Letters from the dorm: keeping my faith alive when far from home

Letters from the dorm: keeping my faith alive when far from home


For Abiel Ma, church services in Britain have brought many happy memories.
Photo: Abiel Ma

Coming from a Christian family, church life is very important to me. When I first came to the UK, I thought it would be hard for me to find a church that would compare to my family church in Hong Kong. But I was happy to discover St Peter’s Church. It adds marvellous colour to my university life, not only in spiritual support but also life experience as an international student.

I am far away from home, so it’s very heartwarming that I can be accepted and welcomed by a group of local people. This year I joined the media production team, serving the church and community with music.

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Through the church I have found my first close-knit group of local friends outside of my flatmates. Together we chat, we worship, we pray and we eat as if we were a family.

Church life in the UK is quite different from that in Hong Kong, where church services are very traditional. My family church back home follows many rituals, and the worship is done in a more classical way.

At St Peter’s, though, church services have a lot of variety, making them appeal to the elderly, youths, and kids, too. Its worships are lively, with lots of invaluable life sharing in preaching.

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I had a wonderful experience joining the “Alpha course”, which is a series of evening gatherings organised for newcomers. Food, worship, and discussion are important parts of the evenings.

Each session starts with a meal, which brings people together and leads to the talk afterwards. The talk, which is usually about half an hour long, is sometimes a video, but usually a live talk. It’s goal is to inspire conversations, so that people will feel comfortable sharing their problems and life stories with the group.

Overseas student life is not always easy, but church life is by far one of the greatest things I have in the UK. It is something I really look forward to and enjoy every Sunday. All I can say is “I’m lovin’ it”, and I’m happy to this great experience with you.

God bless.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Feeding my faith in a foreign land


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