Happenings, News

‘Eye-opening’ trip to Thailand

Visit reminds PLMGPS teachers and pupils how blessed Singaporeans are

A TEAM of two teachers and four pupils from Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ Primary School has returned from a trip to Thailand, thankful for the reminders that Singaporeans are blessed and God loves every person.

The trip, from July 2 to 7, 2002, has truly been an “eye-opener” for all six of us. It made us realise how fortunate we are. It also reminded us that God’s love is really reaching out to everyone. No matter who you are and what you are God loves you all the same.

We visited a slum in Bangkok and were shocked by what we saw, but thankful that we were protected by God throughout our mission.

We saw how the Lord was working through us to reach out to the children who have been abandoned by their parents. During our interaction with them, we noticed scars on their bodies and faces. Some were as young as two years old while others were three to four years old when they were found on the streets.

Because of the unhygienic living condition and because they were undernourished, they were much smaller compared to Singaporean children of their age.

It was a sad sight to behold, yet they were always smiling. But behind each happy face, there was a sad story to tell. Quite a number of their parents have died of Aids.

They enjoyed themselves thoroughly in the games we organised for them. They were also eager to learn from the lessons we prepared for them although language was a barrier. We saw how our Lord worked among them.

We visited the home of a man dying of tuberculosis. He was like a skeleton. He has not received God, but as we prayed for him, we felt the presence of the Lord and tears filled our eyes.

Then we visited a small shop of a woman who was infected with HIV from her husband who died one-and-a-half years ago. Yet, her face was filled with joy. She has two daughters, aged seven and 11, who are not infected with HIV. She works for the shop to earn money for her children’s education. The Girls’ Brigade helps out by giving her a monthly allowance.

We also saw an old woman who was looking after an unwanted one-year-old child whose mother had abandoned him. This woman was not related to the child. She also has a son who is a drug addict. Neither the woman nor her son is working and they do not know where their next meal is coming from. We prayed for her and she was moved to tears. We could see the hurts that she had in her life.

The trip also planted compassion in the hearts of each one of us. We felt for the people. Please remember them in prayer. The people of Thailand need our Lord. The innocent children need to have a role model – Jesus – to grow up with.

Charmaine Yeo is a teacher at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ Primary School.