20 September 2018

Dear Parents and Students,

Shortly after the start of the first school term, we were attacked by the record-breaking super typhoon "Mangkhut, a tropical cyclone with significant destructive strength and power. Many places are devastated, with the coastal and low-lying areas being the hardest hit. We thank the Education Bureau for deciding to suspend classes after Mangkhut, as on early Monday morning, a large number of trees collapsed as I was on my way to school. It was extremely dangerous. I would also like to thank the janitors, teaching and non-teaching staff who did their best to return to the school under serious traffic jams and morning congestion to support our post-Mangkhut clean up.

We thank God that the school campus was not severely damaged by Mangkhut, but it did suffer damage. Due to the infiltration of rainwater through the door gaps, many classrooms and special rooms were flooded. The floor of the assembly hall was also turned up. The campus was full of fallen branches and rubbish. Paper, leaves, glasses and plastic plates were blown about, but no one was injured. We were very fortunate. The Pooi To family worked together. Everyone did their job and cleaned up the garbage and mess. Some teachers voluntarily returned to the school to help clear up. Thank God, everyone worked together for three hours to return the school building to its original state.

In the newspaper, I have seen many touching stories regarding Mangkhut. Many residents in Hong Kong spontaneously cleaned up the rubbish, hoping to contribute to the rehabilitation of the community. There were people from Africa and Nepal who helped to clean up the street by picking up the trash in Yau Ma Tei and Jordan. There was also a lady from Chile who invited people on Facebook to join together and clean up the park. The positive stories brought by Mangkhut remind me of the story in the Bible:

Jesus went on to say “There was a man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and landed among the robbers. They stripped his clothes and killed him half-heartedly, and he left him. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine... Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise." (Luke 10:30-37)

Sincere support and voluntary work are self-motived, spontaneous and prompt, but not self-centered and not only for those who we love. All neighbors are people who can be in need, regardless of race, culture, geography and so on. This is the meaning of Jesus' teaching of our neighbors. Education is a mentoring and facilitating influence for students to build positive lives. Finally, a teacher received a short message from a student "Teacher, we saw that the school campus was destroyed, so we want to go back to school to help clean tomorrow. Can we? We don't want teachers and janitors to work too hard!” This inner heartfelt message is warm in my heart. This quality is exactly what we hope to see in our Pooi To Girls.

Best regards,
Constance Cheung

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)