Eternity Girls, who recently stormed the Canto-pop market with their catchy songs about Christian love and faith, say they want to be role models for young people rather than pop idols. The girls are Rubbie Leung Cheuk-ying, Sharon Wong Fong and sisters Ady Leung Ho-ying and Judy Leung Ho-ling. 'We grew up together in the same church, and to spread the gospel via music has always been our dream,' said Rubbie. Their ballad Returning Home has hit the pop charts - a rare achievement for contemporary Christian music in Hong Kong - and the group has recently been signed by TVB as singers. But their success has been a long time in the making. The girls had been singing together since secondary school days under the guidance of veteran Christian music producer Gary Lau Kong-yuen. Before they released their self-entitled debut album - co-produced by Lau - earlier this year, they had already performed more than 300 shows in schools, churches, public sermons and malls since they formed the Eternity Girls three years ago. In July, 2005, after weighing up their future goals for 18 months, the girls decided to go full-time with their singing career. 'Our major concern was to make sure God wants us to serve in this position [as pop singers]. If it was for our own good, we wouldn't have entered showbiz. But we all feel that this is our calling,' said Rubbie. Their success also came at a price. For Judy, a former teacher at a tutorial centre, the cost was a relationship that she treasured. 'After serving God for several months as a member of Eternity Girls, I found that I had absolutely no time to go out with my boyfriend. In the end, we broke up,' she said. 'Showbiz is a risky business ... but I believe some day he will understand my choice.' The girls also have to make do with a low salary. Subsidised by their church and paid by Eternity Music Ministry, a non-profit Christian music organisation, the girls' monthly salary is only about HK$6,000. 'Usually when [young] people grow older they spend more. But to us it is exactly the opposite. We spent more as students and now we have to learn how to live thriftily,' said Rubbie, who could enjoy a monthly salary of about HK$20,000 if she worked as a registered nurse using her nursing diploma. Yet there's one thing that the girls won't compromise on: being a pawn of the music industry or the media. The group once turned down an interview from a best-selling newspaper, which promised them full-page coverage if they agreed to be photographed in swimsuits. 'Initially a big record company approached us and wanted to sign us. But we prefer to do things by ourselves because we want to uphold to our principles and stay true to our values,' said Sharon, a former graphic designer. Their persistence has paid off as their songs have begun to have a positive influence on young people. A mother told them during a gathering that her runaway daughter had returned home after listening to Returning Home, a ballad about God's endless love for lost souls. 'We want young people to know that there's hope in the world. Many young people have negative thoughts and often feel discouraged in the face of setbacks. We want them to know that because we have God, there is nothing for us to be afraid of,' said Ady.