We visit the Ling Oi Rehabilitation Centre about once a month. It’s a centre on an island in the Sai Kung country park. I remember the first visit, having to take the MTR, Minibus, Bus and ferry and then hiking 15 minutes hiking up them the centre. It’s a beautiful place and quite a wholesome environment, dogs, sports, the outdoors.
Typically, we usually spend the morning sharing gods word, worship and sharing before having lunch and then spending the afternoon doing activities.
Yesterday – Dragon boating.
There are about 15-20 brothers are sometimes as young as 16 and as old as 60, But I guess the majority are in their 20’s. The time they are there varies, 9 months seems to be common.
They struggle with drug addiction are generally really down to earth guys who have either come to Ling Oi on their own accord or are court ordered to go there for drug related offences.
Our programme was quite formal, but has become more interactive and engaging and led by the Holy Spirit as he guides us with our sharing time and afternoon activities. We have been led to involve the brothers more in our sharing time and for us to speak less and encourage them to share more.
For me, My idea of outreach has changed. Prior to doing outreach I guess subconsciously I saw myself as being on a different level and outreach was predominantly giving to and preaching to people. However, I’ve come to see outreach as being much more relational and on the same level.
Despite me speaking very little Cantonese, the brothers still look out for me and include me in discussions and activities. I do my best to speak to them in my broken Cantonese, joke with them, play sports with them and listen to them.
God is building mutual relationships between us. It has now become more of a reciprocal thing and the brothers try and serve us by taking us for activities, finding seafood for us, showing us snake traps and cooking us dishes that we like for lunch.
One moment that has stood out to me, was during one of our discussions, one of the brothers asked why we visited them. He said that we visit them the most regularly out of all the organisations and mentioned that we are ‘successful’ people with good jobs etc, why do we travel for hours on our day off to spend our time with them? This really struck a chord with me and I had mixed feelings… I was saddened as I thought that these guys feel that they are so much lower than us? But also, it was a genuine question where our team was able to share why we do come to visit them and shared about God’s love and nature and the fact that we are all his children. They really need to feel God’s love and that they are valued to get breakthrough in their lives.
That transition is going to be really difficult as they move from a place of isolation back to the busy city life. One of the brothers who is leaving Ling Oi in the next few weeks shared with me that he is 60% excited, but 40% worried about falling back into drugs. I imagine how difficult it is going to be for these brothers to re-integrate back into society.
I realise that we are not too different. Although my struggles might not be drug addictions, I certainly have my own. I’ve come to realise how powerful addictions are and the importance of claiming the victory over addictions through Gods sacrifice of his son.
Praise God for what he is doing in ReCreation and for blessing us
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53 v 5
We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
Romans 6 v 6
How can you be involved?
Join (or pray about joining) the ReCreation outreach team – We need different skills
Pray that the word will come alive to them… (They have 3 devotionals a day)
Pray for the brothers during their rehab on the island and their integration back into society.
Pray – We have monthly prayer meeting on the 3rd Sunday at 1:30pm