We are raising money to help fund our family's big repatriation move back to the United States. We have great faith. God will open the doors we need opened. This campaign is just an invitation for those who wish to be part of bringing our family home. Here's more about our story:
Jack and Miranda met in Hong Kong in 2002. Both worked for a non-profit doing various types of church work. In 2006, they were married in Hong Kong and have spent the past 16 years living and working in this city and Asia. They were blessed with three children: Judah (14), Matea (11), and Josiah (7). For the past 12 years, Miranda has worked at an elementary school as a literacy specialist focused on students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLD/Special Ed). For the past 6 years, Jack has worked in the construction industry.
In 2019, everything we had known in Hong Kong started to melt down. The city was rocked by intense and violent protests for most of the year. Then, in January, 2020, Miranda flew with Judah (then, 12) and Matea (then, 8) to the United States. The protests had become so violent that school children were being stopped and detained by the police and a 13-year-old boy was shot in the street by where we live. For the kids' safety, Miranda took them to Montana. The plan was then for the family to reunite in summer 2020 in Montana. We had already started the application process for Jack's immigration visa in October 2019. Then, Covid happened.
Living in Hong Kong the past two years has been sort of like living in a prison. Since January, the government has shut down most of the city. Children have been learning on Zoom and then the government even forced the schools to take "early summer break" for six weeks. The children can't even learn online now. It's very difficult with children to have a "break" when there is nothing they can do--even the playground equipment is blocked off from use. It's not fair to my children who have had their learning absolutely disrupted for the past two years. They can't see their friends. They can't go anywhere to play. Police have tackled teenagers in the parks who were playing basketball. Then, the government started taking children away from their parents if they had a covid diagnosis--I'm talking about separating small children from their parents for weeks at a time with no contact and little-to-no human contact even from hospital staff. The government has also built many detainment facilities which look to be nothing more than specially-made prisons. Hong Kong has been cut off from the rest of the world for over two years now. Much of what's happening here is politically motivated and isn't informed directly by any type of science.
There is a tug-o-war happening for Hong Kong and we and many others are stuck in the middle. It is so bad that the local government refused to even negotiate or reason with the US and UK Consulates regarding children being removed from their parents. This motivated the US Department of State to change Hong Kong's travel advisory rating to Level 4 (the same as North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, etc.) due to the fact that children are STILL being separated from their parents. This is only the tip of the iceberg of what is happening here. Since February, 120,000, in the span of 6 weeks, 120,000 long-term residents of this city have fled the city with no plan to return. And the drain of people out of this city is only beginning--everyone is trying to leave. The government has threatened lock-downs and forced testing and detention--which has caused runs on food and incredible hardship for people in this city. It's been nothing but pure terror for the past three months straight. I could go on about the deeper issues at play but this is just to give you a feeling of the anxiety we live under every single day here.
For the past two years we have been trying to find our way out of Hong Kong. Only recently after the work of a Montana's senator's office as well as the desperate appeal made to the US Consulate in Hong Kong, has Jack's visa application progressed to the point where we can now plan to leave Hong Kong. We have to buy tickets. The airline tickets alone are around $6,500 USD (one-way, economy). Part of the reason why the ticket prices are so astronomical is the government policies here have made travel in and out of this city nearly impossible.
We have built our entire adult life here. We won't be able to bring much with us. Most of the children's toys, bicycles, books, games, and clothing must be left behind. We cannot bring any of our furniture. We haven't owned a vehicle our entire married lives and the last time Miranda had a vehicle was pre-2006. In Hong Kong, we always take public transportation (the bus, the train, the minibus etc). We have to start all over--including with our livelihoods and schooling and friendships. It's daunting, to say the least.
To make this task do-able we need others' partnership and support. It's very humbling to ask. We appreciate any and all contributions but what we need most actually is prayer. So, no matter, please do remember our family during this time. Thank you so very much!