5th April 2022

Newcomers Find Belonging and Blessing Through Telephone Care Ministry

Alex Ng and his wife emigrated to Melbourne from Hong Kong early last year and soon found their church home at Crossway Baptist Church. Not long after joining the church, Alex and his wife began serving in the telephone care ministry. In seeking to be on mission by caring for others, Alex and his wife experienced the delight and joy of being loved and cared for themselves!

This is an uplifting story and an encouragement of the blessings that come through service and everyday mission. Here’s the story from Alex himself:

Over the eight months in 2021 after my immigration entry into Melbourne from Hong Kong, I experienced three city lockdowns, one earthquake, two power outages and the three seasons of winter, spring and summer. These all came as surprises to our new beginning of life here, but not short of God’s grace. We have a good Chinese neighbourhood in our suburb where we met a family kind enough to assist us in settling down. In our new church here (Crossway Baptist), we were taken care of by devoted pastoral staff and godly brothers and sisters.  

We did not expect we could so readily jump on board with Crossway’s ‘Telephone Caring Ministry’ in serving other people. My wife started with joining the Welcome Team where she could actively meet more people in church just by being present at the foyer entrance of the Chapel. Subsequently, our pastors initiated the ‘telephone caring’ mission, so a small team was formed with a view to approaching individual congregational members who were unable to attend worship services due to Covid restrictions. Based on the respective name lists allocated, our team members called them up one by one; we extended our care to their challenges and spiritual needs amid the pandemic, as well keeping them posted of our congregational updates.  

From my initial phone call encounters, I discovered most of my contacts had been in Australia for a long time – among them there were retirees, a university lecturer, high school teacher, accountant, chef, real estate agent, business executive etc. Being a new immigrant, I felt unsure to ask how they were going. But after more conversations, I started feeling it was God’s plan for me to be in touch with them as they thanked me for Crossway’s care, put up their prayer requests, raised concerns for our church, exchanged views on faith, enquired on Hong Kong updates, shared their business experience, expressed their worries, talked about grandchildren etc. Most of all, I received their offers of help to me as a new settler, for example, some would refer me to their connections in my same job category for a better understanding of the Melbourne situation. I was grateful for their kindness, as well as the helpful information, as this made me feel more comfortable to keep the conversation going. I started off with my caring intention but ended up being cared for… this is God’s plan, in all things He works for the good. 

This ministry accomplishes Jesus’s commission: as His disciples and followers, we should care and support each other in living out and advancing God’s love. When we spread the gospel, we must show care and gentleness so others can feel God’s love and peace. Rather than sit and wait, it is better for us to proactively make ourselves good neighbours to others by caring for their needs.  

As a newcomer to this land of Australia, I can only pray that God’s guidance is in every phone call so that our care can reach out to the person on the other end, and that through our conversations we can clearly see their spiritual needs. 

I recall a sermon by Pastor Chow Kwok Cheong (from Hong Kong) titled “Mission at our doorstep”.  Serving in Crossway’s telephone caring ministry allows me to reach out to people here different to me, and realise I am indeed on mission.  

As I think about these things, I reflect on this verse: “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1:25) 

This story is also available in our e-magazine.

Related Posts