HONG KONG – Stream of Praise Asia Tour began at the Hong Kong Star Hall with no empty seats. Christians from all different age groups flocked to the concert in order to enjoy the praise songs, to worship God, and to pray for revival of Hong Kong.
The performance consisted of 12 members from SOP worship team and 60 choir members, who are consisted of brothers and sisters from the local churches. Together, they led the crowd in praise and worship. Some of the worship songs were coordinated with simple body movements, which helped the participatns to focus in worshipping. The hall was filled with the love and warmth of the Lord as everyone smiled, hugged, held hands, and said word of blessings to each other, which broke down the dividing walls between each other. Although the SOP praise team does not speak Cantonese, they've learned and performed two songs in Cantonese, which revealed their hearts of humility in serving the people in Hong Kong.
The majority of the praise songs performed that night are from their newest album --
“Praises in the Desert”. "Heavenly father’s Garden” sents off the message that everyone is like a flower in heavenly father’s garden, having different shapes, colors and fragrances. The flowers do not need to worry about anything, because they know that the father will provide for them. These songs allowed the listeners to reflect on their lives to see if they have faith towards God and rely absolutely in God. Not only do men need to trust in God, but men need to praise him joyfully.
Following the worship and praise, Rev. Sandy Yu, founder and executive director of Stream of Praise, shared a short message comforting the friends in Hong Kong.
For a period of two weeks last year, Yu said that she was in despair because she felt that there were many things she could not resolve, which affected her worship to the point where she wanted to give up serving. In a devotional time of reading the Bible and prayers, God gave her a verse saying that He will open up streams in the desert, and a pathway in the wilderness. It tells her that God is the one who makes miracles in impossible situations. With this, she began to rebuild her faith, yet the sorrow just wouldn't go away. God then encouraged her to get up and worship, praise, for it says in Isaian 61:3, "a garment of praise, instead of a spirit of despair."
After she began praising, Yu felt several phenomenons; She no longers places the focus on herself, but upon God. All of her despair suddenly disappeared. Through the messages in the praise songs, God reminded her of His promise, encouraging her not to give up, nor be discouraged. She felt more strength when she praises diligently, and she said that it is because the joy of God has become her strength.
“I believer, therefore I speak. When we raise our hands in worshipping God, we are expressing our faith. Let us stand together and proclaim to the enemies that tells us to give up -- “I believe!” Yu’s sharing touched the participants and they all raised their hands to respond expressing their faith in God.
This year, Stream of Praise has come to Hong Kong twice. During Pentecost in May, all the churches in Hong Kong gathered together at the Hong Kong Football Stadium for the Global Day of Prayer. Stream of Praise led the worship section of the event. This time, the worship team once again sang the theme song of Global Day of Prayer and prayed for that the Holy Spirit can bring revival to Hong Kong, letting it become a channel of blessing to the surrounding nations and cities.
“Let's not only pray for Hong Kong, but let’s also pray for the revival of this world. We cannot, but God can!” said the main male vocalist. Afterwards, the participants closed their eyes, held one another's hands, and prayed heart in heart to God for China and Hong Kong. Some even kneeled on the ground in prayers. All of a sudden the hall became a Holy Temple of prayers.
Once the tour in Hong Kong concludes, Stream of praise will travel to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Taiwan, and other locations for the Asia Tour to give blessings to the Chinese churches in Asia.
[Editor's note: reporter Eunice Or from Hong Kong contributed to this report.]