From the General Director Everywhere we go in Europe, we meet children of first generation Chinese immigrants settling here since the 1960s. These so called second generation Chinese are growing up within the Chinese Diaspora community. Many of them are in their youth while some have reached adulthood and beyond. Unlike the first generation immigrants, the second generation as a whole does not have the language and cultural barriers that make it difficult to integrate into the society they live in. They possess special gifts and qualities vastly different from those of the first generation immigrants. In a way, they are uniquely equipped with the knowledge and understanding of the local language and culture of a people different from their own, something cross-cultural missionaries have to work hard to acquire. At the same time, they face challenges and obstacles that are completely different from those of their parents. Their experience of growing up in a land foreign to their parents is often that of inter-generational and inter-cultural conflicts with their parents and elders in their local Chinese community, who are the first generation to settle in the adopted country. They are more likely to form close relationships with those from a similar background because of shared common cultural experiences that make them distinct from others within the larger Chinese Diaspora. Therefore they long for opportunities to be with people who have the same distinct cultural background, namely other second generation Chinese. It has been observed that many second generation young adults are alienated from the first-generation immigrant churches and are leaving them in a quiet and silent “exodus”. We are told that a large number of second generation Christians decide to leave their parents' Chinese speaking church once they reach adulthood. One reason seems to be that the first generation immigrant church cannot provide for them spiritually. The fact is, very few Chinese churches in Europe are ministering to this strategically important group due to lack of resources and leaders who speak the local language . Yet spiritual guidance, support and encouragement from caring and understanding adults outside the immediate family are crucial elements in the shaping of a young person’s life. This is especially true when it comes to the keeping of the Christian faith. For children from Christian homes, their need to be mentored and nurtured in their faith cannot be overlooked just because they are growing up in church. When learning to walk with God and to serve Christ, when preparing to move away from the home and church in which they grow up, they must have examples of older and more mature Christians to follow. It is an urgent call for us to minister to the younger generation. In this issue of Link, we have invited 4 people to share their first-hand experiences related to the second generation Chinese. The vision of COCM is to reach the Chinese in Europe with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and through them to re-evangelise Europe. One of the priority target groups our mission strategy has identified is the younger generation of local language speaking ethnic Chinese. The majority in this group are the second generation youths and young adults. This is the generation that speaks the language and understands the culture of the European countries. We believe this group has the high potential to engage in cross-cultural mission in Europe. It is the burden of my heart to see more people caring for them and praying for them. I hope churches and mission organizations can partner together in reaching out to this special people group. Let us ask the Lord to raise a multitude of cross-cultural missionaries from among them to reevangelize Europe.
INSIDE Here I am, send me! ~Wesley Lai A Perspective on Second Generation Chinese Young People: A Diverse Culture ~Brad Chu When East Meets West ~ Josh Shek Hoi! The next generation growing up in Holland ~Wing-Chun Tang
Rev. Henry Lu
Reaching the Chinese to Reach Europe
Here I am, Send me! Wesley Lai
It was the evening of 20th February 2011. I was walking towards my car in the car park, and as I looked back at the COCM mission centre in front of me, the verse “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! (Ephesians 3:20)” came to me with a huge sense of awe and wonder. I felt a shiver down my body as I was so overwhelmed by the presence of God. Indeed over the last 3 days in the PHAT Leaders Training Camp, God did immeasurably more than all we had ever asked for or imagined. More than 70 leaders gathered together, from different churches all over the country, with one purpose – to learn as one team about leadership in Christ. We had a fantastic time of fellowship and worship, and we learned together and from each other. We had the opportunity to pray with and for one another, and we witnessed how powerfully God moved among us as we ministered to each other. As we came together with our brokenness and burdens, we saw bondage broken, captives set free; the weary refreshed, and the limping ran again. To Him be all the glory! During the camp many were intrigued and asked me how I got involved with the youth and second-generation ministry. The honest answer was, ‘I don’t really know.’ I could not even begin to explain how I got to do what I am doing today, except the fact that God amazingly called me to it, and I, rather reluctantly answered the call. Since then He has led me every step of the way. Having grown up in Hong Kong with a strong Chinese background, and having been nurtured in a traditional evangelical church, I faced a massive culture shock when I came to the UK. I honestly could not be a more unlikely person to serve the British born Chinese (BBC) youths and the second generation.
