For the past 35 years or so, I have embarked on many missionary trips, mainly to countries in South-east Asia and on a few occasions, to countries like China and Ghana, reaching out to the poor and needy.
Regardless of the places I went, I have always returned to Singapore with two thoughts and feelings. First, I have received so much more than I have given, not in the sense of physical gains, but emotionally and spiritually. Secondly, I pondered what I could do to reach out to the less fortunate people in Singapore. There may not be as many poor people here as compared to the countries I visited for missionary work. But poverty could also mean emptiness in spirit and emotion and mental stresses. So, I could still go about doing good as Jesus did, both to the Jews and Gentiles alike.
In Acts 1:8, the Bible says: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (KJV). Metaphorically speaking, Jerusalem represents my family members and my brothers and sisters in Christ, Judaea represents my students and colleagues in San Yu Adventist School, Samaria represents the other people I come in contact with in Singapore, and the final region, “the uttermost part of the earth”, represents those I meet on my mission trips. As I thought about doing good in my everyday life, I thought about how I could meet the needs of and minister to the first three categories of people, whilst at the same time continue to make plans to go on missionary trips to help the poor and needy in other countries.
Daily, I commit my family members, brothers and sisters in Christ, students and colleagues to God through prayer, remembering a few specific people each time, praying for God’s blessings and guidance to be upon them. It is also my usual practice to pray that God will lead me to someone I could be a blessing to.
On behalf of the school’s pastoral care services team, we remember each student’s and colleague’s birthday by writing them a birthday card with a simple but meaningful gift. From the pastoral team of Thomson Chinese Church, we would send birthday greetings to members of the church via email and text messages. But more importantly, it’s the personal touch that matters. A meal together, a badminton game or swimming session, a visit to the home, or simply words of encouragement and affirmation will do wonders.
On a regular basis, I take students from San Yu Adventist School to participate in community service, such as visiting the elderly in the Adventist Home for the Elders and patients in rehabilitation centres. These meaningful activities have helped students to appreciate life better. They feel a sense of joy and satisfaction as they share their love, companionship and a listening ear to the needy and the elderly folks.
In our school, many of the students from other countries have parents, usually their mothers, who have come to accompany them as they study in Singapore. I organised a care group that meets regularly to have Bible study and help each other cope with the challenges in life. We always end our meetings with a simple meal, sharing home-cooked food together.
These are some of the things I do on normal days so that I may be a blessing to the people around me.
As the Bible says in Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Let us follow after the footsteps of Jesus, doing good wherever He went and whenever He met with people, while He was on earth.
by Fam Saw Ching