is the major point of change in my life. I told him that Jesus died for everyone that we may all inherit eternity. He listened and listened and listened. I laid hands on him praying for him. He told me he had attended a Christian primary school. I made sure he knew that his curiosity in me helping to clean up was the spirit of the living God drawing him back. It was an amazing moment, and I believe that God is moving in this time of turmoil. It is time for the believers in Christ to rise up, do the work of an evangelist and engage in the ministry God has for us. Please pray for the young man that I met, believing that God’s work in his heart will continue.
Please pray for my protection as God has used me more than once in these situations. Pray that I use God’s wisdom and judgment as I go around Hong Kong. Also, pray for us as we have been passing out Chinese gospel tracks in the Sheung Shui and Fanling area.
We are pleased to be writing to you to highlight God’s faithfulness, filled with gratefulness for your prayers, especially during these troubled times here in Hong Kong. From the headlines in the news lately, I can see that Hong Kong is not the only one experiencing troubled times. Peace has become the world’s fight.
This Bible verse comes to mind in Luke 12:29 – 30
And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after and your Father knoweth that ye need these things.
In other words, do not worry your father knows what you need.
Byron & Emily Barrett