Wesley and Jenny
Wesley Lai was born and raised in Hong Kong. He accepted Christ when he was 14 and came to study in England when he was 16. He studied Medicine at the University of Bristol, and since qualified he has worked in various places in the Southwest. Currently, he is working in the region as a Registrar in General Surgery. He and his wife Jenny live in Exeter and attend the Exeter Chinese Christian Church. He is the youngest COCM Council member and our volunteer leader for the second-generation ministry.
I still remember vividly the first time I met the youths in the Bristol church. They were making noises at the back of the church. They did not have a youth programme that Sunday, and clearly they were bored in the service, because they did not understand Chinese, nor did they want to be there. A lot of their families are in the catering business, and they often have to help out in the shops or restaurants during the weekends or even weekdays. They have this identity as a ‘BBC’, but they would not consider themselves ‘Chinese’. I remembered looking at them, and I did not like them. But later God said to me, ‘Go to them, because they are like sheep without a shepherd.’ My first response was ‘No way! Find someone else please.’ Why would I want to serve them? I was nothing like them and I certainly did not even like them. I had no experience in youth work in Hong Kong, let alone the BBC youths. These were not even excuses. The fact was, I simply did not care. All I wanted to do at the time was just to attend church, and maybe help out with the Hong Kong students, if I had the time. But God did not let me go so easily. He made it so loud and clear to me that one day I had to say, ‘Ok God, if you want me to
serve them, you must give me the heart to care for these youths. Give me at least a little bit of patience and love.’ And since then God gave me the most relentless love and care for them. It was unbelievable. I started to have this huge burden for them. I started to pray for them, and I started to pray for myself, to ask God for the gifts to serve them and lead them in Christ. I was an awful youth leader, to be honest I was absolutely hopeless, I wasn’t funny or gifted in music or anything, but God still used me. Over the years I have seen many amazing things that God has done in their lives, and how they have grown in their faith and love for Him. Today many of them have become godly men and women, who are now serving the youth group and the church. They are my great blessings from God. They are the fruits that will last. They have become today’s leaders to build up leaders for tomorrow. They can also reach out to people with similar background, and even to their local communities. Sometimes I do wonder, is God waiting for many more in the church to respond to Him in the same way, to pray the same prayer, or simply just to say “Here I am, send me.” And He will certainly do many more amazing things through them. Then God showed me something else. There are actually many Christian leaders around the UK who are like me, who have a heart for the second generation. We share the same vision that youths are the future generation, our future church and leaders. If we miss them today, we will miss them tomorrow. But sometimes we feel that we are doing this alone. Many young leaders are weary as they serve tirelessly week after week in their churches, and they often yearn for more support, fellowship and encouragement. On the other hand, there are many youth groups in the country that have no youth leaders. The fact is, strong and organized youth ministries in the Chinese churches are few and
far between. Many young people are like sheep without a shepherd. While many older youths or younger leaders have responded to the calling to leadership in previous PHAT camps, and they have the heart to serve and take up leadership, they do not necessarily have the training, guidance and support they need locally. It is for these reasons that we have started the PHAT Leaders ministry, to build a support network among the leaders, and to equip them for strong leadership. Since the “History Makers” PHAT summer camp in 2009, we have gathered a group of leaders to serve in the youth summer camp. Before the camp we had our Leaders retreat for training and fellowship. Mature, experienced leaders were paired up with a younger leader, who might be leading for the first time, to lead a small group in the camp. They became their mentors during the camp, and helped them to grow in leadership during and even after the camp. This year we held our first COCM PHAT Leaders Training Camp, and we saw what God did amongst this young generation. We believe that through training and discipleship we are raising a new generation of leaders, who will serve the next generation. I believe that together we are stronger, and by coming together we can make a difference. The Bible says, "Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.(1Tim 4:12) " This is the aim of the PHAT ministry – a second generation for God, for His people. Even though we do not have much, we believe God can do immeasurably more than we can imagine. The big question is, do we have the faith and perseverance to carry the vision forward, and run the race marked out for us? We need your support - in prayer, partnership and participation.
