Features, Highlights

Uplifting Lives One Step at a Time

Bishop Dr Chong and MWS Board Member Albert Lim at Mohamed Ali Lane

In a joint effort to raise funds for Methodist Welfare Services (MWS), five teams consisting of the MWS Board of Governance, MWS Patron Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung, Presidents of the Annual Conferences and General Conference Women’s Society of Christian Service (GCWSCS) President took up the challenge to collectively walk 1.35 million steps and raise $135,000 each by 31 Aug 2020.

To amass steps, one of the teams, Team One MCS Sharing Love and Concern, completed a unique trail on 1 Aug 2020 in commemoration of The Methodist Church in Singapore’s (MCS) 135th anniversary. The team comprised Bishop Dr Chong, MWS Group Executive Director (GED) Junie Foo, as well as MWS Board Members and Board of Social Concerns Chairpersons Samuel Tay (Chinese Annual Conference), Wilson Sampath (Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference) and Albert Lim (Trinity Annual Conference).

The trail, which traced the historical origins of the Methodist faith in Singapore, included some of the oldest Methodist churches in the nation.

Walking for Love

The heritage walk challenged the team’s resolve right from the start as it began to pour at 8.40 a.m., just after they had moved off from the starting point at Tamil Methodist Church. Undeterred, they decided to wait for the rain to stop by having an early breakfast. Rejuvenated by the food and fellowship, they continued their journey.

Along the way, they passed by significant buildings such as the original location of the Anglo-Chinese School (the first Methodist school in Singapore) and the Methodist Book Room.

The walk not only allowed the team to appreciate the rich Methodist heritage, but also the warm fellowship as they learned more about one another, shared laughs and, of course, took lots of photos together.

Time flew by, and before they knew it, they had reached their final checkpoint at Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church, clocking a total step count of 40,850!

Reflections on the Challenge

Looking back on how it started, Mr Samuel Tay recounted that a few team members had come together to discuss what they could do to uplift those in need during this COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, when the idea of the challenge was suggested by a fellow board member at a MWS Board of Governance meeting, they welcomed it and got Bishop Dr Chong as well as MWS GED Junie Foo to be a part of their team.

As part of the challenge, the team was required to clock as many steps as they could between 10 July and 31 Aug. This has not been without its challenges.

Samuel shared that on the days he had back-to-back meetings, he could only squeeze some time to catch up on walking in the evenings. Junie confessed to having to step out of her comfort zone and purposefully set aside time to walk every day. Like Samuel, she also found it challenging to find time on days packed with meetings.

Undeterred nonetheless, Junie likened her effort to that of growing her faith in Christ.

“The challenge got me thinking about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. We have to be intentional in reading the Word, in setting aside time to be with the Lord. I’m on a lifelong journey to serve and share Christ,” she explained.

Bishop Dr Chong and MWS GED Junie Foo enjoying breakfast while waiting for the rain to stop
MWS Board Member Samuel Tay clocking steps in the evening with his family
The team at Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church, the final checkpoint
Team One MCS Sharing Love and Concern

By the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) Communications Team / Photos and visuals courtesy of MWS