Hello, I am Kevin Mak, an HCA alumni.
If I was to share everything, it would take all day! I’ll try to cut it short. I have attended HCA since Primary all the way till Grade 12. I still remember certain times in HCA that really helped and molded me into who I am today. I wasn’t the best at studying in the past in Grade 7 and Grade 8. It was hard for kids at that age to start adjusting to this concept of writing exams while most public schools don’t have exams till Grade 9 at the time, but it was worth it. It helped pull me into thinking about my future and what it would take to be successful. I started thinking about my future, and how critical studying hard was to continue to grow. All these thoughts about securing my future were starting to hit me all at once in Grade 9. I only thought of the future as ‘be smart and make lots of money’ and it was a good goal at the time. I didn’t know God very well then, I attended church, sure, went to regular Bible Studies every Friday, but I never got a sense of who is God? What He wants from me? What was his plan for me? Those questions never really surfaced till my final year in HCA. I was older now, the friends I made Elementary and Junior High, most of them stayed in HCA and we all grew together. It was a small class of 13. It may not be as impressive or as large as some public-school classes, but being able to know each classmate, teachers, and homeroom teacher deeply, is something I’m super thankful for. We all became good friends and keep in contact occasionally, some of us are still here in Halifax! Being able to make long lasting friendship in a healthy environment has been very good for me.
My biggest and most important experience I had going through HCA appeared during the summer before the start of Grade 12. I got a job as Lifeguard and Swimming Instructor as the Canada Games Center in the summer and was working while going through my final year in HCA. By this point, HCA has taught me to manage my time well, and learn to work hard, and be kind to as many classmates as I was able to. HCA students annually fundraised for themselves to participate in a short-term mission trip to Guatemala for 10 days. I thought to myself “If God had already pulled me through and got me a job, would He allow me to go? Will he provide?” These questions kickstarted my trust and reliance on a God I did not fully know yet, kind of like wishful thinking perhaps at the time. In the end, with God’s providence, I was able to fund myself to go to Guatemala. The experience that I and those who came with me had in those 10 days, was irreplaceable. Seeing God’s hand at work, left us one night, at a small, not very fancy church, like what we have up here in Canada, unable to stop praising God. His presence was there. We felt a presence in the air, a mixture of awe, shock, fear, joy, and peace gripped us, but all the while, unable to stop singing, Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone). I came back from my experience with the people down there and with God as a new person, and immediately got baptized. I would not have had such an experience elsewhere outside of HCA. I was and still am so thankful for going to HCA, being able to study in an environment where God can work through each one of the students, and make each of them grow in Him, trusting in Him no matter what the future looks like. Personally, HCA has good education, with great teachers willing to spend quality time with each of the students more, since the classes are small. But most importantly, it puts God into the education and helps each student to grow and trust Him to the max, doing wonders and miracles along life. HCA’s education, teachers, and classmates are something I treasure deeply.
HCA also prepared well for university. I was accepted into Dalhousie to study engineering and was excited to have God lead me through this new chapter in life. But like always, a new chapter is usually accompanied by a steep learning curve. HCA prepared me well, no doubt. Even though the first term was quite the shock, I worked and studied hard knowing that if God wanted me down this path, He would, when all else seems hopeless. Learning through 5 years of trusting in God through everything has been the largest contribution that HCA had prepared me with. Without learning about God in HCA, I would have most definitely folded in my studies before I made it to the 2nd year! Thankfully I graduated as a Bachelor of Electrical Engineer. I had a job lined up for me after my graduation, with the Department of National Defence, working alongside with the Navy as a civilian engineer here in Halifax at the dockyards. This job did not come quick. I waited for a year for the clearance and paperwork to be completed, and many times, friends and/or family would question whether I should continue to wait or find another job. Knowing God, I held onto Him and trusted Him for the whole year patiently waiting. Throughout the wait, I have experienced God working in me, helping those around me, who have trouble in their own lives, reaching out to community. God has revealed to me now that my calling is here in Halifax for the foreseeable future, for the Chinese community downtown and the Christian community here in Halifax. Truly God planned it all out does good for those who love and trust Him wholly. I have waited patiently for a whole year and now I will start my job in the coming weeks.
Years ago, I would have felt that HCA did not change for the better, and was concerned with what would happen to this community without HCA? But as of late, with HCA 2.0 and my recent visit to HCA, I see a spark of hope, a reignition of a goal that God is working at the school. The biggest change that I have seen was the afterschool youth apologetics club. I never had that in my years at HCA! It was fantastic to see a bunch of young kids, engaging in the Scripture, asking tough questions and experience a deeper more real God, instead of blind acceptance of facts or verses without a second thought. It was beautiful to see them connect the dots and think critically about the Bible. I do hope to see school and this club continue to grow as it spreads to more and more kids, adults, families, spreading like wildfire. I would love to see their lives and families changed, seeing a deeper, even more praiseworthy, loving God. HCA 2.0 has potential to be the light for the next generation of Christians and it starts with the kids. As Christian and non-Christians parents know, we want the best for the kids. To grow in an environment that is safe with good education and good friends. Gr. 9 -12 is especially critical for kids to develop good friends, the right friends, alongside good education. HCA 2.0. is one of the few offering that with God guiding them through. Learning with Christian morals alongside education with God guiding every footstep.