08 April 2012

Happy Easter from Hong Kong! Happy Anniversary MFMW!

Cynthia, Fr. Dwight, Me
Alleluya! Si Kristo'y Muling-nabuhay!
Tunay ngang Siya'y Muling-nabuhay! Alleluya!

Maligayang Pasko ng Pagkabuhay! Happy Easter! What an amazing day of celebration here in Hong Kong. Not only did we celebrate the triumph of life over death, but we also celebrated the 31 years of ministry of the Mission for Migrant Workers.

An Easter mass was celebrated in the morning with Father Dwight and migrant workers on Chater Road. I assisted and tried to follow along the Tagalog service. I can read it okay but could only guess at what was being said. One of the great things about the tradition that I practice is that no matter what the language of the service, the format is the same. So I recognized the readings and the prayers, and the renewal of Baptismal vows as well. I felt kinship with my brothers and sisters in Christ as we read together in Tagalog, confirming our faith and obligations with Opo, sa tulong ng Diyos. Yes, with the help of God.

They love playing games like Bring Me!
Bagama't tayo'y marami, tayo'y iisang katawan sapagkat nakikibahagi tayo sa iisang Tinapay. Although we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one Bread.

After the service there was a variety show with performances from several different groups and individuals. Singing, dancing, staging skits, games and prizes ensued. It was a lively gathering with more and more people filling up the seats as the morning went on. By the time 1:30 rolled around, it was pretty packed!

Aaron, Buhay, Me
I was asked to help MC the afternoon portion of the show with two others, Aaron and Buhay. I've never done that before but it was so much fun!! It helps knowing that everyone just wants to laugh and have a good time. It was a day for celebrating with each other, celebrating life and our struggles together. The focus of the afternoon was the 31st Anniversary of MFMW, and we had many well-wishers who sent messages of support or stopped by to give their greetings. I had a great time with my fellow MC's and attempting to speak Tagalog to the crowd.

During the celebration we paused to honor the former chairperson and now Bishop of West Kowloon, Rt. Rev. Andrew Chan. His support for migrants ministries at St. John's made a huge different for the Mission, and we know he will continue his ministry to those on the margins in his new role. We presented him with a painting from our office, done by a migrant worker, of a migrant worker. It has been in the office for years and we thought it an appropriate token of our gratitude and something to remember us and his time with us.

Around 5pm a band came on to perform and that ended my MC duties. I was pretty exhausted after such a long day but it was so wonderful. I left feeling tired but with a big smile on my face.

Me with one of the Indonesian performers

I hope everyone back home had a wonderful Easter! I have a little over 30 days before I'm back in the States, and while I have enjoyed my time here in Hong Kong I am looking forward to being back home with my family and friends. I gotta start checking off all the things on my Hong Kong to-do list that I've been putting off!

Grace and Peace,

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