SPOTLIGHT on MACAU, CHINA – by Tom Hodges.
Macau is a small peninsula off southern China and is the most densely populated area on earth with over 636,000 people crammed into only 12 square miles. You’ll find refugees and visitors from all over Asia. Thousands of gamblers also flock to Macau, since it’s the ‘Las Vegas’ of the Far East with 33 casinos! The need for evangelism is greater now since godless communism rule began in 1999. Historically, the national religion is Buddhism and ancestor worship. Less than 1% know Christ. The authorities have extended religious liberty so far, probably because Macau is such an important gambling center. That could change overnight so that’s why missionaries, John and Susanna Hyrons have such an important task before them. After 14 years, we, Tom & Irene Hodges recently had some wonderful fellowship with them on their travels in the U.S.
Meet John and Suzanna Hyrons
Suzanna was one of my delightful missionary students in the ’70s while we were on the staff of the CinA European HQ in England. After graduating and raising her support, this picture was taken just before her flight to literally the other side of the world to minister to her own people in Macau. Several years later, she would marry John, joining his ministry. It’s hard to grasp she’s been on the field nearly 40 years.
The Hyron’s ministries
John had come to Macau in 1975 and lived next to the Macau prison. With some others, he began a prison ministry, then a ministry to care for neglected children of prisoners. This developed into a full-time children’s day care with wonderful opportunities to teach Christ.
For over 20 years the Hyrons have dreamed of ministering to the poor, helpless, often disabled and depressed senior citizens of Macau. There are an estimated 44,000 seniors but only 1,300 beds available in elder care homes. Soon the Hyron’s dream of opening an elder care home is about to become a reality! The government of Macau promised to build and staff the building if the Hyrons’ could buy the land. PTL, the Lord made this possible by supplying the $4.5 million dollars needed, only a third of its true value if it had been sold to build a hotel! The 14 months of fund raising included a great opportunity on Macau TV. At left is Galloway House on the elder care property. It will house the church and also accommodate itinerant missionaries. The elder care center will be built across from this building. One more hurdle. The Macau government now requires them to raise a large ‘reserve fund’ for which we ask your prayers.