The purpose of my life and mission is to serve God by reaching out to the marginalised.
From helping latched-key children and youths-at-risk, rendering aid to domestic migrant women from developing Asian countries, to countering human trafficking in the red-light district of Geylang, it never occurred to me that this is my ‘work’.
All my life, I have been called to serve the marginalised, those at the edge. It is a joy to be able to be among the poorest of the poor and bring God’s light and hope to them.
What has prompted this calling? My only answer is God has loved me ever since I was born. He has loved me much through my family and friends. I cannot but offer my life in return, even my life is from God, the giver of life!
I am called to share His love, my end is love. The poor, the marginalised, are closest to my heart. Wherever they are, when I am called to them, I would always say “Yes!” and be sent, for I believe God is in their midst.
Making a difference
An encounter that showed me deeply the power of God’s love was on a street outreach years back. That night was hot and stuffy, and it was past 1am when Pastor Gerry and I sat down at one of the narrow, dark Geylang lanes with a young sex worker from China who was forced into prostitution.
She was hurting and had asked, “Is there a God? Where is God and does He even exist? If God is real, why are all the bad things happening to me. My life is full of pain, sorrow and grimness…how can I believe that a God of love exists?”
At that moment, Pastor and I fell silent. The young lady then continued.
“Yet, having seen and experienced this much on the streets, you have been accepting and loving us without judgement; Perhaps, God does exist!”
In the wee hours of that morning, we truly believe that God’s love and light, His powerful presence of a ‘God-with-us’ shone through us to touch her heart.
Sharing His love Wherever I Am Called
As a Franciscan Missionary of Mary the past 43 years, I have travelled much to bring the love of Christ to communities. In May 2018, I was sent on a new mission to the United States of America (USA). Since then, I have been based in El Paso, Texas, near the border of Juarez, Mexico.
My mission here is with the homeless, the refugees and the immigrants living in slums, in the streets and in temporary shelters. They arrive from the Northern border of Mexico to the Southern border of El Paso, USA, as well as from Central America, namely El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico.
Many of these brothers and sisters are often unseen and unheard, because they are the ‘minority’ race. There are those who don’t even realise they exist. I endeavour to bring God’s healing love, joy, light, justice, and new life to them.
It has not always been a smooth path. All through the ups and down, believing in and experiencing God’s many miracles working in and through my life give me strength. The tears of the suffering teaches me to trust in God.
“God’s constant and faithful love and presence,
God’s grace is enough for me.”
My Prayer for the Catholic Church’s 200th anniversary
God of the Impossible, who makes all things possible, you are also the God of Love. Indeed, we are blessed beyond measure, in our Homeland. Help us, then dear Lord, to be constantly grateful. Rekindle in us, the fire of your love as you touch our hearts from deep within. Help us not to remain blind and deaf to those in need.
As we become more aware of our interconnectedness with that of the underprivileged and marginalised, may we also have the generosity of heart, mind and spirit to share and celebrate our resources and gifts with them. All of these can only be made possible, because you are the Creator and Giver of life for us all, Amen!