Francis Chan discovers link between birth mother, move to Hong Kong: 'It's confirmation of God’s goodness'

Francis Chan speaks from Hong Kong.
Francis Chan speaks from Hong Kong. | YouTube/CrazyLove

Francis Chan shared a personal story about his new neighborhood in Hong Kong and a connection his late missionary mother had to it — an unlikely event he said highlights God’s “goodness” and “grace.” 

“So I just have to tell you a story about God’s grace,” Chan, the former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, said in a recent video. “We’re getting to move to Hong Kong last week, and I’m here now. We were going to move into this neighborhood, Sham Shui Po, because a friend of mine was planting house churches here, another buddy of mine right down the street had set up an office for me where they’re caring for the poor.”

“[I kept asking] 'Lord, is this the place?' I’m trying to figure out the will of God.” 

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While packing for the big move, Chan said he came across a folder containing pictures of his birth mother. The pictures show his mother nearly 70 years ago as she was living in Hong Kong. 

“Now, my mom gave birth to me and died while she was giving birth to me in San Fransisco. But these pictures were of her in Hong Kong, and she was in the same neighborhood and she was a believer doing ministry right here 70 years ago, like it’s dated and shows the exact location," Chan explained. 

“She was doing ministry in this building right behind me,” he said. 

“She walked this neighborhood and prayed to God, ‘God, can I have an impact here?’ 70 years ago. I can see God going, ‘OK, it’s not going to be the way you think. You’re going to go to San Fransisco, give birth to a son, and you’re going to die in the process, and he’s going to come back here.”

“When I saw that and I realized where it was, it was just confirmation of God’s goodness,” the popular pastor said, adding he believes him finding the pictures was God’s grace telling him, “you’re on the right direction.” 


In November, Chan announced he would be moving his family to Asia sometime in February 2020.

“Nine years ago, while we were in Hong Kong, Lisa and I both felt God was calling us to move there,” Chan wrote in an online update, adding that they enjoyed their "dependence on God in unfamiliar, uncomfortable places."

Chan shared how he was in Myanmar traveling "from hut to hut with a translator, sharing the Gospel with people who had never heard about Jesus" and the more he did it, the more he realized he wanted to do this for "the remainder of my life."

"I have no idea how long I will stay in Hong Kong," Chan said. "We will just try to discern the Spirit’s leading daily."

During a sermon last month, the Crazy Love author revealed that he and a team of other Christians had witnessed the miraculous healing of several people in a rural village located in Myanmar, including two deaf children.

"I'm going, 'God, please, please hear,'" he recalled. "People started coming forward for healing."

"Every person I touched was healed," Chan said. "I have never experienced this in 52 years. I'm talking like a little boy and a little girl who were deaf. We laid hands, she starts crying and smiling. These are not Christians who have even heard about Jesus, and she's freaking out. We lay hands on her little brother, we lay hands on him, and he starts hearing for the first time."

Chan also admitted that the experience was out of his "comfort zone," but "man, it happened. It happened."

"I thought I had faith, but my faith was at another level," he noted. "And I think there are some things that contributed — some of it was just faith in His Word, that when Jesus says, 'I am in you and you are in Me,' to take that literally."

Chan explained that although he disagreed theologically with some of his team members, he believes God was "honored by this fight for unity, and I believe God was honored by this pursuit of the unreached, and obeying the Great Commission and we saw power."

"And I don't know that that means it will happen every time," he continued. "My theology says I don't think it will happen everywhere ... but best I understand Scripture, He wants me to believe in my unity with Him, this power that I have because He and I are one. He wants to believe that you and I can become perfectly one."

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