Bring Our Family Home

Campaign Created by: Miranda Breding

The funds from this campaign will be received by Miranda Breding.

Goal : USD $10,000
Raised : USD $ 10,050

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! 

UPDATES

What a Wonderful Wednesday Surprise!
April 27, 2022
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Hello Friends! 

What an amazing month it has been! We actually can barely believe that it's only been 36 days since we started this campaign. Let's recount the things that have happened in only 36 days:

*We started a campaign to help bring our family back to the United States 
*Jack booked and attended his medical examination for his US immigration visa
*We bought our tickets to the United States for August 18th 
*Miranda submitted her letter of intention to not renew her contract (after 12 years!)
*Jack received his US immigration visa (after nearly 3 years!)
*Many phenomenal friends sent us messages and called to pray for and encourage us
*Ten remarkable individuals donated funds to get us to 100% funded!

This entire experience has been breathtaking for us. As one friend said to us early on, "When God wants something done, He will find a way to do it." That really could be the tagline to this past month. God's goodness is undeserved but real. We really recognize that it is Him at work through all we have seen and experienced.

We want to thank you coming alongside us on this journey that we are walking right now. We just wanted to share this cheerful news with you and hope that you will also share in our happiness. 

We will continue to post updates on our Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/5Wongs2MT

Going forward, the next big projects for us as we seek the path ahead are:
*Suitable full-time employment for both Jack and Miranda 
*Two suitable vehicles for the family (Jack will need a small truck as he will work in construction) 
*A church community for the family in the new city
*Smooth adjustment into the school system for Matea and Josiah 

We continue to pray and walk. As the old hymn goes: 

"Trust and obey
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus

Than to trust and obey."

Let's just keep doing that and keep moving forward. Day by day.

Blessings to Everyone

-The Wongs
Jack, Miranda, Judah, Matea, and Josiah 



Huge News!
April 12, 2022
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updateImage Hello Everyone!

So happy to be "spamming" you again but it's really worth it. This is a very quick message to tell you that around 1:00 pm HK Time, on 12th April, 2022, Jack received his immigration visa! It's been a long time to get to this point! We officially started this process in October 2019. It feels downright miraculous! (And for those who have had dealings with any government goings-on, you can probably relate!)

We owe a debt of gratitude to many people. People who prayed for us, encouraged us, gave us advice, financially supported this goal and have just been all-around amazing. We want to say "Thank you!" again! We hope that you do know who you are. We specifically want to thank Miranda's mom, Ruhan, and her brother, Seth for their moral and practical support. 

We also want to specifically mention the Office of U.S. Senator Steve Daines who inquired with the necessary federal agencies on our behalf. Just a note for those who may be struggling with some type of federal case, through this experience we discovered that one of the roles that senators fill is that of a representative before the federal government on behalf of constituents. There are official forms that you can find and download from your senator's website in order to request they look into a case on your behalf. Our case had been stalled out for nearly a year before we were made aware of this type of help that could be available. Our senator inquired on our behalf in October 2021 and by November 2021 our case had finally been transferred to Hong Kong! Again, we thank the Office fo Senator Steve Daines. 

So, cheers! We hope you will celebrate with us! This very important and necessary item on the list can now be checked off. :) 

Tickets are Booked! Let's keep going!
April 10, 2022
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Hello Everyone! 

We wanted to give an update. After nearly two weeks of huge efforts on the part of a travel agent who was recommended to us by our church, we finally were able to book tickets. Our official leave date is Thursday, 18th August! It's a very complicated task these days to find and book an airline ticket out of Hong Kong. Mary at Corniche Travel worked tirelessly for our family and was even able to save us about $500 USD from the initial ticket cost we thought we were going to have to pay. 

Miranda also submitted her letter of intention to not renew her contract at her job on the 1st April. Evidence that the tickets had been bought and paid for and also that Miranda had essentially resigned from her post were required by the US Consulate in order to continue processing Jack's immigration visa. Jack also had to undergo a thorough medical exam. The results of the medical exam were released on 4th April. We were able to gather up the medical exam results as well as all the other documentation and send them by the official courier to the US Consulate on 4th April. Now, we are praying and waiting for Jack to be issued his visa. We pray it will arrive smoothly and quickly. 

