Welfare

Worth much more than a $50 note

Nov 2009    

MR ALBERT LIM played the tuba in the school band which appeared on the back of the old $50 note. He was on the other end of the row when that picture was taken and just missed being included. He has contributed much to the needy in the community – a lot more than can be measured in dollars and cents.

He is a man who cannot sit still. He has to be involved. Which is a good thing, considering that he is now the Chairman of the Methodist Welfare Services’ (MWS) 21st Board of Governance (BOG).

The father of three and bulk commodities supply chain specialist has been involved in community work since the 1980s. As a volunteer with Wesley Youth Centre, he co-ordinated youth activities and sometimes drove a van to transport the youth about. Never mind that it was done to score brownie points with his girlfriend and now wife, Alison, who worked at the Youth Centre then.

“I believe that God called me to help the poor and needy, the down and out. In my primary and secondary school days,

I would share my allowance with school friends who could not afford to buy food during recess or meal times,” he said.

“I knew what it was like not to have. My dad was a bus-driver and the sole breadwinner supporting our family of six. My mother was a housewife and we lived in a three-room flat.” He in turn was taken care of by his senior bandmates.

He talks about his experiences animatedly: helping the Student’s Council and Interact Club behind the scenes, learning sign language and befriending the hearing impaired.

Later in life, he provided religious counselling in a drug rehabilitation centre for seven years as a Volunteer Aftercare Officer with SANA, saw changes in the demeanour of clients whose lives had been changed with the help of Daybreak Family Service Centre and helped to set up FaithActs in 2004. He still helps to connect the troubled to the right service, and is happy to have God use him as a channel.

His first contact with the MWS was at a carnival held at Anglo-Chinese Junior College in 1997 when he was the Chairman of the Social Concerns Committee of Faith Methodist Church. After that, he began serving on the MWS Management Committee, as the BOG was then known.

He has seen MWS’ community outreach grow exponentially over the years, and hopes to see MWS grow as an agency of service to the churches.

With so much on his plate, he still has lots of energy to spare – he plays soccer weekly and cycles with his children “when they are available”.

Mr Lim strongly believes that parents are the most important role models for their children. He and Alison, who is also involved in a number of church ministries, have taken their children Ariel, 18, Asher, 16, and Aaron, 12, on mission trips where they helped out in the children’s ministry. The children are also involved in the youth ministry and welcoming ministry at Faith MC.

He encourages Methodists to get involved in social concerns though it is often challenging and calls for sacrifice, as this is what Jesus came to do – to help the sick and needy, the down and out.

He recommends joining the social concerns efforts of their respective churches, as the support of members helps to keep one’s spirits up.

“I assure you that if you obey His calling to get involved in social concerns and take the bold step, God will fulfill Philippians 1:6 in you.”

On his new role leading the MWS, he said it is “a privilege from God that I can be a part of a God-fearing organisation whose board members are full of compassion and desire to share the burden of fulfilling the Methodists’ social creed.”

The other members who were elected with him recently to the BOG are:

The Rev William Sam Kin Leong (Vice-Chairman)
Mr Joseph Toh Guan Kiat (Hon Secretary)
Mrs Fong Loo Fern (Asst Hon Secretary)
Mr Chim Howe Lai (Treasurer)
Mr Chay Kim Fun (Asst Hon Treasurer)
Mrs Loh Chay Leng, Mr Chan Kum Kit, Mr Lam Wei Choong, Mr Leow Kim Liat and Mr David Wong Cheong Fook (Members).

Mylene Koh is the Manager Communications of the Methodist Welfare Services.

MWS charity movie screening

BE AMONG THE FIRST to watch Fantastic Mr Fox – an animated movie based on the Roald Dahl book – on Nov 19 and help raise funds for the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) at the same time.

Tickets are going at $80 per pair for the 9 pm screening at the Golden Village Marina.

Please contact Ms Quinne Low at 6478-4714 or email QuinnieLow@mws.org.sg to book your tickets.

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