28 May GS Letter May 2019
A few months ago, I received a letter from one of our graduates. With it, he attached an ordinary cheque for FES’ ministry. Yet, the story behind the gift moved me extraordinarily. Allow me to quote a part of the letter.
A friend of mine, Mr Tham Weng Loke, passed away recently. He was a disabled person suffering from cerebral palsy and lived in different homes for the disabled. I visited him when I was part of the social concern’s ministry during my VCF days. Weng Loke has left a small amount of money in my care.
A portion of that money was given to FES’ ministry. The amount is not huge, but its significance for me is.
First, the above act reminds me of two narratives regarding poor widows in the Scripture. One is the poor widow in Zarephath to whom God sent Elijah to feed (1 Kings 17:9). The other is the poor widow who put in only two small copper coins but according to Jesus, had put in more than all those who threw in large amounts into the temple treasury. It is because “she, out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:44).
Similarly, Weng Loke, with his physical disability, has given the donation to FES despite his lack of material possession. And to this noble gift, I, on behalf of FES staff workers and stakeholders, am forever grateful to God who creatively sustains our ministry even from unexpected sources. It reminds us that no matter how little we have; God can always use it for His purpose.
Second, it is also inspiring to know how the impact from such an unassuming visit carried out during a student’s day could continue for a lifetime – how a tiny initiative promoting social concern among our students decades ago has brought up a genuine and enduring friendship between Weng Loke and the graduate. This real-life story amazes and heartens me, that no matter how seemingly meaningless some interactions could be at times, between our students and whoever they have been meeting or visiting during their missions or social outreach, God delicately cultivates it towards the embodiment of the Gospel in many lives many years ahead.
Lastly, this gift also came at the opportune time, especially for me, when at the beginning of this year I honestly got a little bit weary and started to question myself why it is like an uphill and never-ending task to ensure that FES ministry is financially sustainable. With the above gift, it is as if God was telling it directly to me and my little faith that “This ministry is mine. Stop worrying. Halt your anxiety. I will sustain FES. I am showing you that I can even supply your need through a disabled person with cerebral palsy.”
Therefore, I would like to end this letter with the following doxology:
”Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.”
(Psalms 115:1, NRSV)
In His grace,
FES General Secretary