When a Banker Meets a Grassroot Family – the ‘Walk in Love’ Visiting Programme | Simon

[ ‘SHARE’ Sept-Oct 2013 – Myanmar – A Beam after the War Flame ] TAKING ACTION


Author: Simon TAM, banker

Since 2010, I joined CEDAR’s ‘Walk in Love – Visit Low-Income Families Programme’ and with a partner regularly visited two new immigrant households; we cared about their situations and gradually friendships were built. They trusted us and shared their thoughts and feelings with us, and they often made soups to share with us.

One of the women we visited had arrived in Hong Kong three years ago but rarely went out. We took her to view the Christmas decorations and for dinner at a fast-food restaurant; it was rewarding to see her enjoying the evening with us. She once lost our phone number and after intensive efforts she finally reached us. She anxiously told us how we were the only friends she had in Hong Kong and losing our number was like losing a friend. We were very touched realising how much we meant to her.

We also visited a single-parent mother with two children, on social welfare and living in a partitioned room. We supported her through listening to her and praying together. Once, we took the family to a local restaurant to celebrate a birthday – their simple enjoyment gave us much joy. The mother also called us when she encountered problems and we would encourage and pray with her.

Over three years of visits we worked hard to practise Jesus’ teaching that when we did to one of the least of the brethren, we did it to Him.

When I shared my experience with friends, some said they would rather give a donation than paying visits to these families. Although low-income families are poor and need the government and society’s material assistance, they also need care, companionship and dignity. My low-income friends may not be educated or eloquent, but they have a simplicity that surpasses that of many upright persons amongst us.

CEDAR’s Programme has ended but we continue to visit them as friends. The wealth-gap in Hong Kong is widening, and we Christians have a duty to help and care for marginalised groups to show Christ’s love.

‘To do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’ is not just an empty talk but a practice throughout life.

We Love So That the World Will Be Different | Kenneth

[ ‘SHARE’ Nov-Dec 2012 – Care for Children ~ ‘Join Hands Join Hearts’ ] TAKING ACTION

Author> Kenneth

After completing CEDAR’s course on poverty relief, my wife and I decided to put theory into practice and joined a programme of visiting grass-root low-income families. And there was no stopping once we started.

I remember we were clueless on our first visit; we were anxious to make conversation with the family while noting their needs to report to MKKFA Chan Hing Social Service Centre. But God had already prepared they way for us: Mr. Lam was very talkative. We chatted on topics from the economy to parenting; his wife and mine hit it off with each other almost immediately and their two boys were jolly lads and warmed my heart when the older one insisted on giving me their only ice lolly.

Gradually, we stopped ‘making visits’ and started ‘building relationships’. The programme has bonded two unrelated families and now we are friends. It may seem impossible in a cold and distant society like ours but it happened naturally in the Lord. When we learn to love, we are loved at the same time.

Disasters, conflicts and injustices occur every day – which individual, group or even nation can change the situation? Are we building a better kingdom? Rather than taking the trouble to hold high-level meetings, we can start with ourselves, to love and care for the people around us. Then our world will be very different.

We will love, because He loved us first
No matter what, we’ll choose to stay together
So we will smile and we’ll forgive
For Your love will bring us heaven on earth *

In 2009, CEDAR and Mong Kok Kai Fong Association Ltd. Chan Hing Social Service Centre jointly launched the ‘Walk in Love – Visit Low-Income Families Programme’, to show loving care and build friendships through regular visits. The programme has already gone through three phases with over 40 participants visiting 20 families. Kenneth is one of the participants along with his wife.

* Stream of Praise Chinese song, written by Sandy Yu and translated by Mary Chikagami Lee, Tina Wu, Sandy Yu http://www.yabolahan.com/?action-model-name-lyrics-itemid-87 visited 23/10/2102.