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.