Joining Gateway: The story behind an accepted challenge.

by Dina Paola Hernandez Carazo

Dina‘Why Hong Kong? Why so far away?!’ Two valid questions after a long talk with some friends about the decision I made to join Gateway. It kept me thinking for a moment because they were right, Why? If I wanted people to understand my vision and involve them, I had to be the first to answer quickly what was set in my heart and mind, if not, I would be like an arrow with no feathers.

Let’s take a step back in time. I was about to finish my degree as social communicator and journalist, doing my internship in the city hall, when I was told about the opportunity to join an outreach to Hong Kong and Mainland China. I had no doubts about joining it because God spoke to me about coming to China when I was 14 and ever since then I have been praying and saving money for the right time to come.

At that time, I received an unusual call to my office phone. I was offered a job working for the city hall leading some interesting projects for the city. My boss laughed at me after I explained to him that I was honored by the offer but I had to decline due to my “Religious mission trip to Hong Kong” as he called it. I took a deep breath and also laughed at myself. I was very sure about my decision and so excited.

Fast forward a little and there I was just landed in Hong Kong. I was so curious as I exploring this new land. Who are all these people? What do they think about life? Do they have a true knowledge of God? Is it expensive to live here? Look at these tall buildings. What a wonderful aroma of food. Wait a minute, what's this? eggs boiling in tea? Cool. I knew what I was looking for and one of my first concerns was: Would I be able to find a place where I can use my career for God’s Kingdom in Hong Kong?

Dina's Testimony
Dina on stage at Gateway GPS Camp 2012
I was involved in a huge mission camp with more than 1500 people from all over the world worshiping God, the most impacting fact was that 50% of the people were Chinese! I thought I was day dreaming. I did not know that Hong Kong was such a key gateway where all could come to sing and praise Jesus freely, with no limits or barriers.

On top of that, I was delighted with the amazing worship, the touching testimonies, the overwhelming love amongst one another and especially the excellence of every single detail in the media. I fell in love with the creative media crew. Those guys were true professionals, committed to the Lord in everything they did. Something was clear from there, as I thought “This is the place I have been longing for, I have to join them!”

I wanted to know more about this ministry right away. I found out more of their vision, their programs and their ways to reach out Hong Kong and Asia for Christ. They work with youth, children and families, and they also partner with many churches in the city towards the same goal. One and a half years later, I came back and joined them.

Dina and her husband Hernando
Dina and her husband Hernando
I can tell you many stories about this time. It’s been an enjoyable adventure with God throughout these three years. I founded a family more than 15,000 kilometers away from home, I found a place where I have really seen God’s vision for my life be fulfilled, and the most important thing: I truly know that I am walking in His good and perfect will.

So, maybe you are thinking just like me. You graduated from university and you are looking for a place to put into practice your gifts and talents before God’s hands. You have two fishes and five loaves. Do not give up. There is a place for you, and God will guide you towards it once you lay down everything before Him and listen carefully. Maybe, in a few years you will be the one in front of the screen writing something like this.