My ambition during my childhood was to become a teacher, as many would write in their essays. In fact I didn’t think much at that age.
As a teenager, I tried to figure out the purpose of my existence. When entering the society, I found a job which was not to my liking and thus often asked myself, “Am I going to stick to this mundane life forever?”
When I was 20, I received Jesus into my life and wanted to dedicate my life to God as a blessing to others. At that time, my Adult Sunday School teacher and advisor of Youth Fellowship was Mr Yu How Chii, who was a retired Social Welfare officer. Even after retirement he was still actively involved in social work. His dedication made me realized that there were many out there who needed caring for.
In 1991, under Mr Yu’s recommendation, I joined a Christian organization called the Salvation Army. The motto of this organization is “Heart to God, Hand to Man”. I worked in this organization for 6 years and this motto is still firmly implanted in me. I have learnt to serve the children from broken homes in the orphanage and later *the Old Folks Homes and Food Bank.
I become a teacher
My Spiritual home is the Methodist Church. When I learnt of the need of the special children about 20 years ago, I responded without hesitation. In June 1998, the Methodist Care Centre in Sibu was open to serve the public and I became a teacher to the special children. I had 26 special students aged between 0 and 6. I loved children and I enjoyed interacting with them. After two years, I realized my limitations and decided to go for further enhancement.
At that time, there were very few choices for this programme and I had to continue teaching as it was. I believed God could make paths in the wilderness and create rivers in the desert. I strongly believed that the Care Centre was his own initiative. He even stirred his people to donate the place and prepared personnel to give guidance on this project.
From 2002 to 2008, God gave me the opportunity to complete my master degree in special education. While I was in New Zealand and England, I was amazed how considerate the people and the government cared for the disabled. It was an eye opener. They accepted them, served them and the facilities they provided for them helped me change my mind set. These also helped me in my career as a care giver and in my planning and training for my co-workers in this field.
No one is useless!
“God sees that everything is good.” (Gen1:31)
Every creation is precious in God’s sight, no one is useless. The disabled people around us and their families have to face many challenges; many families who couldn’t tackle these situations blamed these unfortunate ones for being a burden. Actually, everyone, the normal and abnormal have the same rights and needs; the right to live and grow, to be part of society, to contribute their talents and skills. Many disabled persons are limited not by their emotional or physical limitations but by prejudice. They have to face social, policy, attitude and facilities insufficiency which restraint their potentials.
20 years ago, I asked how to live out my life fully and I am grateful to God for giving me a purpose in my life, for a job I have dearly loved for these 18 years!
By Chew Siok Cheng
Wan Ming MC, Sibu