Written by: Gloria Li (Pastor, Western District Evangelical Church)
Evening, Friday 7th February
I had just one box of masks left at home, which was to be shared between my domestic helper and I. We were counting down the number of our masks and mentally preparing ourselves to reuse them when our stock ran out. The two batches of masks that I had ordered in early January, as shown on the computer, left Japan a long time ago, which meant that they must have already arrived in Hong Kong. Did that mean they had been “hijacked”? While waiting for the delivery, there were rumours that masks were banned from entering Hong Kong due to the anti-extradition law protests. So, I was quite concerned. (Editor’s notes: With regard to the rumours, the Hong Kong Customs clarified on 28th January that surgical mask is not included in the lists of controlled / prohibited items, and that the Customs would not hinder importation of such product into Hong Kong.)
However, this morning I decided to give two masks and HK$50 as Lai See to the two cleaners on the street. I was thinking, the minimum wage in Hong Kong is HK$37.5, but as outsource workers, these cleaners may not even be protected by this regulation! Isn’t it a tragedy that in Hong Kong the minimum hourly wage does not even pay for a box of masks? Even though I barely had enough masks at home, sharing with others was a shot at wealth equality.
Under the present circumstances, having the protection of a mask when we go out to work is fundamental human dignity, and sharing our masks with others paints a beautiful picture of the sharing society. Should I contract coronavirus because I do not have a mask to wear? I have faith that God will look after me for remembering the poor in His name!
I decided to share my worries not because I wanted people to give me masks! I still believed in the Hong Kong Post and I would wait for the delivery from Japan. By sharing how I learned to have faith, I hope to encourage others to lend a helping hand to the needy. I believe that the situation with the coronavirus in Hong Kong was an opportunity for us, as Christians, to take actions to share what we have with others.
Morning, Saturday 8th February
The next morning, on my way to church, I saw two cleaners opening up a manhole to treat some sewage. With my hand firmly pressed on the masks in my handbag, I asked myself, “To give or not to give”? I had already walked past them, but I decided to turn back and “to give”!
Everyone was under so much stress, the masks were just a small gift to show my support to the needy.
When I got to the office, there was a huge parcel waiting for me. I was overjoyed. It was a great and abundant gift from God. I immediately thought of CEDAR’s mask donation campaign, and I promised myself that I would share my gift!
Glory be to God.