“Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it – the Lord is his name. Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
Jeremiah 33: 2-3
Jeremiah was pointing to the eminent captivity of Jerusalem by Babylon, and the distant return of the Israelites to their homeland. Today we are witnessing the first day of US-China trade war, an opening of a time of conflict and turmoil for the world. When the old world orders are dismantled and the new ones are not yet formed, the citizens of the world will suffer in an age of transition, living the life of people in exile.
To Lumina, the great and hidden things that God has revealed to us was the captivity of the people in Asia by functionalism and machine culture. Consumerism resulted in loss of historical roots. Individualism emerged resulting in loss of communities. Humans have lost their directions in faith. Against such a background, Christian higher education becomes a platform to direct us back to our Christian’s worldviews in culture and values -- much like a compass -- so as to guide us into deeper reflection on our cities, homes, and businesses. The Christian task would be to inject the future hope of Christ’s kingdom to the present human predicament, and to restore the cultural mandate that God had given to humans in Genesis.
1. The social education program of Dragon Garden has been launched in partnership with 10 secondary schools. Among them, six have already attended our workshops and taken our walking trails on value education. These programs provide varied opportunities for participants to experience some challenges of our times, learn more about how to love our land, how to treasure our cultural resources, and to know more about the common grace of our God.
2. Lumina College urban campus was blessed with a new librarian, Ms. Sally HO. She is now leading a team of volunteers and has been cataloguing approximately 10,000 books and audio-visual items in our library collection. Though we are now in the days of digitization, it is still important for our students to have a core collection of hard-copy references. Sally will also help build a network to the digital libraries. We will bank on it for more resources for our graduate studies.
3. In partnership with HKU, our workshop series for faculty development - Redeeming Technology -- has already come to a fruitful conclusion. There were altogether 25 Christian faculty members , theologians and pastors among the participants. They were vigorously involved in the discussions and made some very positive comments on the workshops. Now we are exploring a second series, tentatively named “The Future of Business in the Age of Technology (Technopoly)”.
4. The conference papers from our international conference launched in January were all refined, edited, and sent to Cambridge Scholars Publishing. We thank Peter NG and Vaughan MAK for their efforts in editing and liaising with those 25 authors. The papers will be complied into a book called “Christian Mind in the Emergent World: Academic Faith Integration in the Asian Contexts from a Global Perspective”. If it is the Lord’s will, it will be the first published book by Lumina.
5. After the July-August Diploma courses, Lumina will have the first batch of graduates . A graduation ceremony is targeted to launch in the coming September if it is the Lord’s will. Those graduates have been joining us in face-to-face classes for almost 200 hours in either the diploma programme for Future Leaders: Integrating Christian Worldviews & Learning, or the one for Christian Faith and Contemporary Culture.
We desperately need your fervent prayers for a satisfactory outcome in recruitment and admission of students to our master programs in partnership with the three universities overseas. After two years of efforts in media promotion, vision sharing, recruitment trips in Asia, seminars and conferences, visits to churches and christian organizations, personal networks and others, we have already got a small cohort of candidates for each master program. We need your prayers for their thriving in application, admission, and the starting of class. In fact, there is a minimum number of students required to kick-start each program. We need your prayers that we have enough students to start them.
There will be lots of things for us to learn and to operate in launching these master programs. We have been working closely with:
Wheaton College for an MA in Intercultural Studies
Cairn University for an MBA program
Asbury University for an MA in Communication: Digital Storytelling
These are the “great and hidden things” that God has revealed to us. We shall be faithful in doing our part and waiting in trust of God that He will make them all come to pass. Please join with us in prayers for the Lord’s blessing to Hong Kong and the whole Asia through these master programs.
Wing Tai LEUNG