December 22, 2006
Clement Young has a long commute to work. While he lives in Plano, Texas, his home office is in Hong Kong, where he is supervisor of the Pui Ching Middle and Primary Schools and the Pui Ching Education Center.
The Pui Ching Middle and Primary Schools opened more than 70 years ago, according to Young. He is a product of the schools. The Education Center, which focuses on students 17 to 22 years old, was added in 2000, under Young’s supervision.
With a lengthy list of achievements in the education field, Young is a major contributor to the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong’s mission of offering Christian education to native students.
“We have an agreement with the education department, the labor department and the school sectors, offering a traditional English education. It has been a real blessing with the growth of the student body,” said Young, who was born in Kwongzhow, China, but is an American citizen.
Enrollment has reached more than 2,700 in the primary school, and 1,400 in the middle school. In less than five years, the education center has more than 700 students. Pui Ching also is planning to start a college in the near future, on land being offered by the government.
The arrangement with the government allows underprivileged students to receive an English education which is a valued commodity in Hong Kong. Young looks at it as an opportunity to spread the gospel message.
“We offer Bible classes, weekly assemblies and Gospel Week,” said Young, describing the different vehicles for sharing principles in the schools. “Hong Kong is more open to the Bible than the schools in the United States are.
“More importantly, we want our students to see Christianity through our life experiences,” he said. “We have teachers who pray with the students and are open to sharing the gospel.”
Young knows the value of the Pui Ching experience first hand. As a teenager, he accepted Christ during a weekly assembly at school.
When it was time for Young to choose a college, Jaxie Short made it an easy choice for him. The 1936 OBU graduate and missionary to the Orient recommended him for an OBU scholarship. He received the award and came to the U.S. to earn his bachelor’s degree in Bible on Bison Hill.
“I have great memories of OBU. It was definitely a life-changing experience for me,” he said.
After graduating from OBU, Young went to Baylor University, where he completed his master’s degree in religion in 1961. He also worked on a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, which he completed in 1964. He said he knew then that God was calling him back to Hong Kong, where he could provide the kind of Christian influence he received as a teenager.
Young continued his education at the University of Texas, earning a master’s degree in mathematics in 1966 and a Ph.D. degree in mathematics education in 1975. He taught briefly at the University of Texas, Southwest Texas State University and Texas A&M Kingsville University.
In 1977, Young had his first opportunity to work in Asia when Hong Kong Baptist University asked him to serve as dean of academic affairs and academic registrar. He would serve 19 years at the university. During that tenure, he was appointed by the Hong Kong government to serve on the Hong Kong Examination Authority and the Joint Student Financial Assistance Committee.
In 1989, he began working with the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong, serving first as a school board member at Pui Ching. From there, he progressed to his current position as school supervisor.
Though his passion for Hong Kong is strong, Young and his family still desire to be connected with the American culture. Camie, his wife, and Wesley and Daniel, his two boys still fondly recall the years of living in the U.S. and in the heart of Texas.
“I do love Hong Kong, but I and my family enjoy the lifestyle more in the United States,” he said. “We are more accustomed to the way of living here.”
So for the last 15 years, Young has made it possible to experience both the opportunity of working in Hong Kong and living in the Lone Star state. His commute adds a new dimension to rush hour traffic.