A Perspective on Second Generation Chinese Young People: A Diverse Culture Brad Chu was born in Vancouver, Canada, to a Chinese immigrant father and a Canadian-born Chinese mother. He grew up in a local Chinese church in Vancouver, ministering to the youth and young adults. He holds a B.Sc. in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University and an M.Div from Regent College in Vancouver. Soon after completing his theological studies, he moved to the UK (with his wife, Joanne, joining him several months later) to serve at the London Chinese Alliance Church in Harrow. Brad ministers to the English congregation that includes English-speaking people from a variety of backgrounds.
Brad, Joanne and their son Callum
BANANA [bə-nă’-nə]: “a long curved fruit with a yellow skin and soft, sweet white flesh inside.1” Many of my second-generation Chinese friends and I were categorised as bananas, a word used to summarise the complexities and conflicts, the values and viewpoints of the Chinese who were born and raised in a western country whose culture did not necessarily share the values of the culture in which their parents were brought up. We were people of Chinese origin, comfortable with Western values and customs. We were bananas: yellow on the outside and white on the inside. As (pardon the pun) appealing – 1
Definition from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/ banana. Accessed 8 March 2011.
Evangelising o r u n a p p e a l i n g – a s t h i s w o rd m a y b e , i t i s a n oversimplification. While there are second-generation Chinese young people who identify completely with the western culture, there are others who retain their Chinese cultural heritage quite firmly. This latter group would not necessarily fit the characterisations of a true banana (perhaps we should call them mangoes?). And then there are those who are in-between, yellow on the outside and some blend of yellow and white on the inside (white grapefruit, lemon, yellow pear – I’m sure you can come up with other fruit as well). In other words, the secondgeneration Chinese as a whole are a fruit salad; we are a diverse people group. Perhaps this is why I have noticed more and more second-generation Chinese using country-specific labels such as ABC (Americanborn Chinese) or BBC (British-born Chinese) or CBC (Canadian-born Chinese), as not every second-generation Chinese person’s experiences can be summarised by a single fruit. However, this is not to imply that there is nothing that can be said about this group. Some generalities can be made; and of course, there will be exceptions for each of these. One observation is that the secondgeneration Chinese are a minority group in most cases (unless you live in a city that experienced a huge influx of Chinese immigrants in the 70s, 80s, and 90s). In school, we may very well be the only Chinese in the class. This isn’t usually a problem, as most would integrate in the classroom well. But we do notice that we’re “different” from the majority. We also know at least two languages. We need to learn the local vernacular in order to communicate with our classmates and the teachers, read street and shop signs, understand labels at the supermarket, and interact with society. And we also know the Chinese language. In fact, many second-generation Chinese were probably “encouraged” by their parents to attend some sort of Chinese school. This is not to imply that we all know the Chinese language well; it simply means, at the very least, we know the basics. We can understand at least some and can say at least a few words. And those that have parents who cannot speak or understand the local vernacular tend to be able to understand Chinese quite well and speak it coherently. The number of years we spend in formal education is likely more than that of our parents. Most of our parents could not afford to spend twenty or so years in education. They had to work in order to survive. When they immigrated to the west, they did so to work so that we could have better education and opportunities. They saved up so that we would not need to go through the long hours of difficult labour. Our responsibilities were to be diligent in our studies, get a good job, and make lots of money. Furthermore, we are bi-cultural, meaning we are immersed in two cultures: the local culture, and the Chinese culture. For each culture, we have some knowledge and experience of its social mores, rituals, and values. While living in and integrating with the dominant culture, we also participate in celebrations such as Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn festival. In the local culture we address those older than we are by their
first names; in the Chinese context, we call them “auntie” or “uncle.” We eat cold cereal, dumplings, hamburgers, chicken feet, baked potato, and rice. It’s this latter point that is perhaps most poignant when considering the second-generation Chinese person’s identity. With the options of each culture before us, the second-generation Chinese person’s culture tends to be eclectic. Sometimes we are able to choose to accept or reject customs and values from each culture to suit our preferences. And other times, certain values are thrust upon us and we need to adopt and integrate those values within us very quickly lest we find ourselves in a conflict of cultures. The different experiences that each person faces would result in a number of different customised cultures, perspectives, and identities.
