18 October 2018
Dear Parents and Students,
In July this year, I received an email from Mr. Phillip Harris from the United States, regarding a visit to our school. His wife, Mrs. Shirley Harris, had taught English at Pooi To from 1966 to 1968, and they were travelling to Hong Kong to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. He contacted us as he wanted her to revisit the school, because her time here was one of the most important moments of her life. I was deeply touched by his request and moved by the sincerity of his love. I could feel the strong bond of their marriage and relationship, and that Mr. Harris keeps his wife at the center of his life. It’s both romantic and admirable!
I still remember when Mr. Harris brought Mrs. Harris to Pooi To on September 21st. Mrs. Harris was puzzled as she was not expecting to visit the school. When she realised that this place was Pooi To, her tears could not stop flowing. She told us all about teaching in the past. The memory of decades ago was still very fresh and clear, and the face was overflowing with joy and grace. I could feel that her two years spent here at Pooi To were extremely rewarding and special. Together with them, we watched a short video of the school history, visited a class and taught some of our girls the Waltz (a dance). Afterwards, we visited the School History Museum and found two articles of interest. One was written by Mrs. Harris for the 80th anniversary of the school, and another one was written by her mother after visiting her daughter in Hong Kong. The articles were deeply touching. "Love" is not determined by the length of time, but by the passion, effort and commitment of the people. On October 5th, I invited them to come back and share their thoughts and experiences with the whole school. I believe that it was of great benefit to both teachers and students.
Her speech was very touching and inspiring. She said that 50 years ago, she went to a meeting where a missionary was telling her about his story. The missionary had been working for 4 years, and then it was time for him to go home. The people in that place said “Oh we are sorry. We are enjoying learning about Jesus and we are happy to have you here to teach us.” And he said, “I will not come back. I cannot return.” Then the people asked “Who comes to take you place?” He said, “Sorry…There’s no one…” This story really hurt the heart of Mrs. Harris. As a result, she decided to become a missionary in order to spread the good news to the people of Hong Kong. Romantically, a dedicated Mr. Harris waited for two years for her to return, so that he could marry her.
After 50 years, Mrs. Harris’ story impressed every one of our Pooi To Family members. It was a courageous decision to spread the good news and develop the gospel work at Pooi To. The Bible says, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40. Jesus will judge us on small things, because the little things in life determine the big things. God’s love comes in many forms, but it is not God's love if we just talk emptily, pay lip service and turn a blind eye to those in need. Behaviour is not the basis of salvation, but it is evidence that we are living by God’s word. The example of Mrs. Harris shows her demonstrating God’s love in her way. It’s good for us to learn from her.