Jessica Ho was a pioneer in serving as overseas lay missionary. In early 1980s, when the Hong Kong Catholic Lay Missionary Association (HKCLMA) was not yet established, she joined Maryknoll Lay Missionary Association, preparing to serve as missionary in Africa. She served in Tanzania for three years from 1983 to 1985, working in parish and teaching children catechism and handicraft. When she came back to Hong Kong, she shared her experiences actively and attracted some young believers in respond to their callings. She started preparing the setting up of a lay missionary organization with some religious men and women as well as lay people. Finally, HKCLMA was set up in 1988. Then, in equiping herself to serve the church better, she went abroad to study pastoral counselling and spiritual direction. She became the chairperson of HKCLAM when she came back after study. In the past 30 years, she served in the executive committee of HKCLMA, shouldering the responsibilities of formation and equiping lay people to become missionaries. In 2015, Jessica, with other members of HKCLMA, organized the first Asian Lay Missionary Forum in Hong Kong.
Some years ago, Jessica recalled how she became a lay missionary and the setting up of HKCLMA. She said, “I had a dream. I saw many brothers and sisters in other places suffered. They were people of different ethnicities and color. However, in the dream they were my relatives. This dream developed. Following the guidance of God, together with a group of lay people, priests and nuns of similar vision, as well as the blessing of Cardinal Wu Cheng Chung, HKCLMA, the first and only lay overseas evangelization organization in HK was established. 13 sisters were called and sent to Zimbawe, Kenya, Mauritius, Cambodia, Northern Thailand and India to sow seeds and to bear witnesses of God’s love.” Last year, the first couple lay missionaries were sent too.
In the face of various struggles, Jessica pointed out, “Although our strength is small, we have the powerful and almighty God as our support and backup. What should we worry of? God would take care of us.”
Jessica returned to our Father in Heaven on the evening of October 9, 2017. It is a great loss to us and we all feel painfully sad.
Jessica has returned to her home in heaven but her spirit is still being with us. Before she left us, she said, “My mission is accomplished, what remains will be continued by you all.”
May we continue this spirit, supporting the mission of overseas evangelization.
(Last modified: 21-10-2019)