Shaping of Identity and Culture Several factors can affect a second-generation Chinese person’s identity: ●
Home environment: How strongly is the Chinese culture reinforced at home? How flexible or adaptable are the parents? Does the second-generation Chinese person enjoy being at home?
Social group: Are most of his/her friends also secondgeneration Chinese? Indigenous? Other ethnicity and cultures?
Level of cultural diversity: Is society generally multicultural? Does the indigenous culture reinforce diversity and tolerate different cultures? Are people aware of and sensitive to cultural differences?
Need to integrate: Is the indigenous culture accepting of other cultures, or do they expect other cultures to adapt and adopt the local values, customs, ethics, and way of life? Does the school or workplace expect certain etiquette that can be considered non-Chinese?
Certainly there are more factors influencing the second-generation Chinese identity. Due to the factors listed above, not all second-generation Chinese would respond in the same way. Some would move away from their Chinese culture, fully embracing the western culture as their primary culture; and some would fully identify with their Chinese heritage, placing secondary importance on western cultural experiences. And then there are others who cannot identify with either one; they would sit somewhere along the spectrum in-between. So, generally speaking, the second-generation Chinese can be seen as a group of people in a culture of their own.
A Difference Across the Pond I grew up in Vancouver, Canada, and I’m now working in a Chinese church in London, UK. From my observations of the second-generation Chinese I’ve come across, I’ve noticed that BBCs tend to generally have stronger ties with their ethnic and cultural heritage compared to the CBCs (of course there are some BBCs who don’t identify with the Chinese culture at all). More BBCs I know speak to their parents in Chinese than CBCs I know; more BBCs spend their summers in Hong Kong than CBCs; more BBCs still attend Chinese school than CBCs. I suspect this has to do with the number of generations who have settled in Canada and the UK. In Vancouver, we’re starting to see many third and fourthgeneration CBCs (I myself am a third-generation CBC).
Ministry Considerations and Challenges So what considerations and challenges must we address when it comes to second-generation Chinese ministry, particularly within the Chinese church? There are several I would offer for us to consider. First is the need for spiritual mentorship. We need to pray for mentors who have the vision and burden to see this group grow in Christian maturity and who are willing to invest time and effort in second-generation Chinese ministries to build personal and meaningful relationships that are characterised by trust and respect, get to know them at their level, listen to them, and, most importantly, support their Christian walk. The secondgeneration Chinese need mature Christians, people of wisdom and character to encourage them toward faith, love, integrity, and godliness. Second is the outlook of the second-generation Chinese. Their knowledge, reasoning, and experiences in life will be different (and sometimes vastly different) from the previous generation. They probably spent more time in formal education than their parents did, and have a broad knowledge base. They will ask critical questions and require some proof to propositions given to them. We need to be willing to explore and discuss a wide range of topics, from apologetics to science, philosophy to theology, current events to personal experiences.
And finally, there is the need to consider how to make the church relevant to the second-generation Chinese. There needs to be ways in the church for them to express worship that reflects who they are. This could involve using local vernacular, technology, media, symbols, instruments, and music styles that speak to their culture. While it may be difficult to lay out a decisive characterisation of what a second-generation Chinese person is like, there is one decisive thing that can be said: they are unique group that requires much commitment, patience, love, and attention. While the work among the second-generation Chinese can be challenging, we need to realise the importance of investing in them. Secondgeneration Chinese have an important role, not only in the church but also among the larger society, as they will one day be people of tremendous influence in the world of business, medicine, law, politics, civil service, finance, and church leadership. It is up to the church as a whole to cultivate character, ethics, holiness, and integrity that is in keeping with the word of God. As much as their identity is influenced by two different cultures, we need to earnestly pray that fundamentally it would be the Kingdom culture that influences them, and that the work among them would result in greater Christ-likeness in them so that their lives would bear good . . . fruit.
