CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Hong Kong lay missionary returns to serve in Kenya

HONG KONG (SE): Stephanie Chan Sin-ying, a lay missionary from Hong Kong was commissioned by Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing as a missionary to Kenya, Africa, for three years during a ceremony Holy Spirit Seminary Chapel on January 13. 
She previously spent eight years on mission to Kenya before returning to Hong Kong in 2012 to pursuing her doctoral studies.
In his homily, Bishop Ha assured her of the prayer support of the community gathered for the ceremony and reminded them that the vocation to mission is not only for Chan, who heads overseas as a lay missionary, but to all people in the body of Christ whatever their different life situations. 
“As children of God, we need to bear witness to Jesus Christ before our family, colleagues and friends by thoroughly living out his love,” he said.
Chan, a member of the Lay Missionaries Association, was first sent to Cambodia in 2000 and four years later to Kenya. She returned to Hong Kong in 2012 to study cross-cultural education at the then-Hong Kong Institute of Education, now the Education University of Hong Kong.
In her message, Chan said that after she finished her doctoral programme, she was considering a career in Hong Kong. 
However, in October last year, the Lay Missionaries Association lost its founder Jessica Ho Oi-chu, and this prompted her to contribute again leading to her decision to go back to Kenya.
Having been away from Africa for five years, Chan felt that her connections with the people there had weakened. So she returned to Kenya in October 2017 and spent two months getting up to speed on the state of missionary work there. 
During the ceremony, Sharon Kwan Wing-sze, acting chairperson of the lay association, recommended Chan to Bishop Ha before she pronounced her promise. The bishop vested her with the mission crucifix and she signed a contract with the association regarding her new assignment. 
Kwan was hopeful that Chan’s mission project in Kenya would help to find more missionary spots overseas. 
Apart from Chan, two other lay missionaries have been sent out by the association: Jonathan Yim Chi-ngai and his wife Katherine Cheung Yu who are training teachers at the Xavier Jesuit School in Sisophon, Cambodia.
Chan left Hong Kong on January 17 and has been assigned to teach religion for a year in St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School, located in a slum in Nairobi, and then engage in other missionary work.
In an earlier interview with the Kung Kao Po, Chan said the school began with only two classes for AIDS orphans when she worked there during her first eight-year stay in Kenya. Later, it became a regular secondary school with eight classes from form one to four.
She chuckled at the thought that some of her former students are now working as accounting staff or teachers at the school and will supervise her missionary work. 
She hopes that she can bring her knowledge of cross-cultural education to the tertiary institutes in Kenya and share about life and moral education with the young people there.

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