Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong


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【Global Glance】Sir George Williams – Glorifying God by serving people


Martin Luther

The Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong was established in 1901 with the mission of “to serve, not to be served”, this year we are celebrating the 115th anniversary of providing multi services and sports to the local and international communities. Over the years with God’s blessings, the Chinese YMCA has expanded to 50 service units with over 80,000 members in Hong Kong. As a member of the world YMCA movement, we often reflect on our services and remind ourselves the significance of the mission. The founder of YMCA, Sir. George Williams, who established the first YMCA in 1844 in London which marked an epoch for the YMCA movement. By the gradual development and expansion of the ministry, the YMCA movement has been spread over to 119 countries and region now.

Sir. George Williams was born on 11 October 1821 in Somerset, England. When he was 20, he worked as an apprentice to a draper. During that time, the poor working environment and substandard welfare of young men exploited by their employer had come to his concern. Sir. Williams wanted to make a change to improve the situations for them, no matter how much he could do. As a devoted Christian, he knew that the money he earned was meaningless unless he uses it by seeking wisdom and showing the glory of God. At the time, he gathered with 11 other fellow Christian drapers and set up the YMCA on 6 June 1844 in London with the aim to improve the spiritual condition of young men employed in the drapery and other trades, by providing recreational activities and bible studies after working hours, a place where personal wellbeing was being promoted.

Although the scale of YMCA was still small at the time, Sir. Williams believed that it is more important how much one is willing to do for others. He pursued to be righteous and honest to his labors as well as donated most of his income for charity use regularly. The spirit of giving and serving is one of the core values Sir. Williams wanted to influence others through the works of the YMCA, and over 172 years it still holds the true principle of the YMCA movement.

Looking ahead and moving beyond the humble achievements of 115 years of ministry in Hong Kong, the Chinese YMCA will continue to strive for developing services that are relevant to our society, yet hoping to continue engaging all of our members to join hands and serve the community.


“But make a store for yourselves in heaven, where it will not be turned to dust and where thieves do not come in to take it away: For where your wealth is, there will your heart be.”

(Matthew 6:20-21)


International and Mainland Affairs Section, Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong Edited by Kong Hei Man, Olivia (Summer intern from The Education University of Hong Kong)