Third is the pressure to succeed in school. Many that I have come across are highly driven to do well in school, often under parental pressure. In some places, securing a spot in a highly-reputable school is fiercely competitive. As a result, much of the student’s time would be spent working on assignments and revising, making it difficult for some to commit to church-related activities. Fourth is lifestyle. The second-generation Chinese have the opportunities, privileges, and purchasing power that their parents’ generation did not have when they were growing up. As a result, second-generation Chinese often take much of life for granted. Very few know what it is to be in need or how to live in simplicity. Rather than challenge the prevailing culture, too many secondgeneration Chinese tend to conform to the standards of the secular culture.
When East Meets West Josh Shek Most British born Chinese I know of come from a similar background to myself. Many of our parents immigrated to the UK from Hong Kong and China in the latter part of the last century and either studied here and went on to pursue professional careers, or started businesses in the food trade. My own parents have been
Brad (first from the right) with a group of second-generation university students from the church
Josh Shek was born in Portsmouth, UK. His parents emigrated from Hong Kong in the 80’s and have been in the catering industry ever since. He was raised in a local Chinese church in Portsmouth until he moved to Bristol to study Mechanical Engineering. Josh currently works in Bristol as an Engineer and has been serving the youths from various backgrounds through PHAT camps since 2009. in the catering industry for nearly three decades now and the Take-away was very much the setting that I grew up in. I can still remember times when my head was just a little higher than the cooker top and I would train my “wok-tossing” skills by trying to flip three green peas consistently. It wasn’t un-usual for my mum to give me a
Praise Him All Together (provided by David Ip)
light scolding for wasting the small mountain of recently good peas that I had created just behind the stove. At school, I was always one of the only two or three kids in the entire community with a Chinese ethnicity, and, as much as I would try to dismiss the fact in my head, I was always conscious of how different I felt to those around me. Of course, that was never enough to stop me from making a few very good friends and, as long as I didn’t have to help out in the shop, playing computer games together was normally the activity of choice. Sundays were also a very predictable routine. When I was born, my parents were already regular members of a small Chinese fellowship comprised of young students and professionals. This fellowship eventually grew big enough to hire its own place to gather on Sundays, and so for years I was raised in the care of the many “aunties and uncles” within the church. I found my closest friendships in the other kids within the Chinese church, and I found my favourite meal was dim-sum with all those families gathered on a Monday during half-term.
A Whole New World To say that every British born Chinese has lived exactly the same upbringing as this would of course be a broad generalisation, but one thing I think is true is how many BBCs have found themselves shifting between these two worlds of east and west. Those young immigrant families, with obvious language and cultural barriers with local society, would have naturally found themselves fitting into communities of people with similar backgrounds (whether within a church setting or not), and so young children that immigrated with their parents and firstgeneration BBCs would have naturally found themselves growing up within those same Diaspora communities, whilst at the same time absorbing British culture through local media and moving through the education system. For some it becomes a simple choice of one or the
other; to either maintain the traditions and principles of a Chinese heritage, or to fully embrace the offerings of a modern, western society. But for many, these two worlds blend together to create a distinct and unique cultural experience, one that is neither fully Chinese nor fully British. This I think has allowed many BBCs to benefit from the best of both worlds. They can apply the values of a Chinese mentality to the opportunities presented by a western establishment, and they can allow the progressive and developmental nature of western society to help them challenge some of the more rigid traditions of a Chinese upbringing. But as BBCs search through the characteristics of these two worlds and how they choose to relate to them, this has also brought about a heightened tension in how a BBC fundamentally identifies with him or herself. Not so much in terms of calling themselves British or Chinese and which culture they feel more comfortable with, but rather a deeper awareness that they do not quite belong to the world which they live in.
