ACMI

Open My Heart

Open My Heart

ESTHER CHIA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ACMI SHARES HER JOURNEY IN ACMI

I was the ideal Catholic who ticked all the boxes. I attended mass every Sunday, served in a ministry
in my parish and contributed weekly to the offertory at masses. I was comfortable and believed that what I was doing in my faith was enough.

However, I started feeling this tugging in my heart that I could give more of myself and my time to others.

The opportunity arose when I was invited to interview for the role as Executive Director at ACMI. I was offered the role but was initially hesitant as I felt inadequate and afraid.

WALKING IN FAITH

But I decided to step out of my comfort zone and trust in the Lord’s plan for me.

I’m indeed grateful for answering the call to be part of ACMI’s ministry. The Lord has opened my eyes to the struggles and pain of our migrant brothers and sisters who come to us for help.

DISCOVERING OTHERS

Through ACMI, one of the things that pulled my heart was the opportunities I had to interact with the Foreign Domestic Workers who come for Skills Development on Sunday.

Esther with a befriender trainer at the Skills Development graduation.

 

Through the Formation Ministry, I got to learn about their joys and struggles living and working in Singapore. I must admit that I was blinded and took my own helper for granted. I began to look at my helper as a creation of God made in His love. I am now more conscious of how I treat her and consider
her as part of the family.

GROWING AND LEARNING FROM THEM

Through the programmes offered by the Community Outreach ministry at ACMI, I learnt to smile, greet and chat with the construction workers around my estate. It was unnatural for me at first but slowly it became second nature to me.

Interacting with migrant workers at a dormitory in Tuas.

 

Through the Case Management ministry, my eyes have been opened to the struggles faced by transnational families and foreign spouses. When their Singaporean spouse is incarcerated, deceased or seeking divorce, the other half is often left to fend for themselves and their children.

As we journey with them, I’m inspired by their hope and determination to make a better life for themselves and their children in spite of the many problems that they face. Through all of these experiences, I have learnt to see people for who they really are — as one who is beloved and created in the image and likeness of God.

WILL YOU OPEN YOUR HEARTS TOO?

Looking back, I resonate with the words of Moses to the Israelites:

“Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

— Deut 10:16-19 (NRSVCE)

I decided to step out of my comfort zone and trust in the Lord’s plan for me.

Truly, let us be open to God’s calling to us to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Thus, I share with you the vision, mission and 4 values that guide ACMI in our work (pictured below).

Come, take time to reflect on how you may apply the 4 values to your lives. Let us be transformed to build a more vibrant, evangelistic and missionary church in Singapore.

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