Daniel Yeo recounts how his eyes were open to look beyond himself and his needs.
I grew up during a period of Singapore where things were quite comfortable, and I was ignorant of the poverty that existed.
Living in my own vacuum I was more concerned about my own life, career and ambitions.
All this began to change after the sudden passing of my mum. I began to ask questions on the purpose of my life and God.
Come and See…
With the support of a friend, I joined the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process to know more about God.
I learnt concepts about unconditional love, being the Good Samaritan and loving my neighbour as myself etc. All of these were foreign to me.
How could Jesus say: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”? That was certainly very counter intuitive and strange to me.
Seeing beyond myself
Inspired by the generosity of a friend of mine who was bringing bags of rice and dry food stuff to a nursing home every year. We discussed and decided with another friend to cook a meal for the nurses, cleaners and staff working for another nursing home. We wanted to show our appreciation to them for working tirelessly to care and bring comfort to the seniors living in the home.
We got up early on one Friday morning to go to the market to shop for the ingredients. It was a new experience for me as I did not normally wake up this early on a normal weekday. It made me appreciate the sacrifices that the staff, nurses and cleaners make 24/7 for the patients. I remember biting my tongue and being grateful to God for the opportunity to serve.
It was a surprise to the team at the nursing home when we were there to serve them the food that we had prepared. Many of them were unaware of our presence and some even brought their own lunch. But to see the joy on their faces knowing that we were there to cook for them and offer encouragement was indeed priceless.
After that day, we cooked again for the nursing home and a woman’s shelter. My experience at the woman’s shelter was most impactful as I got to hear inspiring accounts of women through the shelter manager. I was inspired by their strength and resilience despite their problems.
Jesus Never Forgets
Most of all through all these experiences especially after my mum’s passing, I realised that Jesus never forgot about me. He was and is always there to comfort and guide me.
I was led back to Him.
There are days where I do still struggle and find it easier to go back into the comforts of not caring about the needs and problems of others.
Therefore, I continue to seek the Lord’s help in prayer:
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.
Prayer of Generosity – St. Ignatius Loyola
Daniel Yeo looks after Events Management at ACMI. His experience was first shared to colleagues and other member organisations at Agape Village on 10 September 2019. His sharing was inspired by the 2nd point raised by the Holy Father “It’s Not Just About Migrants: It is Also About Our Charity”
This is the first of a series of reflections on the 10 points raised by Pope Francis in his 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees Message.