Making Jesus’ Disciples of Peace and Justice
August 15, 2020
International Ministries (IM) has supported the annual Ecumenical Summer Internship Program since 2007. The project was initiated by Rose Wu, Founding Member and the first General Secretary of the Hong Kong Women Christian Council (HKWCC). IM first supported the program in partnership with HKWCC, the Hong Kong Student Christian Movement and the HK Christian Institute. In a later time this program was taken up by the Hong Kong Christian Council (HKCC) while IM continues our support. The goal of the program is “to nurture Christian university and theological students to participate in the Ecumenical Movement and to provide internship and study experience through project-based learning. Throughout the internship, the participated students could have individual and collective reflections on Christian faith and practice of the relationship between justice and peace.”
Jeff Chun Kit Kwong, HKCC Assistant Executive Secretary, who is in charge of the program shared the 2020 program update.
“Students & Co-operative Partners: Totally 10 students from the Divinity School of Chung Chi College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Bible Seminary of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University were enrolled and allocated to the 9 different churches and NGOs this year, which include:
“The internship posts provided by the above churches and NGOs cover 4 main topics, which are Gender Justice, Policy Advocacy, Eco Justice, and Community Shepherding. On one hand, the students spent at least 30-36 hours a week to perform internship duties assigned by their mentors that allow them have a better understanding of how theological idea implemented on churches and NGOs’ ministries, while the program also provided series of seminars, activities, visits, tutorial, workshops, sharing sessions etc., these components enabled students to serve and learn, help them to consolidate the ideas of Ecumenical Movement, and ready themselves to join in the movement as well.
“Impacts: The10 students come from different backgrounds, delegations, universities and disciplines, and even 2 of them come from mainland China, the diversities among them enabled fruitful discussion and sharing throughout the program, but they all shared one thing in common that they had limited idea and experiences on ‘Ecumenical Movement’. Therefore the program served as a gateway for them to know about the idea of Ecumenical Movement, Unity, Solidarity, and how these ideas be carried out in different contexts.
“In view of the current political environment in Hong Kong, they thought that the program helped them a lot to review their multiple identities in the society, a Christian and a citizen, a servant and a leader, a prophet and a care-taker, with all these identities they have the responsibilities to weave a bigger and stronger network, so as to build a better future for Hong Kong.
“The online Closing Ceremony with the theme ‘Our Love to Hong Kong’ was jointly prepared by the 10 students, they filmed a short video showing their footprints in different local communities that wish to deliver the concept of ‘Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’. Besides, there were also two original hymns composed by student Miss Yan Huen-wai, the lyrics was so encouraging and depicted how faiths and beliefs support Hong Kong people to went through the difficult time since summer 2019.
“The pandemic situation gave us a big challenge since preparation, instead of orientation retreat camp, a 3-day retreat activities were carried out on Jun 11-13. And for the last 3 weeks the on-site internship duties were replaced by work-from-home format, and eventually the Closing Ceremony was done by online Zoom. But with the full support from students and partner churches and NGOs, the program was finally adjourned with fruitful results. The preparation team members will have an evaluation meeting in order to have a better preparation for the next year program.”