Operation Dawn was founded by Rev. John Paul CHAN of Hong Kong Beautiful Gate Baptist Church. In the early 60s, drug abuse was rampant and worsened. Rev. CHAN was convinced that it was imperative to have someone to spread Gods’ love of salvation and grace for those drug addicts. He then committed his own life to this cause.

In April 1968, Hong Kong’s first Gospel rehabilitation center was set up in Long Ke Wan, Sai Kung. With the approval of the Hong Kong Government, the center was relocated from Sai Kung to Fu Tau Fan Chau in 1976, nowadays known as Dawn Island Drug Treatment & Rehabilitation Center.

In 1997, the Hong Kong Government commissioned The Chinese University of Hong Kong to evaluate the drug rehabilitation center. After one-year close scrutiny, its effectiveness was officially confirmed and recognized. Operation Dawn became a government-subvented organization in March 1998.

Timeline of Operation Dawn in Hong Kong and Overseas Development

  • ‘Neither resort to drugs, nor personal contrivance, but totally rely on Jesus:Gospel rehabilitation center was first started in Long Ke Wan, Sai Kung.
  • Three years later, total number of residents increased to 30. Their average age was 30. Most of them were repeated violators and die-hard drug abusers.
  • The practicality of Gospel drug rehabilitation was gradually recognized by the public, the name “Operation Dawn” was thus coined. It has been registered as such.
  • The Hong Kong Government approved the moving of Operation Dawn to Fu Tau Fan Chau (Town Island, Dawn Island today) and using the island for drug rehabilitation purpose.
  • A seminar study by The University of Hong Kong on effectiveness comparison between the gospel drug rehabilitation and the Shek Ku Chau method showed that the former is over 10 folds more effective than the latter.
  • An article published in Asia magazine, proving Gospel rehab is the only way that can eradicate drug problems. The feature was accompanied by a bold-faced headline, “A way out of the revolving door”.
  • Operation Dawn founded Ban Lo Fu Drug Rehab Center in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand.
  1. Rev. LAU and Rev. De-rek KONG were sent to Taiwan to start similar operation in multiple locations.
  • In Nagaland, a northern India province, a co-worker allowed one thousand people tried the Christian rehabilitation out for 8 days.
  • Hong Kong’s RTHK produced and broadcast a 30-min program introducing Operation Dawn for 2 consecutive Sundays.
  • Started a female drug Rehab Service by establishing a 『Girl Centre』.
  • The door to the old city, Mandalay, Burma, was wide-opened. The first Gospel drug rehabilitation centre was planted. A few months later, it housed over 50 residents.
  1. Thai government recognized the drug rehabilitation work for the minority in northern Thailand; it provided a $15 Thai baht subsidy for each rehab resident every day.
  2. Thai government presented the best social service award to the northern Thai Gospel Drug Rehab Center.
  • A drug rehab center was opened in Nagaland, India.
  • A drug rehab center was opened in Metchina, Burma.
  1. Thai government gave the headquarters formerly occupied by a drug kingpin to Operation Dawn.
  2. Hong Kong’s Operation Dawn became one of the government-subvented organizations.
  • In order to meet the re-accreditation requirements as outlined by the Drug Dependent Persons Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (Licensing) Ordinance, a committee for the Dawn Island re-development project was set up.
  • Operation Dawn established in the United States
  • Operation Dawn established in Canada
  • Upon the request of the Board of Directors, the 2nd child and the only daughter of the OD founder returned to H.K. from the US to take the OD’s General Secretary post overseeing the administrative affairs.
  • Launched rehabilitation service for South Asian in Dawn Island in November
  • Approved for the installation of solar panels and wind turbines power generator in Dawn Island by Environmental and conservation Fund (ECF)
  • Application of electricity meter for Dawn Island was approved by CLP in March
  • Installed one solar water heater and air-conditioner for computer room in June
  • OD’s application for an electricity meter on Dawn Island was approved by CLP in March. First solar water heater and first air-conditioning were launched into service in June on DI.
  • Began on Jan 13 2013 Phase 1 rial provision of solar-panel-generated electricity to Dawn Island intermittently by CLP Ltd.
  • The OD headquarter was moved to Sham Shui Po in September.
  • On March 19, CLP Sponsored our first annual Operation Dawn Orienteering activities on the Island, titled as “Launch into the Rebuilding of Dawn Island in tandem with the CLP orienteering 2011” HK$33 thousand was the fund raised on that day.
  • On Sep 19, in “the National Drug Abuse Prevention Conference” OD was invited to speak on “the needs of a uniquely drug addicted group”, in particular emphasizing on the status and needs for people addicted to illegal substances in Hong Kong.
