What would you do if you suddenly had 60,000 face masks in your possession? For Paul Cho, pastor at Chino Valley Chinese church, the answer was simple: give them away!
Earlier this year, Cho received a call from Tarsha Cen, who, along with her family, had recently begun attending Chino Valley Chinese church, to ask if he wanted face masks.
“I just wanted to help people,” said Cen, who also shared masks with her friends and family and donated masks to Emanate Health Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina.
“I was so thankful when she called me; it was the right timing,” Cho shared. “When we visit church and community members to pray for them, I always bring a box of face masks. Face masks and food are the most needed.”
Cho ensured that the blessing of these face masks would reach beyond his local community. In addition to use in Chino Valley Chinese church community services, these donated masks were passed along to Southern California Conference community services, San Gabriel Academy, and seven churches and one group in the Asian-Pacific Region.
Gratitude for this gift was felt all around. “We are now able to offer masks to students as well as share them with our sister schools,” said Angel Nair, San Gabriel Academy elementary principal. “This is an added blessing we would not have been able to offer without this gracious gift.”
At El Monte Vietnamese church, the face masks are a crucial addition to their food ministry. “We’ve given masks to Vietnamese homes that we visit bi-weekly to give food,” Vinh Nguyen, El Monte Vietnamese senior pastor, said. “The community really appreciated that the church cares for them in times like these.”
Ataru Nakagawa, district pastor of Central Japanese-American Community, Gardena Japanese-American, and West Los Angeles Japanese churches, isn’t yet sure what his churches will do with the masks, but he says they will “use them wisely for the poor in the Japanese community.”
“Sharing and caring is one of our major works as a church,” explained Cho. “It’s our mission to reach the community, especially during this difficult time. Even in the small things, they are touched.”
By Araya Moss