NATIONAL DAY SPECIAL
THE Rev Seow Choon Seng has been awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM), making him the first Methodist pastor ever to receive such a National Day award.
He is serving as an elder in the Chinese Annual Conference of The Methodist Church in Singapore.
The Rev Seow, 53, who is a member of the Board of Visitors (SAF Detention Barracks), was given the award for his community work.
One of the longest serving volunteers on the board, he has been helping to make life easier for prisoners in military detention for 23 years by visiting them and befriending them.
He has even gone out of his way to visit their parents and family members, sometimes late in the night, to give them food and to comfort them.
While he is pleased to receive the award, he told Methodist Message that what he was doing was “just following Jesus Christ”.
“I serve out of Christ’s love for the detainees when I hear the cries of these people,” he said, adding:
“Most of the detainees come from very poor and broken families. They and their family members need not only financial help and provisions, but also comfort, friendship and words of encouragement.”
He said each time he visited the detainees he was also reminded of the work of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.
“Wesley would visit prisoners and give them comfort and hope. Visiting prisoners has become a part of Methodism’s social work. It takes time to reach out to these people and win their friendship. They, as well as their family members, need help.”