I had no experience working with the Church. But in early 2016, I was prompted to accept a position in the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People (ACMI) to serve migrants as God desired.
In following God’s plan and getting out of my comfort zone, it opened my eyes to the struggles of families, homeless and individuals, whether migrants or otherwise, something which I had never been exposed to before.
“A lot of prayers went into this decision
and I knew it was God’s Spirit moving me.”
In living ACMI’s mission to serve migrants and their families, bring hope to those who are hopeless and help them restore their dignity, I see time and again the chance to know and understand how God works if we listen to Him.
Joy In Serving
The circuit breaker and phase 1 of Covid-19 in 2020 were especially enriching and humbling experiences as my team and I journeyed with our beneficiaries through their uncertainties.
It did not seem much at that time, but just seeing the joy in their faces when we were able to help, support and journey with them were enough for us. Hearing that they in return helped others as their way of returning the blessings they received and experienced through us, made us happy.
We had a family who gave up their grocery packs to another vulnerable family because they had enough to last them for a while longer. It was such a joy for us to see. It showed and reminded us that we do not need to have much to be happy, and that even if we were poor in spirit, there were others who were worse than us.
During that period, we spent much time speaking to our beneficiaries through telephone or video calls just to be a listening ear to them, and checking in on how they were managing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of the low-income transnational families were in dire straits because the breadwinner had lost his/her job.
We searched for migrants who were not living in the major dormitories as we knew they needed help too and were perhaps lost. Through the distribution and posts on the information of our helplines, we managed to get in touch with some of them, and we offered help wherever we could.
“I chose to work at a Catholic organisation because
I knew this is where I would have the opportunity
to grow in my faith and to be a servant of God.”
There have been a lot of challenges in ACMI and there were times when I questioned myself about my role here. There were occasions too where I met people who were ingrained in their ways of how things had to be done, or had attitudes such as: “I’ve done this before so it’s not going to work”.
But through prayer and reflection, and more importantly, silencing myself for God to do His work through me, what seemed impossible was made possible in His time.
Every time I felt that I was not worthy enough of being a servant of God, He always showed me the way by affirming me through the daily readings, a friend or a conversation with someone.
Each time I am faced with a challenge, it was through prayer, reading His words, a stir in my heart, or a gentle voice in my thoughts that made me know that He is always there.
The most difficult part is truly surrendering to God and being obedient to Him. It is not easy, but I am learning to do so. In one of my darkest moments, a friend told me to take matters into my hands, and my response was that I’ll leave it to God and that He will make things right in His time.
“Each time I am faced with a challenge,
God’s presence is indeed real.”
I give thanks to God for choosing me to be here to do His will. It has opened my eyes to the reality of life, and pushed me to want to be a better person through serving Him and his people
With ACMI, I have grown in my faith especially through learning to talk to God in prayer, reading His words and just being present. More importantly, it has helped me to be humble and learn to live in holiness.
The road is not easy and there were times when I felt I was not good enough. But I am grateful for the times my team and I could bring comfort and hope that helped families value themselves as God’s beloved children.
My Prayer for the Catholic Church’s 200th Anniversary
Dear God, thank you for the growth of your Church in Singapore over the last 200 years. Though the Church is not without its trials and tribulations, you have made us stronger with each challenge we face.
Planning for Catholic200SG is no easy feat. We pray that the Holy Spirit will guide and lead the planning committee during this time, to the path that you want them to take. We pray that the communities of the Church will come together to celebrate this time remembering your presence with us here in Singapore today and forever.
We pray for all Catholics in Singapore that we will be authentic in our faith as we strive to live in holiness, turning back to you stronger in faith and love, for you are our heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally. That we will reflect on our faith and return the gifts received through your grace and together as one, build a vibrant, evangelising and missionary church in Singapore.