A Story of the $100-Red-Packet


Written by: Edward Lai


“This year, will you be willing to donate your red packet money to the underprivileged people in other countries? “


“Yes, of course!” Fung Tin-lam answered confidently.


Ting-lam, a third-grader, is like any Hong Kong boy we know. His daily routine includes school, homework, and playing his favorite toys before dinner. His life and his world, never overlap with those who live in developing countries away from Hong Kong. Even though Tin-lam has never met them, he has determined to save up part of his red packet money to share with them.


100 dollars may not be much to a lot of people; but to Tin-lam, it is a significant amount for a new toy or good savings. His mother, Mrs. Fung, shared that Tin-lam has been faithful in giving away part of his red packet money every year, since she could remember. Then, last year, Tin-lam insisted that he should give HK$100.


“I am worried that lesser amount would not be enough, so I wanted to give the largest note I had,“ Tin-lam explained sheepishly.


“Did you mean you’re worried that the people receiving your gift do not have enough?”


Tin-lam did not answer. He remembers some years ago staff from CEDAR came to his church and told him and other children about the Red Packet Campaign (Chinese only). That was when he realised that a red packet can be shared with people in need.


“I wish that God will make use of the small money I give to cause change, in turn to improve their lives, and bring them happiness,” Tin-lam said. Though Tin-lam cannot explain who “they” are, what kind of “lives” they have; he understands that somewhere out there, there are those (underprivileged) who God loves and cares for.


Tin-lam’s parents seldom try to educate him about why they should care for the poor. They taught their children by actions: whenever the school, church, or other charities call for donation, they always support as a family. Mrs. Fung wants her kids to know one biblical truth: we are only stewards to the earthly resources.


She said, “Having developed a habit to give at a young age, it will help Tin-lam to become a generous person when he grows up. On the contrary, a strong sense of possession could lead to selfish spirit who is difficult to let go. We need to know that (God) can give freely, and He can also take away as He wishes.”


Tin-lam smiles as he listens to his mother. Tin-lam’s Chinese name means “Heaven Comes” – Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.


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