Nothing Beats a Home Cooked Meal As BBCs go on the journey of searching for a community and a culture in which they are fully comfortable, this has become an opportunity to present them with God’s desire to call them His sons and daughters. However the Chinese church in the UK has for a long time struggled with this ministry. The first generation Diaspora that have settled and started fellowships and churches in the UK have found it difficult to engage with a generation of BBCs and those who have grown up in the UK. As many churches have focused their efforts in catering for the needs of the Diaspora, they have naturally channelled their message through an environment that centres around the culture of the Diaspora (for instance, using language as a more tangible example, presenting the message using Cantonese or Mandarin instead of English), and as a result have, to one degree or another, put distance between themselves and the English speaking element of the community. The problem isn’t so much whether BBCs are open and receptive to the message itself, but the context in which the message is delivered. Like any other ministry, trusting and understanding dialogue has to be established before the message can be effectively communicated. Youth ministries such as PHAT have so far been able to help churches in this situation by building environments where BBCs and other local language speaking Chinese can find a community that they feel a part of. This has helped open up channels through which that same unchanging message can be delivered, but one of the ministry’s problems is finding those churches
in the first place, and then engaging their youths in a way that doesn’t interfere or impose on what their home churches are already doing. PHAT and other youth camps can be beneficial in the short term, but they are otherwise designed to simply supplement the spiritual growth of those that attend. For those that do benefit from youth camps, that need is also only met for very short periods at a time. The relationships that youths are able to build during the camps can help them to encourage and support each other in their faith, but those relationships can slowly fade away when individuals move on into university, form new circles, and can no longer be catered for by a ministry that is necessarily constrained to those in their teenage years. The problem facing the local language speaking ethnic Chinese ministry then, at both the local and national level, is not only how do we engage those that we have been placed in a position to serve, but how do we engage them consistently and effectively? How can we feed them in a way that is both regular and nourishing? And how can we best use this small window of time before they move on to further studies and a more independent lifestyle? These are questions that I think we are still struggling to find answers to.
Open Hearts Having served in PHAT Camps for a few years now, I’ve seen the kind of positive impact that these camps can have on young BBCs whilst they are there, but what the ministry lacks is that regular contact open to the local church. Earlier this year we ran our first PHAT Leader’s Training Camp and opened it up to not only those who are already serving in PHAT and Youth Groups all over the country, but also to anyone who had a desire to learn more about what it means to be a leader. The hope is that through the work of PHAT, other youth ministries all over the country and the local church, we might be able to serve this hungry generation of local language speaking ethnic Chinese, so that they might also experience the joy of serving each other. And not only to serve each other, but ultimately everyone around them too. When Jesus walked the earth he often reached out to those on the fringes of society, those longing for someone to accept them just as they were. In many ways, BBCs have been pushed to the edges of their own world, just as longing to be understood and accepted. What they need are people who can show them the love of Jesus by joining them in their loneliness. Their hearts are ready, and we must go to them whilst we still have time.
Hoi! The next generation growing up in Holland
Mrs Wing-Chun Tang emigrated from Hong Kong to Holland with her parents when she was 14 years old. In 1986 she joined COCM with Rev Chi-Ming Tang. They have a son and a daughter. In the beginning she went with Rev Tang to Eastern Europe for pioneering work and also accompanied him in itinerant ministry to Switzerland, France, Germany and Holland. From 1996 to 2003 she started to use Dutch to begin the youth work in the Eindhoven Church, Holland. Currently she is pastoring the Den Bosch Church in Holland.
Mrs Wing-Chun Tang 1
Almost the whole of people’s lives is taken up with the education of the children. Starting from when we are babies, our parents already teach us the difference between night and day and the rhythm of work and rest. When we are children they teach us what we can do and what is definitely out of bounds. They try their best to set guidelines, like permitting us to go out but must be in by midnight at the latest. We have all been young once and
Hoi is Dutch and means “Hi” in English.
Young people from the Dutch-speaking cell group
who has not rebelled? When we become parents we follow the same pattern and educate our children the same way. We draw an invisible line for our children according to our thinking, expecting them to fall in line and be a useful person in society in the future. The Dutch are a very disciplined nation. They take great care in bringing up their children. Unfortunately however, once young people move up into secondary school parents are no longer so strict with them. As a result they feel at a loss and come under the influence of their peers and trends in society and overstep the invisible line. They learn to smoke, drink, take soft drugs or sleep around.
