Nan’s note: Rev. John Kim is our new Global Outreach Director here at BelPres. He brings vast experience from his years in a variety of ministries. This is his first post for the BelPres mission blog. Welcome, John!
Have you ever thought of making a difference with an unreached people group? When you think of an unreached people group you normally think of an obscure ethnic group living in a location almost impossible to get to. It can be, but it also can be an ethnic group that has less than 2% of its population that are evangelical Christian. And surprisingly you can find unreached people groups in some of the world’s most exotic cities, like Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, when you get beyond the beautiful city landscapes, bustling outdoor market shops, world financial center powerhouse, shopping districts and the best eateries in the world, has an underbelly of poverty and social injustice. Out of the 7 million people living in Hong Kong, 1.2 million live below the poverty line. A few years ago, I had to opportunity to connect with Inner City Ministries (ICM), a Christian organization in Hong Kong that is reaching an unreached people group, the Nepalese. Originally, the Nepalese people came to Hong Kong as part of the Gurkha brigade of the British army. Most of the Nepali population in Hong Kong are the second and third generation of Gurkha soldiers that served in the British army in the 1970s. The Nepalese are one of the poorest groups severely marginalized by high unemployment, discrimination and the inherited disempowerment that comes from widespread socio-economic privation. Many of the Nepalese-Chinese children do not ever graduate from grade school and most follow the path to homelessness, drug & alcohol addiction, prostitution, and gangs.
One of the programs ICM has is a tutoring and mentoring program for children and youth. I came to one of the tutoring sessions and encountered one of the staff, Dhupa, who was teaching one of the classes to the students. Dhupa, a third generation Nepalese-Chinese, came to ICM as one of the students who grew up in the program and because of the love of Christ, she found a new life and now is an educator in the program. In just a short time, you couldn’t help but feel love and compassion toward these children. I find it amazing that regardless of geographic location, children are the same everywhere you go. They play the same way, they joke the same way, they laugh at things the same way that all kids do. Dhupa shared story after story of children and families destroyed by drug abuse, homelessness and racial inequalities. ICM has groups that come in throughout the year to support the children & youth with tutoring, mentoring, bible studies, and music.
For many, unreached people groups are under the radar in our daily lives. Yes, there are places that many cannot go to but there are places accessible. Places where we can help and support organizations like ICM. They are on the front lines of sharing the love of Christ to the least in the world. I hope that we all will consider making a difference with an unreached people group. Impact.