By God’s grace, my wife, Victoria, and I have served the Lord since 1994 through Canadian Baptist Ministries. In 1998, seeing the burden I had for my home country of China, CBM sent my family to the city of Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan Province. There I worked as vice-director and researcher in the Christianity Research Center of Sichuan University. This gave me opportunities to share God’s love and the Good News in China and to establish a communication network for spreading the Gospel there.
A Call to Hong Kong
In July of last year I met with Cecil Chan, general chairman of the Hong Kong Franklin Graham Festival, and with Ken Chan, executive chairman of the Festival. They invited me to serve as the Festival’s executive general secretary.
My first thought was to decline the offer. I had never thought of carrying out such a large mission. Also, I had worked for eight years in Chengdu, a city renowned for its beautiful natural environment. I loved my work, and my family had adapted to life in Chengdu.
But God reminded me by His Word, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9, KJV). I knew I had to leave my settled place, and I answered the call to serve through the Hong Kong Franklin Graham Festival.
I am glad that I did. This ministry is helping to unify the Hong Kong Christian community; it also is poised to spread the Gospel not only in this city but also in mainland China and in many places around the world.
Praying and Working for Revival
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary in China. It also marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which is a part of the People’s Republic of China. On this significant occasion, leaders of Christian churches are earnestly participating in the Hong Kong Franklin Graham Festival, scheduled for Nov. 29–Dec. 2 at the Hong Kong Stadium. The Festival is an opportunity to demonstrate the spiritual unity of Christians from different cultures, denominations and districts.
Numerous vision-sharing events and prayer meetings have been held for the Festival. More than 600 churches are participating, representing major denominations such as the Baptist Church, the Christian Missionary Alliance Church, the Anglican Church and the Evangelical Free Church of China. It is our responsibility to lead non-believers to Christ and to actively nourish new believers to become His faithful servants.
A Call to Reach Asia
In October of last year, not long after I accepted the call to work with the Festival, on a quiet night I dreamed of a tall figure standing in front of me. At first I was not able to recognize the face. Then it became clear that the figure was Henry Holley, director of Asian affairs for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He stood still and said only two words, “Ivan, Asia.”
Learning of the love that Reverend Holley and his wife, Bettie, have for Asia and for Hong Kong, I have been rejuvenated. Their passion to spread the Gospel to Asian people, and their constant support of ministers with God’s loving kindness, has enlarged my vision and passion to reach Asia for Christ. During one devotional time, the word Asia came to me again with deeper inspiration.
Here’s my vision for Asia:
A – Adoration of Jesus Christ
(by developing singing ministries)
S – Salvation to all Asia
(by developing preaching ministries)
I – Innovation with holy vision
(by developing training ministries)
A – Actualization of the Kingdom community
(by developing caring ministries)
Hong Kong has about 7 million people and about 1,300 churches. With this base and by means of modern technology, we hope to reach neighboring areas such as Macau and northwest Hong Kong through live Festival broadcasts. Through the distribution of Festival DVDs we also hope to spread the Good News in mainland China, where 1.3 billion Chinese people are waiting for God’s message of peace and joy.
As the year progresses, we sense that the clock is ticking. We are now well into the final 50-day countdown to the Festival. Please pray for the Hong Kong Franklin Graham Festival and for the follow-up work that will continue after the Festival. May God’s Name be exalted and glorified not only in Hong Kong and Macau, but also in mainland China, in Asia and all over the world!