“Auntie, jiak ba buay?” That’s my best attempt at making conversation with one of the aunties in our cleaning staff. If the conversation goes on beyond that, I’ll have to steal glances at my co-workers to help me out as my Hokkien really “cannot make it”.
Auntie Ah Keow is one of the friendly faces who keep our church premises and offices clean. We have a team of six regular caretakers who are deployed by the cleaning company to take care of and maintain our church premises. Some of them have been with us for more than 10 years. They work behind the scenes yet their presence is essential to the church.
So when my co-worker Rachel suggested showing appreciation to our team of caretakers, I immediately thought it such a great idea. Especially during this season, when the church is in full gear putting in place the precautionary measures for COVID-19, we count on our caretakers who tirelessly keep our premises clean and disinfected.
We rallied some of our co-workers who contributed towards the packing of a pack to present to each of our caretakers as a token of our appreciation. We filled the packs with wellness products like eye masks, Vitamin C effervescent tablets, hand cream and also a supermarket voucher for them to get their favourite snack. We even had a small ceremony when our Pastor-in-Charge, the Rev Raymond Fong, gave out the packs to our caretakers while my co-workers and I cheered them on. Some of them were shy to be in the limelight but none of them failed to smile when they receive the pack.
Even as we each have our own role in this battle against COVID-19, I was reminded that there are many who have worked and continue to work behind the scenes to keep us safe. It is the many parts that make up the one body.
Jimaia Wong is a member of pastoral team at Faith Methodist Church, overseeing missions. She enjoys engaging in life-giving conversations, even when the language is not one she can speak fluently.
Photos courtesy of Faith Methodist Church