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WE MET IN GOD'S LOVE啓航

Updated: Sep 6, 2023


Find the Chinese version by scrolling down.全中文版置於最下方。


I departed

It has been two and a half months since I bid farewell to my mother at the Hong Kong airport. It's the beginning of the second half of my life – a new chapter in a new country. I was not scared at all; I was a bit excited. I started anew in the Land of Maple Leaf peacefully. Initially, I intended to go to Toronto to try my luck, which was postponed because of a free windsurfing opportunity offered by Alan, a classmate from high school. It should be freezing in November in Toronto. Alex, another old friend from high school, has been urging me to meet in Vancouver; we haven't met for 41 years. I haven't done packing. If I needed to carry four to five suitcases with me, would it be a headache to take everything to Vancouver and then return to the airport to fly to Toronto a couple of days later? Dozens of plans came to my mind. I became so worried that I declined all farewell invites from my friends. Of course, the other issue I was concerned about was the case I got COVID because of the gatherings; it might delay my plan and cost extra money to renew my tickets. Somehow, an idea popped up. The Internet showed it costs HKD4,000 for a direct flight to Vancouver and HKD2,000 for a one-way ticket from Vancouver to Toronto. It would be cheaper to fly from Hong Kong and transit to Toronto. I am someone who wants to avoid trouble. It would not matter where I will land first, as I want to experience different cities in Canada. Taking the route to Vancouver is more cost-saving as well…

We met

Before I flew, Alex said I could stay with him a little longer while looking for a job. His niece Sharon was also new to Vancouver with an OWP (open work permit) and stayed with him for half a year. It turns out that this old friend had already shared my sexual reassignment experience with his wife and niece. Though we haven't met for decades, he should have already learnt from the media that I am pretty easygoing. And, if I were not introduced like that, it would be hard to explain how Alex got a female classmate from a boys' school. This sounds interesting to me! He also mentioned that Sharon has a local friend who wants to meet me…

It was a Sunday, four days after I landed in Canada. Alex and his wife go to a Catholic Church. We went to a Catholic secondary school where many of my classmates became Catholics; I somehow became a Christian. Before I moved here, I was looking for a church that would allow me to continue my faith life. On that Sunday, I had not yet recovered from jet lag. But when Sharon asked if I wanted to go to church, I said yes immediately. She told her friend Tess would give us a ride. Tess and her husband came to pick us up and brought us to a church she found online. She would like to explore when The United Church of Canada accepts and support same-sex marriage and whether its Chinese worship would follow; if not, what are the reasons? How friendly would it be? After the worship service, Tess friendly approached the serving co-workers to find answers; the result was disappointing. This however

reinforced our beliefs in our inner calls to mission: we are called to bridge the Chinese church and the LGBTIQ+ communities, to realize the one love of the Lord in this land, and to facilitate Chinese LGBTIQ+ members to be treated fairly and to live a better life!

We covenanted

In the following two months after this church experience, we met a couple of times and exchanged insights about our faith lives and pre-LGBTIQ+ experiences. The Tess couple often gave me tours of different places. They took the chance to explore as well. We three agree: we all look forward to the future ministry entrusted by God and the possibility of realizing it. A few days ago, on a hazy, drizzling day, we drove somewhere by the sea. We prayed together and made a covenant with God to kick off this wonderful ministry officially–God is this ministry's CEO. After we prayed, Ellis asked if we noticed the silver linings in the gloomy sky. I said no.

