Outreach, Welfare

Trackers make inroads at Wesley Seniors Activity Centre

HE DID NOT THINK HE KNEW how to help the seniors when he was asked to intern at Wesley Seniors Activity Centre (WSAC). But Benedick Gan quickly learnt how to cater to the needs of the elderly with the help of WSAC staff, so much so that the WSAC supervisor Ms Kwok Sian Yee thought he, with two other interns, were “exemplary” in serving the seniors.

Said Benedick, who is waiting to enlist for National Service and worships at Wesley Methodist Church: “When I was posted to WSAC for my internship, I was somewhat worried and apprehensive.”

Despite that, he did a good job, noted Ms Kwok. “His cheerful spirit always lights up the room,” she said. Benedick was one of the youths who interned at centres run by Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) as part of the Trackers programme Trackers is a three-month discipleship programme for Methodist youths in transition, typically between 16 and 21 years old, waiting for “O” or “A”-level results or NS enlistment.

Organised annually by the Trinity Annual Conference Board of Youth Ministry, the programme has three stages: biblical training, overseas missions, and local internships in churches or at Methodist Welfare Services.

This year, 15 Trackers – as the youths in the programme are known – interned at six MWS centres for four weeks, from March to April. This is the first time WSAC has hosted interns from the Trackers programme.

The three interns posted to WSAC took part in the daily activities, went for house visitations, and built relationships with the seniors. They did it all with a heart of service, whether it was serving breakfast, carrying chairs for exercise, playing Rummikub or just offering a listening ear.

Ms Kwok was impressed by the interns, noting that they were mature, conducted themselves well, and had a sense of purpose while at WSAC.

“ They were our extra pairs of ears, eyes, hands and feet,” she said. “I am very encouraged by their desire to serve the Lord.”

The house visitations were a highlight for Benedick. They helped him to know more about the poor and needy in society whom he does not usually have the chance to interact with.

“There are many gifts God has given me that can be used to show His love to people through actions,” he said. Twelve other Trackers were assigned to various MWS centres – two to Bethany Methodist Nursing Home (BMNH), two to Christalite Methodist Home (CMH), four to Daybreak Student Care Centre, and four to D’Joy Children’s Centre.

At the centres, they were tasked to interact with and assist the direct beneficiaries in the daily activities as well as in some administration work.

The experience was fulfilling, said the Trackers. It allowed them to interact with people in need, with whom they usually would not have opportunities to meet.

Emily Tan from Trinity Methodist Church, who interned at BMNH, said that she knew there were poor and needy people in Singapore, but did not know how real it was until she saw it for herself.

“Now I notice them more and feel for them more. It really opened up my eyes,” she said.

The time spent with the less privileged also caused them to examine their own lives more closely. Before the internship, Kimberly Goh from Aldersgate Methodist Church, who served at CMH, would want to buy a new phone whenever the newer models were available.

But having seen how the residents at CMH lived day to day, and what they had were what they needed, her stance changed. “I realised that I have nothing to complain about in my life,” she said. “But I’m thankful for what I have.”

MWS welcomes all churches, congregations and community partners to visit the MWS portal at www.mws.org.sg and to interact with us.

You may contact Mr Chuang Bing Han at 6478-4315 or email him at ChuangBingHan@mws.org.sg if you would like more information on the new portal.

Chuang Bing Han is the Web Editor of Methodist Welfare Services.