In the meantime, we are revamping our resumes and have begun to apply for positions in Montana. It can feel like a daunting task to find employment after so many years away or in Jack's case, having never lived in the United States. We try to frequently remind ourselves that God has always led and guided us when it comes to livelihood and this situation will be no different. It really is a test of faith to go to a place we don't know not really knowing exactly what we will do when we get there but at the same time, if it worked for Abraham, we assume it is good enough for us. ;) 

Speaking of, here is reading of Hebrews 11 we listened to today that cheered us:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_I0pskzK4gI

Please continue to pray for us as we are here in Hong Kong. The current city leader has announced that she will not run for re-election and the shoo-in candidate is a very hardline man who was at the helm of the police and security during the protests in 2019. Additionally, the students are set to return to school after Easter but there have been some indications that they will be required to test for covid and those who do not have two vaccination shots will be excluded from participating in PE and recess. Everything here is very heavy. God knows.

Thank you for praying for us and sharing our campaign. We are about 30% funded right now and hope that percentage will push higher. Please share our link and continue to pray. Thank you for everything you have done and are doing! We are grateful. 

PS: Here is a photo of Jack with Matea on his shoulders. She's nearly as tall as he is! 

We are 30% Funded! Let's keep going!
April 1, 2022
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Hello Everyone :) 

This is just a short update to let everyone know that our fundraising campaign for our return to the United States is now 30% funded! In less than 10 days, YOU have accomplished this. We are so grateful to God for how he has been orchestrating everything--it's honestly really beyond what we could imagine. We just want you to share in our sense of awe and thankfulness. 

This past week, our eldest son, Judah, attended the state Robotics Championships in Bozeman, Montana. This was quite a remarkable opportunity for him. He has been passionate about computers, coding, and robotics since he was in the third grade and even worked with his teacher in the fifth grade to individually code a simple phone game that he published. Judah is one of the youngest students in his class. He is a 9th grader this year but he just turned 14 in November! Most 9th graders turn 15 during the year and some even turn 16! But, he competed and earned a spot on the Robotics Team. Not only that, his team WON the championship this past weekend. We so wish we had been able to be there in-person to cheer for him. We are grateful when we consider that next year we will be able to be there with him! Judah is a brave and diligent boy--he moved to Montana without his parents when he was 12 and has been doing his best to acclimate to American life after never having lived in the States. We are very proud of him and looking forward to reuniting with him soon. 

We are 10% Funded! Let's Keep Going!
March 28, 2022
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Hello Everyone! It is Day 5 of our fundraising campaign for our repatriation to the USA.
At this juncture, our campaign is 10% funded! Awesome! Praise God! 

We just wanted to extend a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has reached out to us through this process. We were very nervous to start this campaign and only did so upon the repeated suggestion of a number of trusted friends.

Thank you to the people who have donated funds to our project--every single cent is precious to us and we are so humbled and grateful to you! We will use the resources from this campaign extremely wisely and will look forward to the opportunity to pay forward everything in the future. 

Thank you also to the people who have encouraged us and shared with us and well, given us those virtual hugs and comfort we have also needed so badly. We don\'t often talk about the day-to-day difficulties we have been facing but I think we have realized how needful and necessary it is sometimes to just unburden ourselves to caring friends who can pray with us and encourage us. We are so grateful for the emotional and spiritual support we have received too! 

Let\'s keep pressing forward--that\'s the message we got this week. So, in line with that message, we will leave you with a photo of our youngest son, Josiah. He and his dad made a suit of armor out of cardboard, tin foil, and tape this week. We will keep being brave and strong and standing firm--pushing toward our goal. Hope to update you again soon! 

Love and Encouragement from...
The Wongs
Jack, Miranda, Judah, Matea, and Josiah 

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