Reflections On HOPE Worldwide Flag Day 2019
Chan Gin Kai
It is not often that anyone looks forward to four hours of toil under the sun. But talk to any of the close to 1,000 volunteers of HOPE worldwide Singapore and you'll be surprised to hear the joy in their voices as they relate their experiences canvassing for donation on Saturday 7 September.
It was HOPE's annual flag day, and a majority of the volunteers were from the Central Christian Church. The first of three shifts hit the streets at 8am and the last shift finished 12 hours later at 8pm. Some volunteers even did more than one shift. Armed with a little tin can and a load of enthusiasm, the volunteers approached passers-by tirelessly for donations. It is so encouraging to see volunteers from a very diverse demography.
I appreciate the kids, some as young as four or five years old, going around with the tin cans in their little hands. I am inspired that their parents are introducing them to philanthropy at a young age, teaching them that they can help the less fortunate despite their youth. We sometimes worry about the next generation, wondering if they'll grow up to become 'snowflakes'. But looking at these parents and their kids, I am imbued with confidence that they will make a difference.
I am so full of respect for the elderly volunteers. Knowing many of them personally, I am well aware of the health issues they face on a daily basis. Their legs are weaker and their stamina is short, but none of them allowed these physical limitations to stop them from serving passionately. They appeared to have springs in their joints instead of rheumatism; I saw cheerful faces instead of tired ones.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38)
Jesus was busy healing and preaching to the multitude, meeting spiritual needs as well as earthly ones. As he looked at the crowd, he felt compassion for them. He wished there were more workers out in the harvest field so that more people could be helped.
When I looked at the workers on the 'harvest field' last Saturday, my heart swelled with pride. I'm sure Jesus saw the hard work of our volunteers and smiled... He saw his disciples imitating his love.
Enjoy the video taken from the Flag Day!
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".