Getting Back On Track With God
Dillon was one of 15 TRACkers who were attached to some of the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) service centres in March through April this year. The attachments were part of an intensive disciple-making course organised by the TRAC (Trinity Annual Conference) Youth Ministry.
The third phase of this programme required the TRACkers to intern at a Christian organisation for a month. Some were attached to student care centres (SCCs), a few worked at family service centres (FSCs) and one of them experienced life working in a nursing home.
Joel Lim from Christalite Methodist Chapel undertook several roles in an MWS Daybreak Student Care Centre (DSCC) too. He assisted the primary school students with their homework, prepared their meals and organised outdoor activities for them.
He said: It was an eye-opener for me as I realised that there are many children who come from broken families. Yet, they are filled with joy and happiness.
He observed that many youth in Singapore tend to take their families for granted and they do not cherish the love their parents shower upon them.
A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE
For many of the TRACkers, this three-week stint with the MWS has indeed been a life-changing experience. To Sarah Low, 19, what she experienced came as a surprise to her. She was posted to DJoy Childrens Centre but she had initial reservations about it since she did not interact with children often.
She said: â€œI will always remember the times when the children dragged me to play with them. Their enthusiasm in wanting me to join them during their play-time meant a lot to me. The Lord surprised me and helped me to grow as a person.â€
Dillon Tay from Agape Methodist Church, 21, fresh from National Service, was posted to Bethany Methodist Nursing Home. With no expectations whatsoever and feeling slight trepidation as he was not fluent in any dialect, Dillon ventured into unknown territory. He dabbled in many tasks, from feeding residents, facilitating games, doing administrative work to even laundry duties. I was exposed to practically every facet of running the Home and it was an enriching experience for me, he said.
And within a short span of time, he managed to build and establish relationships with some of the residents. One of them struck a chord in his heart.
He recounted: This man was involved in a terrible accident, which resulted in limited speaking capabilities and he was often in pain. So every time I visited him at his ward, he would always ask me to pray for him. What touched me the most was that he would in turn offer to pray for me after that.
Although short, these few weeks of work have opened their eyes and their hearts to the plight of the poor and the needy in our society. Dillon learnt a hard lesson. He concluded that it is better to try your best and look like a fool rather than to not try at all, because at the very least, we can have a good laugh out of it.
Spiritually, the youth have grown closer to God too. Having spent time with children, Joel yearned to be more Christ-like, just like how Jesus showed His love for the less fortunate.
With 14 centres and outreach services, the MWS offers many opportunities for interested individuals to give back to the community through volunteering. Whether it is a passion for nurturing young lives or appreciating the efforts of our older generation, there are various causes from the MWS that one can adopt.
After their time with the MWS, our Methodist youth have taken an additional step in pledging their commitment to continue serving and helping the needy.Just like Joel, both Dillon and Sarah did not hesitate to continue volunteering in future. Dillon believed that there are just too many needs and it is not possible to try to meet all of them. Instead, what I seek to do is to follow Gods will and do the things He has planned for me. Im sure He has many opportunities waiting to use me to bless others in the future, he said.
As for Sarah, who was waiting for entry to the university, she certainly fulfilled her objective of signing up for the TRACker programme. She wanted to gain better spiritual discipline and this internship has further encouraged her.
She said: The less fortunate are those that need the touch and love of Christ, so it would be really good if I could be the one to bring them closer to God.
By Michelle Tan, Senior Executive (Communications) of the Methodist Welfare Services.