Year Joined MKLM: 2013
City: Phnom Penh
Focus: Education, Health and Pastoral Care
Project(s): MC Home of Love
People Served: Children – newborn to five years old.
Project Goals: Provide food, clothing and shelter for the children.
Hang works at the Missionaries of Charity Sisters’ Home of Love, which serves children ages newborn to five. Some of the children were orphaned. Some were abandoned by their own families. Others came from challenging backgrounds. When the children first arrive here, they are usually smaller and thinner than others in the same age group. Most of these children have one aspect in common – hunger. Few things excite them more than food, and the children shout for joy at the sight of it. If left on their own, they would stampede to grab the biggest possible portion. Toddlers would grab milk bottles from infants. Three-year-olds would grab treats from toddlers, and so forth. Feeding is one of the ways Hang cares for the children, especially the slower and weaker ones. She helps everyone form lines and take turns washing their hands before meals. She encourages them to eat small bites and chew slowly, etc. Before long, they become satiated and less aggressive. This ministry brings to life the gospel verse, “… I was hungry and you gave me something to eat…”
Hang was born and spent part of her childhood in Saigon, Vietnam. She has a Graduate Certificate in Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas. Hang worked in private sectors for more than twenty years prior to joining Maryknoll Lay Missioners in 2013.
St. Theresa Catholic Church of Austin, TX, has been her home parish. Hang had volunteered at Meals on Wheels, in a soup kitchen and at a hospice. These encounters prompted her to serve in more profound ways and to look for mission opportunities. Why did she choose Maryknoll Lay Missioners? The stories on the MKLM website made a remarkable impression on her. Hang says, “Maryknoll Lay Missioners live their faith beautifully through sharing and collaborating with others and serve a wide range of those in need overseas. I feel called to do likewise.”
In Cambodia, Hang’s previous ministry was with the Phnom Penh Diocesan Health Project. She managed the staff and operations of two shelters for the sick, the provincial referral services, and the kindergarten health education program.