The Things We Don’t Think Of As Being “Church” Are More “Church” Than We Thought

Little 3 yr. old Sau Yat  (Sherlock) lives on same little Island in Hong Kong that sau Yat2I do.  I had never heard of Sau Yat before this week…there are 15,000 of us living on Park Island after all.

But this week we’ve all been touched with his story!

Sherlock Ng used to be a healthy little boy living around us. Before he celebrated his second birthday, he was diagnosed with Pineoblastoma, an extremely rare and vicious brain cancer. Despite 8 chemotherapy treatments and 2 surgeries, recent MRI shows his cancer is growing and has spread to his spine. Oncologists in HK have given up on further treatments, but not his parents. They have been actively seeking medication abroad. Hospitals in the US and UK with previous experience in curing this cancer have given positive feedback to Sherlock’s case. All the Ng’s need right now is your kind donations to sponsor his large medical bills.

– From Sau Yat’s Charity Facebook Page

As the father of a 3 year old myself my heart breaks over the agony Sau Yat’s parents must be going through.  Fortunately a lot of people around here feel the same way

So my home neighborhood, Park Island, (Ma Wan)  had a charity bazaar Sunday afternoon to raise money for Sau Yat’s medical expenses.  I had to stay home as I’m contagious with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease (another story) but Tammy went over to make a contribution and support the community.  She said it was absolutely wonderful to see so many people come out to support their neighbor during this difficult time.

As she shared with me about the turnout, the number of people from varied cultural backgrounds, and the compassion of those attending I started thinking about “church” and “community”  and even the nature of “communion”.

At the Last Supper Jesus gave an example to his followers by giving them everything he had to give…his body and his blood!

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Many evangelical traditions (my own included) tend to put the focus of Communion on examining one’s individual heart before partaking of the wine and the bread.  However the Communion Table is so much more;  it is the antidote for injustice and need in our midst.  When we go beyond our “self” and also examine our community, church group, or neighborhood before enjoying communion we create opportunities to corporately address areas of need in our often ignored immediate surroundings.  Blind spots are revealed!

Best selling author and speaker Rob Bell was asked if he were to pastor a church again would he do anything different.  He responded:

“I would have Eucharist (communion) a lot. .. if you have the bread and the wine, and on a really regular basis, you put the bread and wine on the table and you say “Okay everybody – here you go: Body broken, blood poured out…Has everyone got their rent paid?  Anyone have any medical bills”

On Sunday our community came out to support Sau Yat and his family and in the process I feel a bit of the communion Jesus talked about was shared.

Sometimes the things that we don’t consider “church” I think were more what Jesus intended to be “church” than we had thought.

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Sau Yat and his father

The charity bazaar raised HK $120,000 (US$ 15,500) in just 3 hours for little Sau Yat.  Please pray for this little boy and his family as they go to Japan for treatment.

P.S. The donation link for Sau Yat is in Chinese but if you would like to consider helping the family please contact me and I can provide donation details

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