Thursday, April 4, 2013

Domestic work IS work

Asia Pacific Mission to Migrants, a sister organization of Mission For Migrant Workers, recently held an art contest for migrants to create campaign posters for the ratification of ILO C189. If you don't know about ILO C189, you can find the text here or the much shorter Wikipedia summary here.

Foreign domestic workers constantly impress me with their indefatigable strength, hope, and generosity. I am equally amazed by their creative expressions of their struggle.

Participants, organizers, a contest judge, and me

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Highlights from Holy Week

Palm Sunday at St. John's Cathedral

Maundy Thursday at Ming Hua Theological College

We are a people of the New Covenant... Yay bacon!

Pig's ear, anyone?

Maundy Thursday Eucharist

Easter Vigil

Easter Vigil

A successful Holy Week observance calls for a really big pizza (or two!)

Celebrating Easter with the Ming Hua Theological College community

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I had a wonderful day celebrating Mission for Migrant Workers' 32nd anniversary. The theme was Connecting Cultures and Communities -- We Can Live and Work Together. The cultural carnival brought local Hong Kong Chinese people together with Filipino, Indonesian, Thai, Nepali, and Sri Lankan domestic workers. Congratulations to MFMW on a successful day and many years of mission and ministry in Hong Kong!

Today also marks my 7th month here in Hong Kong. I can't believe over half my service time is over already!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A trip to the Philippines

I've had an amazing couple of weeks… Two weeks ago, Episcopal Church Center staff arrived in Hong Kong to profile the YASC placement here. Last week, I was blessed to accompany them to the Philippines to visit my friend and fellow YASCer Andrew, as well as tour some of the country. I'd heard so much about the Philippines from my coworkers, clients, and friends. My experience in their beloved country far exceeded the expectations they'd set for me. I am so grateful to the Episcopal Church staff for including me on their tour and look forward to future opportunities to return to the Philippines!

I've included a few photos from my trip below.

Peter Ng, myself, and Sam McDonald on the way to Manila in row 76

We visited the National Office of ECP the first day

Baguio, Benguet

Just one of thousands of Jeepneys seen on the trip

At one of the stops along the road to the Mountain Province

The Cathedral in Bontoc, Mountain Province

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

Inside St. Mary the Virgin in Sagada, Mountain Province

An overwhelming majority of the population of Sagada is Episcopalian

Tadian, Mountain Province

At the Tadian Demo Farm, where Andrew works

Tadian, from the roof of the guest house

Banaue, Ifugao

Enjoying hospitality in Upi, Mindanao

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

…But we can't go inside!!!

I spent 11 hours outside today. The temperature hovered around 50 degrees all day, but I'm not sure what the wind chill was… The Observatory doesn't report that. Suffice to say it was considerably cooler than 50 with the breeze blowing. For those of you who are reading this with snow on the ground outside your window, you might not have much sympathy for how cold my friends and I were today. I understand that. When I first arrived in Hong Kong 5 months ago and it was 100 degrees outside with a relative humidity in the 90s, I scoffed at the suggestion that I would ever be cold in this subtropical climate. As is frequently the case, I was wrong.

The Mission held an event today designed to "give care" to the domestic workers who constantly care for others. I arrived at 7am for event set up and spent most of the day on the "Information" team… Distributing flyers about the event and sitting at a booth answering questions. Free services were provided to migrant workers-- wellness services such as massage, reflexology, blood pressure and glucose screenings, 30 minutes of internet access, and an entire booth devoted to the counseling we normally do in the office-- all brought outside to Chater Garden.

In a previous post, I explained that many domestic workers are forced to spend their day off outside the place where they live-- their employer's home. Come extreme heat, torrential rain, harsh wind, or bitter cold, whatever the weather conditions, they are outside on their day off. Walking down Chater Road today, the temperature drop was evident. Some domestic workers were not even visible underneath their makeshift tents of blankets and cardboard boxes.

A common line in a meal time prayer is to ask God to "make us ever mindful of the needs of others." As I sit comfortably in my apartment slowly warming back up after a long day, I am so thankful to have protection from the elements and reminded that too many people in this world do not. I choose to spend my Sundays outside with the domestic helpers, but they are offered no such choice. While I pray for everyone in the world without decent shelter, I'm so thankful to have an opportunity here in Hong Kong to work with a specific population toward a specific goal of making life better for migrant workers.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Two things...

First, I'm so happy that Advent is here!

Second, I've been in Hong Kong for 4 months. I'm finally getting around to cooking some of the local cuisine.

Just thought you'd like to know. Happy December, everyone!