In the five years between 2013 and 2018, the Asian community in the growing Wellington suburb of Churton Park grew from 28% to 38%. By 2013, over 13% of the community identified as Chinese and that number is still on the rise.
Aware of the changes in the area, our Churton Park whānau have been looking at ways to engage with new immigrants from China. Earlier this year, they successfully ran Alpha. Building on this, they invited our Anglican Chinese Mission whānau (ACM) to help with a Christmas event in the Mandarin language. On the 2nd of December 2019, ACM and the team from Churton Park were joined by Rev Henry Yap’s students from Pacific Bible College who came to lead songs and offer testimonies for this special event. The evening concluded with a delicious dumpling supper. Rev Henry Yap says “I believe it was a great time connecting. The invitation was made by Churton Park, they have done very well.” John Daysh from Churton Park played a key role in coordinating the initiative, whilst others such as John Sum and Ming led the publicity and provided hospitality.
More than 20 non-Christians joined their friends for the event. Henry Yeoh, from Churton Park, reflected: “The ACM team under Pastor Henry Yap’s leadership have done a tip-top job in sharing God’s love, via Christmas, to all the guests. Pastor Yap preached, Judy led the songs, and many brothers and sisters shared powerful testimonies.”
Feedback from attendees revealed that they would be interested in going to a local Chinese-speaking church service and English classes. This highlights the openness that many migrants from China have to hearing the Gospel and to becoming part of church-led community initiatives. These are some of the reasons the Intercultural Communities Project is seeking expressions of interest for a Chinese evangelist/church planter – you can read more about this missional opportunity here.
Please continue to pray for our ACM and Churton Park whānau as they continue to seek ways to make Christ known to the Chinese diaspora in Wellington.