Although Holland is a Christian country with the Dutch Reformed Church as its national church, yet because the people so adore personal freedom that everyone can decide what they want to do and do it. For example, when a girl reaches sixteen and wants to have a boyfriend but does not want to get pregnant, she can just go to her family doctor and ask the doctor to prescribe her contraceptive pills. The doctor must keep confidence and without the permission of the girl, her parents will never know anything about it. This indirectly promotes promiscuity.
HEADQUARTERS General Director: Rev Henry Lu 2 Padstow Avenue, Fishermead, Milton Keynes MK6 2ES England UK Tel：+44-(0)1908-234-100 Fax：+44-(0)1908-234-200 E-mail：firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site：www.cocm.org.uk
In this kind of climate the thinking of the second generation Chinese born and bred here is definitely influenced by western values. Moreover, because the parents are so busy the majority of the Chinese young people have little time to communicate with them. In the Dutch education system, as early as primary five children are taught sex education, social studies which aims to understand all the main religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism and humanism etc. The Dutch believe that as long as one respects each other, each one has total freedom to choose what one wants to do, including promiscuity and drug taking. If I were asked to describe this second generation of Dutch speaking Chinese, I would say they are a Back Seat Generation. Apart from driving them to and from school each day, the parents have to dedicate themselves to taking them to all manners of extra curricular activities that build up their character. The most popular activities that children are sent to are piano lessons, violin lessons, tennis, dance and Chinese etc. As a result these young people are an outstanding generation.
HONG KONG OFFICE Rev Tang Chi-Ming Rm522, Metro Centre II, 21 Lam Hing Street, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel：+852-2549-5288 Fax：+852-2549-5155 E-mail：email@example.com Web Site：www.cocm.org.hk Chairman: Rev Cham Nai-Bun
MALAYSIA OFFICE Mr David Liew Unit 697-2-2, Desa Kiara, Jalan Damansara, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel：+60-(0)3-7954-5884 E-mail：firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Web Site：www.cocmsea.org Chairman：Mr Bryan Lee
The young people born after 1980 and ranging in age from 18 to 30 do not lack in material things and are very protected. The ones who live in South Holland are purer than their peers in the big cities. They are Chinese on the outside, their skin is yellow but inside they are moulded by and struggle with both the Chinese and Dutch cultures and the education they receive. The identity crisis they face often make them feel at a loss. They have also inherited the Chinese characteristic to withstand hardship. Starting at 16 (the legal working age) some take on summer jobs or work part-time on weekends. They are not spoilt by any stretch of the imagination!
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For 8 years I was the advisor of the youth fellowship. Now this lovely group of young people are already working or studying for their bachelor, master or doctorate degrees. Among them are future doctors, PhD’s in physics, lawyers, accountants and engineers etc. In the Den Bosch Church a third of the congregation is made up of the Dutch speaking younger generation. The church very much values these young people who will become future pillars in society and in the church. There are also a few Dutch people who are members of the church. In order to shepherd them, pastors have to overcome the language barrier, know and understand the local culture, the struggles and challenges of the young people and the difference between Chinese and Dutch cultures and to use the truth of the Bible as the foundation for teaching. In such a sexually liberal country as Holland it is not easy for the young people to adhere to the teaching of the Bible.
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Some local people come to the Dutch-speaking cell group, which meets once every 2 weeks. We use both Chinese and Dutch during our worship and the bulletin is bilingual. For evangelism and nurturing new believers we use both Dutch and English materials. Without the language barrier the youth are definitely more involved in the church. They play a big part in the children Sunday school, worship group and interpreting both on and off the pulpit.
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We are a family in the Lord. When young people have good fellowship in the church they can encourage each other and are then more willing to testify their Christian faith with their lives. May the Lord bless and use them.
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Rev. Henry Lu．Ling Lu．Min Yin． Yu-Mei Wu
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Published on Apr 30, 2011
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