Banner Photo: Bonnie with her husband who has supported her throughout the years.
Written by: Edward Lai (Senior Communications Officer)
Editor’s note: In this issue of ‘Learn a Little More’, we’ll introduce you to our ‘coffer keeper’, Bonnie. Through sharing her experiences and thoughts while serving with CEDAR, you will understand more about what kind of Christian community CEDAR is, and witness God’s unending grace.
‘Time flies when you’re having fun. In a blink of an eye, I have served CEDAR for 23 years,’ said Bonnie Ho during her sharing in a prayer meeting with co-workers.
Over the past 23 years, Bonnie has witnessed several milestones of CEDAR. From the 1990s, when founder Mr Oliver Mark ran CEDAR as a family-based service organisation, to the 2000s, when former director Dr Faith Ho established CEDAR’s institutional framework, to when former Chief Executive Dr Chan Nim Chung emphasised local education and project supervision, to the present, in which Dr Chan Pui Si has been leading teams to deal with the impact of COVID-19 in poor countries, Bonnie has been there through it all.
What Bonnie is most proud of and happy about is how CEDAR continues to unwaveringly cling to its original mission, ‘From Church, Through Church, Alleviate Poverty’, despite all the changes and innovations throughout the years.
When asked about her most memorable experiences in CEDAR, Bonnie said that she remembered and treasured all the people that she had met while serving others. Apart from colleagues and board members, she also treasured long-term donors and volunteers, especially those with whom she has spent countless days together to serve the poor.
Bonnie said, ‘When CEDAR wanted to mail a large number of our publication, SHARE newsletters, and other communications materials, we depended on volunteers, they would come up to the office and help with the envelopes and stamps. Once, some volunteers brought homecooked meals to the office to share with the colleagues; it really felt like a church fellowship.”
As the ‘coffer keeper’ of CEDAR, Bonnie’s greatest sense of joy does not come from receiving large monetary contributions (even though she is really grateful for these gifts); it comes from the sincerity of CEDAR’s supporters. ‘I think that CEDAR’s supporters have a lot of lasting affection for CEDAR, and they also really trust us. Over the years, there have been some donors who have stopped donating due to financial difficulties, but some people will come back after weathering these difficulties.’ When some donors who have emigrated come back to Hong Kong, they always make time to visit Bonnie and other staff members. Sometimes, when I see Bonnie’s joy while interacting with donors, it looks like a reunion between old friends.
I think the most special thing about CEDAR is that the Lord is our first priority. Our decisions as an organisation depend on whether it is the Lord’s will for us to do so.
This may be the reason why our supporters continue to bless us throughout the years.
In a world that is constantly changing, CEDAR’s projects have let Bonnie see that the Lord is still in many different places and is transforming the lives of beneficiaries. His work exceeds Bonnie’s expectations. I hope that when you read CEDAR’s stories, you will also be able to see God’s work. If you have any thoughts or suggestions you want to share with CEDAR, you are most welcome to contact us via email.