[My story] Ministry is always cross cultural
I grew up in Hong Kong. When I came to Australia seven years ago, I found the Chinese here are very different to Hong Kong recently. If they came 20 years ago, they brought that culture to Australia.
People in Sydney are busy and always in a rush. People are more independent in Sydney than Hong Kong. They have their own thoughts, but they still respect each other to open up and express their thinking, especially in class.
In a Hong Kong class, we wouldn’t challenge the lecturer, but I think even in Bible college the students are happy to not always agree with the lecturer. If we don’t agree in Hong Kong, we keep it to ourselves or share with our peers but we would never challenge the teacher.
There are not many of Asian background at Sylvania
This year I will be serving at Sylvania, and focusing on elderly ministry. I’m encouraged by many people to go out and learn and explore. Sylvania is all English. There are not many of Asian background at Sylvania church.
I was in a Moore College promotion video, and Sylvania played that video three times before I started. So I arrived and many people knew my name, which I felt very embarrassed about because I couldn’t call their name!
A warm welcome
Even on the first day I felt a very warm welcome. For Chinese, even if they love you they won’t show it on the outside. They always keep it in their hearts, not saying or expressing all the time. In Sylvania, I found by their body language, by what they express, they really show they like you. It’s very direct!
I am nervous about language. I still find I’m not very good at using English and communicating well. This is the first thing I worry about, coming from a Chinese church to an English church. Even though I’m in college, I’m not familiar with using English to help others, to teach, to comfort others.
A variety of cultures
I think it’s important that church leaders are from a variety of cultures. I think it’s good that the minister at Sylvania can look forward. The Shire has a growing Chinese community, and to have someone from a Chinese background go to church to help them connect is important. Ministry is always cross-cultural, because people you serve always have different mindsets and different cultural views.