"IT IS THE SMALLEST OF ALL SEEDS, BUT WHEN IT HAS GROWN IT IS THE BIGGEST OF SHRUBS AND BECOMES A TREE, SO THAT THE BIRDS OF THE AIR CAN COME AND SHELTER IN ITS BRANCHES."
BY JENNY & BERNARD - MARRIED COUPLE AND VOLUNTEER TRAINERS
Going to church every Sunday does not make us a Christian. As a Christian, we are called to live our lives for others, just as Christ did.
It was sometime in 2015 when one of us started talking about taking on another ministry, doing some volunteer work, doing some corporal work of mercy. What! When? During the weekdays, my mind is preoccupied with work… weekends are my time, for me to just chill out and not do anything except maybe laze around, do some exercise, watch television!! After all, we are already helping out in a few church ministries. Isn’t that enough?
As Christians, we always say we love God. But St John calls us liars if we claim to love God who we cannot see and yet not love our neighbours who we can see (1 John 4:20).
Now that one of us is making a suggestion, perhaps it is time again to look at what our lives mean. Eventually, what motivated us both is that we are always open to offer our help to people around us. We need to nudge and encourage each other from time to time, to extend beyond ourselves and our comfort zones.
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” (Matthew 25:35)
We have been aware of the work that ACMI had been doing – the skills training courses that they provide for foreign workers. But the ACMI training centre was in Hougang, way over in the East of Singapore, and we are staying all the way in the West of Singapore! It would take us at least 4 hours travelling time both ways by public transport.
When God plants the seed, God also removes the obstacle. ACMI was to be relocated to Toa Payoh It is much easier and cuts the travelling time by half. And so there is now no excuse not to volunteer.
We started volunteering at ACMI by helping out during their graduation ceremony in Dec 2015 and since then, we have been helping out in the computer training courses.
At the end of 2016 we celebrate together with Agape Village our one year anniversary volunteering with ACMI. During the course of the year, we got to know the domestic helpers and heard some of their stories. It is heartening to hear how some of them enjoy and have a good relationship with their employers. There are also wonderful employers out there who genuinely want their domestic helpers to learn some skills and improve themselves in life.
What amazes us most is how talented the domestic helpers are in their field as trainers themselves. After having enrolled and learnt some skills, they extend themselves and want to train and empower their fellow migrant workers. The element of passing it forward – what they have learnt, they want to share. This is something that we can learn from them. Whatever talents God has given us, we are called to grow and let them multiple, not to bury the talents and return them to God unused in mint condition (Matthew 25:25).
For those who are thinking of volunteering, we strongly encourage you to go for it!
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