I stared into the distance, thinking of a good friend, Paul I met at a church gathering in Hong Kong three months ago. Paul is a brother from Canada. After moving to Canada, he asked me to look for opportunities to establish an LGBTIQ+ service agency. According to him, though the Canadian government is very supportive, there are very few LGBTIQ+ agencies serving the Chinese community; there is a lack of talent to run such agencies. Tess and I are both from Hong Kong. We had never crossed paths with each other. We experience different lives in different worlds. Yet, under God's grace and leadership, we embraced the same dream and finally met here in Canada…

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope. Jeremiah 29:11


啟航

在香港機場跟媽媽告別後已有兩個半月,踏上人生的下半場,在一個陌生的國度重新開始,我沒有感到半點的惶恐,反而帶着些許的興奮,在平靜如水的流光中,步進了紅楓國的新生活中。本來打算先到多倫多踫一下運氣,卻因為一位中學同學Alan提供的免費風帆體驗機會,延遲了出發日期。11月初的多倫多應該很冷吧,闊別了四十一年的中學同學Alex,又一直在催促著要我去溫哥華那邊找他,但我東西還沒收拾好,萬一要帶著四、五箱行李,出了機場之後過幾天再去多倫多,會不會好麻煩呢?心裡盤算著各樣的安排,納悶得在出發前朋友的餞行約會都推掉了,當然我也擔心出外萬一確診了,會影響了出發日子,也白花了機票錢。靈光一閃之間,我上網查到去溫哥華的直航機票大概是港幣四千多,從溫哥華飛多倫多的單程機票是二千多,比從香港轉機到多倫多的機票更便宜一些,不過我還是怕麻煩的人,既然自己都想著要在加拿大不同的城市分別感受一下,那先到那裡不都是一樣嗎?這樣我更可以省一筆機票錢留著備用…


相遇

出發前,在溫哥華的中學同學Alex說可以給我多住一陣子找工作,他的侄女Sharon正好也以OWP剛到溫哥華半年左右,正住在他家裡,說我到時可以跟他聊聊取經。原來這位老朋友,已經將我性別重置經歷若數家珍地跟他太太和侄女介紹了一片,雖然我們有這麼多年未見,但他應該是從網上的報導中,了解到我的為人並不介意,亦事實上如不這樣介紹,也不知道從何說起他這位男校畢業的同學是一位女生,想起來我自覺有趣!他還說Sharon有一位當地朋友很想認識我云云…

抵加第四天是禮拜天,Alex說他和太太會去天主教堂,我們讀的是天主教中學,好多同學都在那裡信主,不過我後來卻因某些經歷進入了基督教,所以我來加拿大前也想著要考察一下,期望從中能夠找到一家能延續我信仰生命歸屬的教會。其實當天我還是有點沒有完全將時差調節過來,不過當Sharon問我想不想去教會時,我一口就答應了,他說朋友Tess會開車過來接我們去。Tess和他丈夫Ellis接過我們後,就開車到一間他在網上查看過的教會,而他的目的,卻是為到探究在加拿大聯合教會接納並支持同性婚姻的立場下,其華語崇拜是否會有一致做法,如不,到底是基於什麼原因,而其友善程度又會如?崇拜後Tess表現得非常友善地去找當中服事的同工去尋求答案,但最後的結果卻令人失望。不過,這也讓我和Tess各自在心裡更加相信我們的召命,要成為華人教會與同志群體的橋樑,成就主耶穌基督同一的愛在這片土地上,讓華人同志得到公平對待而活得更好!


立約

之後和往後的兩個月裡,我們相約見了好幾次面,交換了各自在信仰的啟迪,並與同志群體相遇的前傳,Tess夫婦經常帶我去不同的地方遊覽,也順道作考察,三個人一心仰望著主所交托的未來事工與可能性。前幾天,我們在一片陰霾的細雨下,開車到了海邊的一個角落,同心禱告與主立約,並正式開啟這次夢幻之旅,因為上帝才是這個事工的CEO。Ellis在禱告後問我們剛才有沒有看到在灰濛濛好天空中突來的一片曙光,我說沒有,我呆望著遠方,想起三個多月前在香港教會聚會中,我的好朋友Paul,一位從加拿大過來的弟兄,囑咐我到了加拿大之後就找機會建立同志服務機構,說那邊沒有什麼服務華人的同志組織,政府雖然十分支持,但卻欠缺懂得做的人材。我和Tess一家人都來自於香港,但彼此不曾在生活上有所交疊,在兩個不一樣的世界裡經歷了數十載,卻在主的恩福秋雨及帶領下,抱著同一個夢,緣聚於此…


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