Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Just days ago, I was at a market in central Liverpool in northern England enjoying Hong Kong cuisine with a family of four. While we ate, they emotionally explained the events that led to their decision to uproot their family from Hong Kong and move to London, 9,000 miles away. “We can understand the Ukrainian refugees,” they said. “We felt we had no choice.”
On another recent occasion I was invited by members of our sister synod in Hong Kong to visit a church in Liverpool with services in Mandarin and Cantonese. The pastor explained how in early 2020 his was a little congregation. “We grew from 20 to 130 people in one year.” He added, “We need basic Bible training.” Those who had invited me to the service concurred.
Due to changes in Hong Kong law, the United Kingdom has opened the door for Hong Kong citizens to immigrate to the U.K. In fact, more than 20 percent of members and leaders from WELS’ sister synod in Hong Kong have already moved to the U.K., with more on the way. It is estimated that up to two million people will relocate from Hong Kong to the U.K. during the current immigration wave.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This immigration wave presents a clear opportunity to share the gospel with these new arrivals. My family and I look forward to moving to the U.K. this summer as I continue to serve this mission field. If God wills it, WELS World Missions plans to call a second missionary this year to assist with outreach to the Hong Kong people in the U.K. Please pray for God’s blessings and consider a special mission offering today.
Rev. Michael Hartman
Missionary to London & U.K.
P.S. I invite you to watch my recent interview to learn more about this mission.