Happenings, News

Turning her passion into a tool of evangelism

Ms Yeo Cher Eng … “Literature is a ministry for me.”

Church worker Cher Eng’s winning literary works published as books

A TWO-TIME winner of writing awards — the Golden Lion Award (Non-fictional) and Golden Point Award (Short Story) — Ms Yeo Cher Eng’s works have been collated and published in two books, “Seeking” and “Corn Field’s Comfort”.

“I did not plan to publish my works until I was invited by the National Arts Council to do so. Literature is a ministry for me, and is a tool for evangelism,” said Ms Yeo, who introduces the Christian perspective in her works to encourage readers going through life struggles.

“Evangelism is about telling others about God and His ways. The Scriptures are the basis for my works. My works are about life and the moral issues or struggles that we face every day.

“The content is written with sensitivity. I cannot be outright frank in some stories because my target audiences are Chinese who may find my approach offensive. It has always been my intention to provide a perspective that readers can look forward to.”
Ms Yeo draws her inspiration from the events that take place around her. Some of her works, which are published, were written in 1992 and 1993 when she was taking a degree course at a Bible college in Pasadena, California.

She has written novels and short stories that have claimed several awards. Her first book, “Seeking”, was first published in 1997. The second book, entitled “Corn Field’s Comfort” and published in 2001, is a collection of six short stories. The first three stories were inspired by her experiences in the United States, while the next three covered her life encounters in Singapore.

The main issues touched on in her works are delinquency, marriage issues and social problems. The main themes that she wants to bring out are “love” and “care”, which she finds lacking in society.

A mother of three and the wife of a pastor, the Rev Dr Fong Mow Hee, she currently serves on the Board of Discipleship and Nurture of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) and the CAC News Editorial Committee as a Chinese Editor. She is a member of Ang Mo Kio Chinese Methodist Church.

For the past three to four years, she has been a columnist with “Chinese Christians Today”. Last year, she started contributing to a column on devotion, “Jesus Said”, for the CAC News.

Ms Yeo said that her sister’s essays had largely influenced her. She also recalled her primary school days when she wrote several “home letters” to China on behalf of her mother and other relatives. This practice led her to developing a passion for writing.

“I have always liked literature. I also like to read, to think and to observe. So I thought, ‘why not pen what I observe?’ Life is interesting. When you write down what you think and see, it might be helpful to yourself and others,” she said.

Chen Yi Reng is a part-time correspondent for Methodist Message.