Brother Ma Ka Ping

My father had been working in the United States since my childhood, which was why I grew up gradually into an independent and self-determining person. I was uninterested in the study at school, and became a member of some criminal gang at the age of 13 to 14. I had the chance of associating with drug addicts, whom I disliked very much initially. Despite this, and in order to earn more, I engaged in selling drugs. After that, drugs became no big deal to me, and I started to take heroin, proudly confident that I could conquer it instead of the other way round.

Two years down the road, I was arrested and jailed. After my release from the prison, I left Hong Kong for the United States to work there for more than ten years. While in the States, I took no drugs and pursued other material pleasures instead. After returning to Hong Kong, with nothing else to do, I resumed selling drugs for money, and repeated the previous life of getting lost in addiction.

In 2008, I was arrested for consuming drugs, and was finally sentenced on an 18-month probation order. Upon the judge's recommendation, I was admitted to Dawn Island for gospel rehabilitation. In the beginning, I had no interest in God. I tried to change myself by staying busy with the work on the Island, while also valuing my relationship with the people around me. In other words, I placed the focus of life on myself as well as other people, but totally ignoring God.

That was the way it was, until one day when I broke some rules and was caught. Initially I wanted to give up and opted to leave the Island. But when saying my prayers quietly on the Island's Mount Carmel, I was moved by God: “But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” [2 Corinthians 12:9] With this, God encouraged me not to give up and not to worry about staying behind, for if I chose to stay, He would look after me and give me the best. At the same time, I also felt the support and love from the staff and brothers around me, so I decided not to leave but face the punishment.

Looking back today, I can see that God has not only saved my life, but has also made me live more fully. As a member of the staff at Operation Dawn now, I have been called upon by God to find my way as guided by Him, and to continue to rely on Him for more changes in myself. In addition, Operation Dawn has made available to me different training programmes, such as those on boating licence, cookery, etc, which have equipped me with skills that may become useful one day. Furthermore, with the study at the Bible Training Centre, I have learned how to apply Biblical knowledge to strengthen myself, so that I can come closer to God and help strengthen people around me too. Because of God, I have stayed away from drugs, and seeing this change in me even my father has changed and accepted Jesus the Lord. May all glories be attributed to God in Heaven.

Brother Tamang Bijay

I came to Dawn Island on Aug 10, 2012. It has become like my second home since.

Before coming to the island I was addicted to heroin and lived my life without any hope and future. When I was young my parents put me in a hostel and they came to Hong Kong to work. So I missed that parental love and connection from childhood. Once I finished my school I went to The UK to join my parents where I did not feel at home as everything was new – new home, new country and new culture. Due to generation gap and no connection for long time I could not feel that sense of belonging at home with my parents. Therefore I started to make new friends at college and spent maximum time with them smoking and drinking. Soon I started doing drugs with them out of curiosity and to fit in the group and became addicted gradually. I started stealing money and other valuable things from home to feed my habit. I felt bad but I could not help myself.I did not care about my future and responsibilities. I tried to quit myself but failed. I got caught by the police and got warning but still I couldn’t straighten out my habit.I took prescribed medication as a substitute but still failed.

In 2011 I came to Hong Kong. My drug habit continued and I was losing my health, my youthful time, family relationships and friends. I felt hopeless and lost interest in living life. I did not see any meaning and purpose of my existence. I would scream and cry in the inside without showing it outside. I felt lonely and depressed. One day I got caught by the police with heroin in my pocket and I was asked to go to the court. I was afraid of going to jail or to any other correctional centre due to it harsh rules and treatment. So with the help of one ex-operation dawn brother I came to his rehab. It was the beginning of my new life.

The first week of withdrawal period was extremely painful but with the care and support from the brothers and staffs gave me courage. After a while I focused on the bible and started to understand more about life. I did not like to believe in any supernatural God as its not cool in our generation. But when I read about Christ’s love and his sacrifice to a hopeless person like me I could not ignore him anymore. After serious reflection and studies I found out that all human beings are looking for love that is selfless and unconditional which is only possible in God. We are never satisfied and fulfilled by humanly love thus we are always empty. I myself tried to find that love through my friends and would do all the things they did including taking drugs.I realized that drug addicts are love addicts and only God's love can cure us. In John 3:16 bible says "For God so love the world that He gives his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life". I finally accepted him and I got new hope and energy to live this life again. I was not interested in taking drugs anymore nor did I feel the need to run after the crowd anymore. I was totally freed from drug addiction and at the same time fulfilled by Christ’s love.

During my stay I received classes to improve my confidence, adult life skills, Cantonese lessons, basic computer lessons and got chance to share my testimony in Australia short term-mission. I have been staying to learn more and help other Nepalese brothers like me. I thank God for everything and for giving me a second chance to live a meaningful life without drugs. I thank Operation Dawn for giving minorities in HK this opportunity to become new.

Sister Chan Kam Lee

When I was 15, under the bad influence of some friends, I tried on drugs. I was addicted to Ketamine for more than a decade, but I had never felt bad about it because it seemed to be causing me not much harm. I still managed my career and family pretty well, and I thought everything was under my control. That was why it never occurred to me that I need to quit drugs.

When the drug problem of my ex-husband and I was starting to ruin our family life, and our two kids were getting older, we were urged by my then mother-in-law to go to drug rehab, for the sake of being responsible parents. In 2011, I reluctantly complied with her and got admitted into Girl Centre for drug rehab treatment. Every day I had to attend prayer meetings, Bible study classes and spend devotional time. Engaging in such a spiritual environment and intensive religious activities, soon I received Jesus Christ as my saviour. In this year of treatment, I gained much knowledge of the Scripture intellectually, but I was not truly converted in my heart. I became a hypocritical Christian.

“The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful." Matthew 13:22

After completing the treatment, though I kept attending Sunday service and the prayer meeting on Wednesday, I was also taking drugs at the same time. I returned to my old self, leading a life of excesses and pursuing fame and fortune. My heart was seized by worldly care and lust, forgetting all that I had learned from the Bible.

As I got addicted with drugs again, I lost my marriage, health, wealth and career. All of a sudden, everything went bad on me, and I was devastated. I just wanted to end everything. When was about to take my life and looking for ways to commit suicide, God showed me a picture in my mind: my mom was waiting for me at home. Because of my mother, I gave up my suicidal thoughts and decided to go to Girl Centre for gospel rehab treatment again. I knew it must be God who gave me such idea. When I was waiting for my admission into the Centre, I was grateful to God that He sent me angels to walk and pray with me through the valley of darkness. God is merciful, and I could feel His reassuring presence. He wiped away my tears and healed my brokenness.

During the year of treatment, I learned how awful it was to have my own way, and that everything was beyond my control. I understand that Jesus is my Savior and Lord of my life. God's love puts me back on the right track, and He gives me a life of abundance. To give thanks to the loving God who never forsakes me, I am now serving at Operation Dawn, helping students quit drugs. I hope to continue my learning here, strengthen my faith and deepen my relationship with God.

I am grateful to Operation Dawn for offering me a learning opportunity again, and all spiritual mentors for teaching me how to discern God's will. I encounter God at Operation Dawn, and it is God who guides me to the right way and holds my future.