Hong Kong sending aid to the Church in Laos

Camay Lam, gravely ill with cancer, made hundreds of greeting cards using Chinese characters for Chinese New Year. the proceeds from the sale were earmarked for a youth centre in Vientiane and other works in the Apostolic Vicariate of Pakse. “The most important thing now is to do my part and continue to do more evangelisation work,” she told the Sunday Examiner.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Thanks to her strength and courage, a woman seriously ill with cancer has given new impulse in recent weeks to a bridge of solidarity between a Hong Kong parish and a small Christian community in Laos.

For the past two years, Camay Lam has undergone intense chemotherapy that has had serious side effects; yet, this hasn't stopped her from devoting herself to those most in need, Hong Kong’s Catholic weekly Sunday Examiner reports.

On the occasion of the last Chinese New Year, she and Fr Nicolas de Francqueville of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP[*]), pastor at the Church of the Holy Redeemer in Hong Kong, made a thousand greeting cards using Chinese calligraphy. The proceeds from the sale went to support some works of the Church in Laos.

“Time in our lives is a gift from God which we should make good use of," she told the Sunday Examiner. The characters for peace and joy that appear on the cards are “the most important thing for everyone, and this is what cancer patients and I have realised after we get sick.”

Speaking about her illness she said that her heart is at peace. “The most important thing now is to do my part and continue to do more evangelisation work,” she said. “When I am drawing or painting, I am concentrated on thinking what God wants me to express. And I feel closer to him,” she added.

For this reason, she also opened a Facebook page titled Footprint of Grace, through which she spreads her message.

The initiative in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year raised HK$ 110,000 (US$ 14,000) for the Church in Laos, this despite the difficulties linked to the new pandemic wave.

Fr Andrew Souksavath Nouane Asa, apostolic administrator of the Vicariate of Pakse, expressed his gratitude in a letter to Fr Francqueville, Holy Redeemer parish, and all donors for their support.

MEP missionary Fr Guillaume Lepesqueux manages the funds in Laos, which support the Nazareth Centre in Vientiane, set up by Sister Anne Latsamy Thavivanh and other nuns of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret.

Currently, the facility offers accommodation to more than 50 young residents. About 20, mostly girls from low-income families, unable to finance their studies, receive vocational training in sewing. While some work, others attend secondary schools or universities.

The funds will also support the construction of a church in Pakse and help low-income families.

Already during Lent last year, the Church of the Holy Redeemer raised 70,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$ 9,000) for the Church in Laos, specifically for the Seminary of Saint John Vianney[†] in Thakhek, the renovation of a church in Pakse, and the Nazareth Centre in Vientiane.

[*] Missions étrangères de Paris.

[†] Born Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney.