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Chinese Diaspora Charity and the Cantonese Pacific, 1850-1949$
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John Fitzgerald and Hon-ming Yip

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528264

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528264.001.0001

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Women and Guangdong Native-Place Charity in Chinese Australian Pentecostalism

Women and Guangdong Native-Place Charity in Chinese Australian Pentecostalism

“The Miracle of Grace”

(p.173) 9 Women and Guangdong Native-Place Charity in Chinese Australian Pentecostalism
Chinese Diaspora Charity and the Cantonese Pacific, 1850-1949

Denise A. Austin

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter presents a case study of Christian charity work among mobile Chinese of the Cantonese Pacific which suggests that the pull of native place charity was not weaker among women Christian converts than among men wedded to patriarchal hometown lineages. Braced by her triple marginalization as a woman, a Pentecostal, and a member of the minority Chinese community in Australia, Mary Kum Sou (Wong Yen) Yeung (Chen Jinxiao 陳金笑‎, 1888–1971) expressed her faith through a life of empathy for the marginalized and generosity towards those in need. By tracing Yeung’s strategic networking, her vocal support for charitable contributions, and the patterns of community engagement that characterized her charitable work, this research illustrates the concrete connections linking her spiritual beliefs to her distinctive style of hometown charitable engagement. Mary Yeung’s experience as a girl, a young woman, and a pioneering missionary and charity worker of the Australian Pentecostal church is more than a story of native place charity. It is also a story of faith and suffering, and privilege wedded with sacrifice. At the same time, in Mary Yeung’s charitable practice we find native-place welfare preserved and transformed within a radical Christian protestant tradition.

Keywords:   Mary Yeung, Pentecostal, Christianity, Protestant, Australian Chinese, charity, missionary, native place, Guangdong

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