  • In early 2012 we were notified by the Narcotic Department that our application for the rebuilding DI had been approved, which will bring our service and development to a new milestone.
  • Again in 2012 OD drug Rehab Centre successfully applied for and was awarded “The environment and nature protection & nurturing fund and further gained the sponsorship of Environmental Protection Committee” for which the first solar water heater was installed. Also in the same year, CLP completed the 2nd phase of the solar energy engineering .
  • On March 14, CLP Ltd formally started to provide Dawn Island 24-hour renewable electricity. On Mount Carmel there are 456 pieces of solar panel and 1 wind turbine; in Living Spring 216 panels and 1 wind turbine. Together they can generate 192 kilowatts power.
  • Sept-Nov: CLP Ltd. posted a well-liked featured story on the Face book of『You & Me . Rekindle the flame of life』Within is a short film clip『Operation Dawn where the miracle of Rebirth Occurs』which plays when clicked. It’s about a team of Volunteers from CLP by whom a course ‘ Fundamentals to Electrical Work’ was organized and offered to our students for whom an interview was granted to CLP by OD. Through this event a fund of HK$100,000 was raised for OD.
  • October: Nepalis Bible Training School was established aiming to equip Nepalis co-workers with theological knowledge and biblical background.
  • November 10th: Operation Dawn was interviewed by RTHK Show『We are not Freaks』. Students and their parents or relatives candidly shared their ups and downs during the time of Rehabilitation.
  • “Friends of Operation Dawn”(F.O.O.D.) the voluntary group was set up on 3rd January,     2014.
  • March 3, 2014: In the show ’Trivial yet significant’ The broadband Cable TV described how the OD General Secretary gave up the abundant life in the US and returned to HK, using her academic learning in management, religion’s belief and life experience, she fares well in helping the drug addicts rid their drug abuse.
  • July 16, 2014:『Mental addiction』 and『Physical addiction』were the catchy phrases on HKCSS, ‘ Thursday Daily Pulse’. The show explained how the OD’s Rehab Service helped drug addicts kick their habit and reconcile with their families.
  • Jan 17: A Social Enterprise 『Morning Star Motorcycle Limited』 was established and began offering services to general public.
  • Jan 22:     Inaugurated a unembellished and yet an awe-inspiring ground breaking ceremony signifying the official beginning of Dawn Island Reconstruction.
  • April 29-May16: Led by Mrs. Lilian Yeh, OD short term mission team spent 2 weeks touring Vancouver, Canada. A live interview and AV recording session were conducted and titled as 『Morning Star Light』 by the 『Showers of Blessing Evangelistic Ministry』, a local gospel Radio Station to witness God’s grace to the station listeners.
  • July 21: 『Mark Service Company Limited』 the 2nd Social Enterprise was founded which offers our graduates more job and new life opportunities.
  • Oct 8-Nov 22: A short term mission team consists of 5 Coworkers headed by assistant General Secretary, Ms. Flora Siu and Evangelist Mr. Chun Hing Kwok to Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. The team was interviewed by local 3-CW Australia Chinese Broadcasting Station and Australia SBS Broadcasting Station
  • The long-awaited new wooden boat’s (Dawn II) launching was finally accomplished on January 15, 2016. The boat carries food, drinking water, daily household supplies to the Island; brings our staff to work, back and forth between Sai Kung and Dawn Island; chauffeurs our students to medical appointments, to appointments with probation officers and etc.
  • In January, a cookbook 『New Life Kitchen』 was published. The book was compiled from the recipes contributed by our current and former kitchen staff and 14 of them were chosen. Each of these 14, using his or her imagination to elicit a message or testimony through which each participant shows genuine personal feeling as they put it in writing. May all the Might and Glory be to our God.
  • Reconstruction of Dawn Island : Contractor completed the project at the end of February 2016.
  • May 16 – May 31 our General Secretary led a 4-person STM (short term mission) for a 2-week mission to England. The team consisted of 2 graduates, then evangelist Kwok Chun Hing and herself, sharing testimonials and messages as they traveled along.
  • July 28 – August 15 our General Secretary led 3 recovered former drug abusers to have a two-week STM to Australia. The team went to Sydney and Melbourne to visit several churches as planned. Our members shared messages and testimonials among the local churches. Our team was also interviewed by 3 local radio stations.

“Operation Dawn” is named by Rev. John Paul Chan from Romans 13:12 of the Bible:
『The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.』