04 September 2020

A Tribute to Raymond Mok

The Laidlaw community is grieving the passing of Raymond Mok, one of our students on 30 August 2020. Raymond began studies in our Counselling programme in 2018, motivated by a passion to help people. He lived with a condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and lived for many years in a wheelchair. In the two and a half years that Raymond was a member of our community he made a world of difference to many people’s perspectives on disability. His commitment to study was an inspiration. We will miss his friendly presence on campus, and grieve the loss of a counsellor-to-be.

Lisa Spriggens, Head of Counselling, notes that: “Raymond challenged preconceptions about what a counsellor should be like. As counsellors we can so often feel the expectation to appear like our lives are perfect and sorted. Raymond was a very visible representation of how counselling is not about having life sorted, but about being genuine and authentic and welcoming the other, knowing that we are all Imago Dei, and that we are all loved.”

In talking with Raymond before he began his studies, Fiona Sherwin (Student Support Manager), notes: “I encountered a man who had a passion to work with people and to help them to find hope in the midst of the storms of life. Our conversation revolved around what he would need to succeed in his studies – it turns out he needed very little assistance from me! He was upfront about his limitations – his body was limited, he knew his life would be limited – such limits come with his disability. But, Raymond was a thoughtful, articulate student. If he asked for an assignment extension, it was rare. He simply got on with what he needed to do to get the job done.”

In recent years, Raymond had become an advocate against Euthanasia and a vocal opponent of the End of Life Choice Act that goes to referendum at this year’s election. 

Raymond shares some of his story here: 

And here is the speech he gave in 2019 on the steps of Parliament:

We are grateful to God for Raymond’s time among our community, and for the lives he touched in his 34 years on this earth.

“We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.... Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
– 1 Thessalonians 4:14,18