Cissy is our only local Chinese member of Singles For Christ here in Hong Kong. In many instances she would bridge the language gap between Filipino members and Hong Kong Catholics who wanted to know more about the community. In the land where more than 90% are of Chinese ethnicity, it will be ironic not to have one single member in SFC.
Thank God there is Cissy.
She had been a member for more than four years, beginning when she was at work in Thailand and getting to know community members Jenny (now in Australia) and Shasha (now in the Philippines) who used Hong Kong as workbase. On those years I would wonder how it feels to be alone especially when your companions start talking in tongues — er, mother tongues.
I feel isolated when my officemates start talking in Cantonese during our lunchtime break. I am the only Filipino in the group. So it’s not difficult to understand what Cissy must have endured. As much as we find Cantonese language difficult to grasp, she must have the same thing in mind too when it comes to learning Tagalog even if she sometimes utter words taught maybe by Linda, Esther or Arme.
She looks silent when we are at gatherings, probably because she belongs to a (culturally) one-man minority. But she also gives her ideas, many of which are in context of the local values and practises.
There have been attempts to invite locals in the Christial Life Program, but nearly all of them fade away even before halfway of the entire seminar. Thus, the aim to build a multinational SFC community in Hong Kong remains a goal. And Cissy remains without a local companion.
It was not difficult to befriend Cissy. It was not surprising to see me having dinner with her and confide something I cannot tell to others, or ask something that is related to her being a Hong Kong local. And when she thought about a new service she’d like to pursue, she also sought my words about it. Gladly she accepted the call and will now be moving on a new life in Cambodia, extending her talent, treasure and time away from her family.
She leaves Hong Kong life, the shopping experiences, the comforts of family and friends’ companionship and a stable job, in order to be with people who need her help more.
On the day of her thanksgiving Mass, I was unable to fulfill a promise due to my recent arrival from an intercontinental flight. That would have been my tribute to her as promised during our dinner before Christmas break.
I hope for a good health, safe working condition and happiness in your journey in Cambodia. I honor you Cissy.