I read this Pastor’s Reflection recently and felt compelled to share this with you.
This afternoon I visited a man, Mr. Tan, in hospital. He picks and sells discarded things. He is what we call a karang guni man. His late wife left him with 3 young children. They got back together only for the wife to pass away because of cancer.
This man, in his late 40s, was probably a school drop-out. The children had been under the care of a nearby church. The oldest boy is 11.
It is a dysfunctional family mired in poverty and ignorance.
The man suffered a stroke while working outside. A passer-by called for an ambulance. He is now in hospital, taking a bed outside the "normal" C-class ward because there is no regular C-class bed available.
His health is made complicated by hypertension and diabetes which he did not even know he was suffering. And he smokes.
I have not seen the boys in church for a while. Just discovered that they are under protection order. Father can't cope. Social services had to intervene. That broke his heart too.
The older boy is now with Chen Su Lan Home. The girl and youngest boy are under the care of foster parents.
The vice-principal of the school where the children attend and a social worker brought the oldest boy to see his papa. He was visibly worried and teary. He asked us what "stage" is the papa suffering. Poor him must have been traumatised by his mother's death to cancer. We have to tell him there is no "stage" for stroke. I prayed for Mr. Tan and reminded the boy to pray for his papa too.
Mr. Tan has been wheeled for angiogram. I just had my dessert at Kopitiam. But can't stop thinking about this boy and his siblings, and how we sometimes forget that there are people struggling in life even in prosperous Singapore.
As we are now into our second week of M&E Emphasis Month and thinking deeper along with the sermons on what our calling should be, this may be a timely reflection for ourselves as well. How may we carry out the Great Commission of our Lord (Matthew 28:19-20) with this Mr. Tan and his children? How may we truly be obedient to go and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ?