Part Four of the series on the Methodist Welfare Services highlights programmes and services for children and youth. Once again we witness the strength of Jin Han and Susanna’s faith and their commitment to their family as the former reminisces about their life together in a love letter.
DEAR Susanna, Do you know that I rue the days we spent worrying about Charis when you started working full-time?
That fortnight of arguing and debating on where to put her up so that she could have a safe place to stay after school and have someone supervise her with homework taught me about openness. We could have brought up the issue in our cell group meeting instead of keeping mum about it for many days. Even our normally cheerful girl felt the tension in our relationship and became irritable, poor child.
As it happened, as soon as word got around that we were looking for a student care centre, we were flooded with recommendations from well-meaning church friends. That was when we found out that the Methodist Welfare Services actually runs such programmes for children and youth!
Well, I completely enjoyed the period that followed those stressful days. We had a good time shopping around for a place even though it was tiring and you and I had to take some time off from work. Indeed, we were blessed because as we went from centre to centre inspecting the facilities, our expectations became clearer to us.
We agreed to find a student care centre that would be near Charis’ school in Geylang. We needed an affordable one, of course. Most importantly, we wanted a centre that had a loving and happy environment, one that we could trust to inculcate the same values we try to instill in Charis. With such expectations we expected to take a while more to find the right centre but with the help of Margaret and our cell group we came to know about D’Joy Children’s Centre located in Lavender.
Finding out that D’Joy Children’s Centre also runs a Student Care Centre did not solve our problem immediately as we needed to make transport arrangements too. But praise God, Charis’ school had a group of girls who attended the same student care centre and were sent there by their school bus. And to Charis’ delight, one of those girls was her classmate, Tanya.
It soon became apparent that we made the right choice in sending Charis to D’Joy Student Care Centre. Our little girl became even more motivated in school and blossomed in other areas as well. I was so impressed with the first birthday card she made for you. Who would have imagined that our daughter could actually draw and colour so vividly her work seemed to pop right out of the card! And of course, being her proud father, I exclaimed that creative streak must have come from my genes, ha ha ha.
Don’t you agree that these four years at D’Joy are some of the happiest for Charis? I can still remember her animated accounts of their school holiday outings and how she could not stop talking about them for days. She loves her friends and teachers so much she will be heartbroken at the end of this school year when she realises she will not be able to see them every day starting next year when she goes to secondary school.
Mel Lee is the Senior Executive (Communications) of the Methodist Welfare Services.
Editor: The story of Jin Han and Susanna will continue in the June issue of Methodist Message. Although theirs is a fictional story, it reflects many of the situations encountered by our various centres. Any similarities to actual persons, places or situations are purely coincidental.
MWS services for children and youth
Affordable quality child care and student care services are provided for the holistic nurturing and development of each young life. Preventive programmes, pastoral care, counselling and remedial services are offered to youth. Annual MWS bursaries are awarded to school children from disadvantaged families.
* D’Joy Children’s Centre
Tel: 6294-9960 Fax: 6294-9597
* iConnect Student Care @ FTPPS
Tel: 6352-5996 Fax: 6252-5321
* Methodist Children & Youth Centre
Tel: 6562-2211 Fax: 6569-8038
* MWS Bursary Awards
Tel: 6478-4700 Fax: 6478-4701
Daybreak Family Service Centre
Tel: 6756-4995 Fax: 6752-4702 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sembawang Family Service Centre
Tel: 6754-2890 Fax: 6754-0112 email@example.com
Both the Family Service Centres also operate Student Care Centres.