“God has placed you here on this earth to serve and not to be served”: words of wisdom imparted by Jenny’s paternal granny when she was little, have remained rooted in her heart till this very day
I have seen how God has used and is still using me as His instrument to build His kingdom.
At various stages of my life, He has led me to work alongside with different people. At each and every encounter, I received the inmost love of God and have witnessed the many miracles it brings.
The First Calling
After graduating from SHATEC, I spent the first 2 years in the hospitality industry, doing food carving, flambe and bartender showmanship – a skilled trade that not many people appreciate now.
An opportunity then came for me to do mission work. I went on a 6-month mission trip to East Africa, Tanzania in 1995, to teach English to the Canossian postulants. In 1996, I had the opportunity to teach homeless children in Cebu, Philippines when I felt the call to work with children.
“At every encounter, I received the inmost love of God.”
That was a turning point for me. Then, for the next 25 years, I devoted myself to early childhood education, attending to children with special needs.
In 1999, I attended the Sin and Repentance Retreat (later known as the Conversion Experience Retreat) by Fr Vincent Lee and it marked a pivoting point in my faith.
I gave up smoking and drinking, and I started serving in the Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC), participating in the Music Ministry for retreats and helping to coordinate programmes.
For over 20 years, first as a ministry member and later on as a staff member at CSC, God used me to share my charism and even, ironically, my struggles to reach out to fellow Christians who were lost and searching for God.
The Second Calling
In this season, I am focusing my time and energy to care for the sick and aged.
This call to serve the elderly and sick started taking root during the time I took care of my dad after he was diagnosed with Parkinson and Dementia, till he passed on 7 years later in 2013.
“God is using me as His instrument to build His kingdom.”
The call became stronger when I had the privilege to journey with a ministry member-cum-friend who was warded in Assisi hospice for 2 months.
This is a calling I want to fulfil. To do that, I believe I have to be trained. I am now attending courses at the Assisi Hospice after much delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted the plan. I am getting ready to be another instrument of the Lord.
Drawing On The Lord’s Strength
Through the ups and downs in my life, I cling on to this verse; “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28.
“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19-21)
By the grace of God, the many sharing about my experience have given others the courage to face up to their pains and be open to encounter the love of our Heavenly Father, while I draw strength from seeing how Our Lord worked through each retreatant during the retreats I served. I am strengthened in my endeavours to deal with my struggles and I learnt to forgive others and myself.
I’m truly blessed and humbled to have the opportunities to be of service to my fellow brothers and sisters, for while serving His people, I too am moulded and healed!
My prayer for the Catholic Church’s 200th anniversary
Dear Lord, my prayer for the Archdiocese as we reach 200 years is, may we continue to devote ourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.
Lord, help us not to take that lightly. Open us up to fully live out our adoration of You, as a church family. Helps us to honour You with our lives, and within the life and ministry of the church. Fill our hearts with joy no matter the circumstances as we come to You as a church body in prayer.
Lord, keep us committed to sharing Your salvation, fills us with Your spirit to continue to boldly proclaim there is salvation in no one else but You!
Lord, encourage our church leaders and reinforce their calling and commitment to serve You.
Lord, we can only love because You first loved us. You gave Yourself for us. We are Your body. We are nothing without You. Do not allow us as a church to take You or Your message of redemption for granted.
Deepen our love. Show us how to love. We proclaim as a church that we love You! You are our God! We want no one but You! Show us where we have failed. Bring us to repentance. Forgive us! You are our first, and only love, dear Lord. Amen.