This is Celine, our new domestic helper.
Much to my shame, we have officially joined the ranks of those with "hired help". As there is no child care available in Hong Kong, in order for both Craig and I to work full-time we have hired Celine to mind Tirzah, cook, and clean for us. Sounds like a nice luxury to have someone at your
beck and call to do those chores for you, doesn't it? The catch is that that a domestic helper must live in your residence, and that is a huge adjustment for us. We are thankful that Celine is not a stranger; we know her from church, so that has made the situation a bit easier.
Domestic helpers make up 3% of the Hong Kong population and most are from the Philippines or Indonesia. They often have college degrees but are willing to work as maids and nannies for the higher salary they receive in Hong Kong compared to what they would make at home. I have heard appalling stories of how some domestic helpers are treated by their employers, the long hours they were forced to work, and their uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.
It still amazes me if we are out and about on Sundays to observe the large number of Filipino maids gathered in public walkways and train stations in Central enjoying their once-a-week working day off. You can see them sitting on picnic mats or cardboard, while they socialise, eat Filipino food, play cards, sing, or sell various items.
The children have been very accepting of the new member of our household. This is Celine with Keegan and Jemilla the night we picked her up from Hong Kong airport.
And here they are buying fruit from the market.
Please join us in praying for the following points:
- Praise that we found a Christian helper who genuinely loves children.
- Prayer for Celine as she misses her family and has to adjust to new employers...us!
- Prayer for us to find the right balance between delegating jobs and not becoming lazy ourselves.
- That my attitude towards Celine's presence in our house will change from being merely "tolerant" to a warm and welcoming and loving attitude.