Outreach, Welfare

Our pastors ‘run the talk’

FOUR METHODIST PASTORS raised more than $100,000 for the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) in the MWS 30th Anniversary Pastors’ Challenge 2011.

On May 28, about 25,000 people descended on a remote part of Changi for the Adidas Sundown Marathon. Among them were four pastors: the Rev Dr Wee Boon Hup who is the President of Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC), the Rev Dr Norman Wong (Kampong Kapor Methodist Church), the Rev Lim Jen Huat (Bedok Methodist Church) and the Rev William Sam (Aldersgate Methodist Church). Mr Albert Lim, Chairman of the MWS, also participated, competing in the 10 km race along with the pastors.

Our pastors, not content with simply walking the talk, were going the extra mile. ey were running it. Putting in their time, energy and effort to raise funds for the MWS, they valiantly agreed to participate in this demanding race. e Rev Lim, a veteran runner, ran the full marathon – all 42 km of it! Church members contributed generously in support of the pastors and in total, $103,000 was raised.

Blending easily into the mass of running enthusiasts, the Methodist runners finished in very good time. e Rev Dr Wong was thankful that he recovered from a knee injury just before the run. He said: “ ree days before the run, I was still walking with a slight limp. But on the actual day, everything was fine and it was great running together with the rest of the team.”

Similarly, the Rev Sam was nursing a cold but completed the race nevertheless. “ e Lord was good, He sustained me and I crossed the finish line in an acceptable time. My focus wasn’t on how well I ran but on why I chose to participate in the Sundown event – simply for the poor!”

The Rev Lim said that he was only too happy to participate in the Pastors’ Challenge. “Running is one of my favourite sports and I can offer this to help raise funds for the poor and needy.

Many thanks to all who graciously supported us in our run. To God be the Glory!”

Although more of a soccer player than a runner, Mr Lim gamely joined in the race to show his support for the pastors and for the MWS. “I am truly thankful that I was able to complete the run in a reasonable time. I was experiencing His joy as I made each stride, keeping the pace, knowing that it is for a worthy cause. Blessed be His name!”

The Rev Dr Wee, who thoroughly enjoyed the race, expressed his hope that more will make the effort to give their time and effort to benefit the needy. “It was fun. e race itself was easier than I had thought. It gave me time to observe all kinds of interesting persons running. Not all were there with fitness as their purpose, but it would be great if all were here to benefit others by their sweat and hard work,” he said.

The MWS serves more than 5,000 needy people every month – lower-income families and the elderly poor, sick and destitute, like Mdm Ong*. Mdm Ong and her daughter were found homeless, living on the streets. None of her other children could help as they had their own financial difficulties. Her son was suicidal. Both mother and daughter could not support themselves as Mdm Ong suffered from a muscular-skeletal disability, and her daughter from psychiatric illness.

Mdm Ong is staying at a Home run by the MWS where she is being provided counselling and support. Apart from food and shelter, she is also receiving assistance to help her reconnect with her family members and eventually find a permanent home.

The MWS needs to raise more than $6 million this year to operate its 14 centres and outreach services. For more information on donations and fundraising, please contact Clara Lick at 6478-4723 or email her at ClaraLick@mws.org.sg.

Pearl Lee is the Group Director, Communications and Fund Raising, of the Methodist Welfare Services.

* Not her real name