Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) has recently appointed Ambassadors within local Methodist churches to pave the way in caring for the “last, lost and least”. These Ambassadors can tap on available resources provided by MWS, to extend swifter and more targeted help for those in need served by the churches.
The Methodist Welfare Services’ Ambassador (MWSA) initiative was started in April 2016 to build closer partnerships with churches, and further engage church members in social concerns work and reaching out to the less fortunate. Currently, there are 28 MWSAs in 24 Methodist churches.
One such MWSA is Mr Wilson Sampath (above right), who has been Chairman of Ang Mo Kio Tamil Methodist Church’s Social Concerns ministry for the past five years, and co-labours with nine other members in his committee. MWS recently interviewed Wilson on his experience in the social concerns ministry.
Q: What are the key initiatives in which the church has collaborated with MWS?
I was an Advocate for the MWS Getting Out Of Debt (GOOD) programme last year, which aimed to free needy families from chronic debt to mark the 130th Anniversary of The Methodist Church in Singapore and Singapore’s Golden Jubilee.
Apart from this, our Social Concerns ministry partnered with MWS in befriending 14 beneficiary families and making monthly visits to extend financial and emotional support.
Q: What is your primary role as a MWSA?
MWS works on a larger level and is able to have a greater impact. As a MWS Ambassador, my role would be to increase awareness of MWS and its upcoming programmes in the church. The church body does not always know that MWS is the social concerns arm of the Methodist Church, so that is very surprising!
Q: Could you share some plans you have in store for your ministry and MWS?
As a MWSA, I was able to tap on MWS’ networking resources. MWS facilitated discussions with a food bank, which agreed to provide food parcels for my church to distribute to needy families in the community. Currently we distribute food parcels to 15 families. I look forward to fulfilling more requests from those who need items like rice, oil etc.
Q: What is your dream for MWS and the Social Concerns ministry?
I would like to help as many people as possible. So much more can be done – the work is never finished!
One example is how the amounts disbursed by existing bursary schemes are sometimes insufficient to fulfil a child’s education needs and enable families to survive. MWS can bridge that gap.
Also, it is a noble thing to serve the Lord, so we always look out for people whose interest is in helping others and draw them in to the ministry.
Q: Who would be a likely candidate for your ministry and as a MWSA?
We need people who have passion and heart. We have to sit down with others to understand their needs. It’s not just about giving out cheques, but also understanding the background of those you help. When you have an intimate knowledge of their social conditions and feelings, you begin to grasp what kind of help they really need.
Q: Where did your passion for the Social Concerns ministry spring from?
I have liked helping others ever since I was young. Although I studied Human Resources and my job is in client management, if you ask me what I like to do best, I would say social work.
It makes me very happy when I help somebody out. The smile on the person’s face makes me very happy. This is what drives me!
James 2:26 says “faith without deeds is dead”. You can say you are a very spiritual or religious person, but if your faith is not reflected in your actions when you see a person in need and you do not have the heart to help, that leaves much to be desired.
Inspired by Wilson to be a MWSA in giving, volunteering and speaking up for the less fortunate? Talk to your Pastor or the Social Concerns committee of your church today! Alternatively, email MWS at CE@mws.sg
By the Methodist Welfare Services Communications Team
Photos courtesy of the Methodist Welfare Services