Interviewees: Bonnie Ho (Administrative Staff) & Cee Foong Fung (Former colleague of CEDAR)
Interviewed and Edited by: Jojo Poon
Bonnie and Cee Foong had been serving CEDAR for over 20 years. Although they worked in the supporting role at the office, but that did not make them less knowledgeable about development work than others working in the same field. Such was evident during one of our regular morning meetings, the host led us to think in the shoe of the poor and we were to think about what their expected results for their community were after a project commenced. At the end, they both gave the most sensible answers.
Bonnie has always been managing our accounting and finance, and she formed her view about community development through sharing and stories brought back by programme colleagues. “Community development brings changes to the villagers and strengthen their identity and their community ownership, while provoking a sense of vision and hope,” says Bonnie, who nicely summed up the main elements and goal of community development in just a few words.
As for Cee Foong, she had the chance to visit different project sites in mainland China which enriched her understandings of development work. “Development is not merely completing projects after projects, but to change people’s hearts so that they would start caring about their communities and neighbors.” The best picture Cee Foong witnessed was when the members of the society could focus their efforts in responding to its needs, a difference both Bonnie and her saw when comparing to traditional philanthropic acts.
Moreover, those with a concern towards the poor are often the subject of change themselves in development work. “God always radiates from the lives of the helped,” said Bonnie, “their stories are ever encouraging—they are the living testimonies of God’s work.” These witnesses were so fundamental to Bonnie’s faith that she thought she had taken more than she had given.
Helping the poor “From Church, Through Church” has been the guiding principle of CEDAR since its begining. On top of mobilising Hong Kong churches to dedicate manpower and resources to support foreign churches and Christians in serving their poor neighbours, we are also devoted in educating brothers and sisters about poverty, one of the ways being discipleship training courses that emphasise on the Integral Mission. While CEDAR is undoubtedly serving communities and churches, the first batch of trained disciples is in fact its staff; the Lord has led us to live among the poor and to see the world from their perspectives—a journey that let us understand a bit more of Christ’s heart when He lived among the poor.
Would you join us to witness more of God’s amazing work among the underprivileged?