I went to Hong Kong and visited some friends at the end of March. My friends, who were originally from mainland China, have been working there for nearly five years.
According to the regulation of Hong Kong, permanent residency will be granted to those who worked in Hong Kong for seven consecutive years.
Identity on earth
Despite of the high pressure and limited career development in Hong Kong, my friends are inclined to stay until the permanent residency is granted. Welfare benefits that come with the Hong Kong visa attract them the most.
For instance, over 190 countries visa-free convenience, one third of the tuition reduction when applying universities in Hong Kong, and the international background for next generation.
However, with the rapid development of mainland China, those benefits are gradually losing advantages. They noticed that their peers in mainland are given better chances. On the other hand, due to some reasons, good working opportunities in Hong Kong tend to favour local people and overseas workers.
They have thought of moving back to the mainland. But eventually, they chose to stay after weighing the gains and losses. The permanent resident identity still looks appealing regardless of its excessive cost.
“We will lose everything we have here and start from scratch if we go back. We don’t like it here but there is no better option. ” says one of my friends.
Vanity of vanities
Except for a Hong Kong visa, an American green card and a Beijing household account also have its advantages. Some of my college classmates surreptitiously entered America and lived a lowly life there only because of the green card.Folk I know tolerated a fairly low income for years in a Beijing company only because they provide Beijing household account.
“We couldn’t choose the identity that we were born with, but some of us strive rather hard to “upgrade” the identity whenever there is a chance. “
says Solomon, a man with the most prestigious identity one could imagine.
There must be some reasons for a king, who reigned the whole country and all riches, to say so. He wouldn’t have arrived such a conclusion if the noble identity and status brought him true satisfaction. At last, he said:
An eternal dwelling
To know God is always the precondition to fear God. I used to chase after earthly welfare eagerly before I was a follower of Jesus. At that time, all I could see and grab were things in this life. There was no greater hope for me to pursue back then.
Later on, when I had a deeper look into Biblical personalities and their relationships with God, I realized that material stuffs and transient recognition gained for this life is temporary and fleeting. Only what is invested for the kingdom of God last eternally.
Noah poured all his efforts into building the ark before he experienced the flood; Abraham never owned a land himself though God promised him to be the father of all nations; Moses left the treasures of Egypt and led a life as shepherd for forty years. None of them were reluctant to leave earthly gains when called by God, for they desired a better country, that is, a heavenly one.
It was not only great characters in the Bible who valued more of the heavenly hometown, but also believers of Jesus in modern times. According to data shown on Open Doors USA, averagely, 345 Christians devoted their lives to openly following Jesus each month.
I believe they held the same faith as our ancestors did-they despised the shame and longed for an eternal dwelling in heaven.
Green cards and permanent residencies will pass away, but the city that God prepared for His people will last eternally. May we set our hearts on heavenly identity and strive to enter our hometown in heaven!
Cindy’s previous articles may be found at
Cindy Cheng was born and brought up in central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cindy’s previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html