by Pastor Andrea Wong of Hong Kong

When people first meet me, they often ask, “Where is home for you?” A seemingly simple, yet complex question…

You see, ordinarily, my default is to say: Hong Kong. It’s where I was born, where I’ve spent most of my life, but also where I currently reside. But the thing is, “home” isn’t confined to geography. I wonder about places and communities where connections and history run deep. Places that I would readily and still regularly return to…places where I’m actively building into around the world, that continue to shape me, where I know I belong, am known and understood. Spaces that have caused and continue to cause me to flourish, and ones that I would want to fight to see expand in health… (I could go on!) For me, “home” is multifaceted… and I’m thankful that when I think about it like this, there’s more than one place that I can call home. 

Hong Kong harbour and skyline, seen from Victoria Peak on a rainy night of June 2019.

But when it comes to Hong Kong, this city really does hold a special place in my heart. As a pastor for over a decade here, the notion of home holds profound importance. Despite being one of the world’s most densely populated cities, it can paradoxically be one of the loneliest places. I’ve personally experienced what it’s like to be in proximity with many, and yet feel disconnected. And knowing this, it has and continues to be a deep longing for me to build and create “home” for those where this has been absent. How for example, do we create pathways where people can enter into a place, and feel, not just welcome, but seen? This and many other questions are ones that I’ve carried, and became more pronounced two years ago when my church community went through a significant transition… (A story perhaps for another day)… 

During this “discombobulated” time, one of the places that I thankfully discovered a sense of “home” was through Kingdom Rice’s “New Lenses” cohort. There’s so much that I could say about the experience: the gift of connecting with people around the world,  the joy of excavating stories together, the way that it gave me space to process and articulate things that I hadn’t felt able to do before… honestly, so very much. But perhaps what I will say that struck me the most, was this incredible sense of being invited into a place of safety, vulnerability, and authenticity, that at once felt new, but also so familiar. It’s almost like my heart knew that I was always supposed to be in an environment like this, where the encouragement called out a wholeheartedness in me that felt like it had gone dormant for a season. 

I recently read a book by Andy Crouch named “The life we’re looking for,” and want to share a particular quote from it that resonated with me: 

 “You are a part of a household if people know things about you that you do not know about yourself, including things that if you did know you would seek to hide. You are part of a household if others are close enough to see you and know you as well as, or better than, you know yourself”… 

Although I was only in the “New Lenses” cohort for a few months, what I experienced was this very thing: being a part of a household… being a part of a “home”. I discovered things that I didn’t know about myself, and what a privilege it was to be able to be invited to “come in close”… to really see, and to discover in wonder, the complexities and intricacies in us all. How sacred to hold joy and pain together, to be seen and heard and encouraged that I was safe to be me. To know that “home” means you don’t have to hide, and that there are people who champion and will honour one another on the journey of knowing oneself and each other in fuller, and more wholehearted ways. And what a gift it has been for me in the days since, to dream about what this could look like, replicated and modeledmodelled, beyond our cohort and in my own community.  

As I reflect on this, I realize the New Lenses cohort was a pivotal moment that reignited my passion for fostering communities where people can find connectedness and belonging, and safely unfold their own stories while also being made aware of a larger narrative. In the myriad of ways that it’s been healing, transformative, connected, challenging, and anchoring, I can’t think of a better way to describe my experience with Kingdom Rice than as a “coming home”. 


  1. Faye Waidley on September 23, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you Andrea! it was such a privilege to share this “home” space with you. You have deep insights and a welcoming Spirit that invites others to journey along with you. God uses you to create a safe place for people to just “be with”. Grateful God intersected our lives this way.

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