“Interestingly, the children wrote better essays through voice message teaching method.” What a blessing in the midst of disaster!"
At the flats in Kepong where the poor stay in, there is a community church named Abundant Grace Assembly Of God that cares for the people in the community. The church is a good friend of the community, it supports the community in solving problems and facing life difficulties.
In the beginning of year 2020, from the moment Rev. Tang and his wife, Sister Low who are very passionate in social concern got to know about 7979 ministry, hence they decided to start a companionship class in church.
It has been a long time ever since Sister Low (the person in charge of companionship class) and her daughter left schooling lives, thus they are not familiar with present school curriculum. When Sis. Low heard students’ complaints regarding homework difficulties, she felt the urgent need to start a companionship class, not only to accompany them but also to guide them in their homework. “I hope to accompany the students as much as I could”, she said. The church hold on to this belief and trust God will provide their need, hence they started the companionship class.
Teacher Lin (pseudonym) has professional knowledge in children psychology. She used to do art and music therapy to heal children. Due to some changes in her family, where her ex-husband used up all their saving and abandon their youngest son, teacher Lin was forced to quit her job in Singapore and returned to Malaysia to take care of the son.
She was left with only RM1000 when she and her son took accommodation at a motel, eventually they end up moving into a unit of flat near Abundant Grace Assembly Of God where they share accommodation with foreign labours. Teacher Lin is a Christian, she look for a church nearby where she currently stays, and then she met Rev. Tang and his wife, Sister Low. When Sister Low came to aware of Teacher Lin’s situation, she invited her and her son to stay with them and invited her to be the teacher of companionship class. As the companionship class started, Teacher Lin joined the team.
In the beginning, the church spread the news regarding the opening of companionship class by giving out leaflets at the gates of schools and hawker centers, also through brothers and sisters’ recommendation, they got to know some single mothers.
Unexpectedly, MCO was implemented when companionship class just started for 2 weeks. But the church did not stop caring for the children and accompanying them, therefore the church decided to start online teaching. The teachers use WhatsApp video call and voice message to do homework guidance. Due to MCO, parents also get involved in their children’s assignment, and help their children to send their homework to teachers.
The teachers realized that the students learned better with online one to one teaching method. When the children do not understand something, they can always listen to the video repeatedly. “Interestingly, the children wrote better essays through voice message teaching method.” What a blessing in the midst of disaster!
There was a time when a teacher called up a student, the teacher discovered that the parents were unable to pay their house rental, so the church decided to help them by applying for 7979 Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) Special Assistance.
However, due to the fact that these parents do not have passbook and ATM card, it is inconvenient for them to withdraw their money. When Teacher Lin heard of their difficulty, she took the effort to accompany one of the parents to rode bicycle to the bank to apply for an ATM card and withdrew the money.
“I’m glad to help them, just like the motto of 7979, I can keep up the spirit of ‘Go and Save’ anytime and anywhere.” When Teacher Lin sees others’ need, she will take the initiative to care for them. Her concern for others is not about just helping people, but it also helps to build rapport too.
The parents were very thankful as they received the money, they in return treated the teaches with two dishes. It is to thank the church for helping them to apply for 7979 CIP Special Assistance, and showing gratitude to the teachers who take initiative to help when they have difficulty in withdrawing money from bank account.
On one occasion, the teachers got to know that a student is having her birthday, but had never eaten a birthday cake before. Teacher Lin pondered on this matter, thinking that she herself was once the beneficiary of 7979 CIP Special Assistance. Suddenly, she had an idea and she went to bought some cake making ingredients and make a birthday cake to share the blessing she received.
When the student received the cake, she were very touched and delighted. This little surprise had lifted up the dully quarantine life.
Rev. Tang and his wife just started to serve in Abundant Grace Assembly Of God on last year. As they first came to the church, they look out for social concern related ministry because they feel and understand the need of church to be actively involved in caring the community.
“In the past, the church initiated some caring ministries, however they do not have a main person in charge to manage, therefore they are lacking of man power and co-operation.” Now with the resources from 7979, and the full force effort from Rev. Tang and his wife, the church caring ministry is slowly developing. The church started to respond to the needs in caring for the children and helping people in the community quickly.
In the midst of pandemic, Abundant Grace Assembly Of God had helped many people in need in their community to apply for 7979 CIP Special Assistance, provided support and accompanied them to walk through their hardships, so that they can survive and thrive. A granny of a student from the companionship class gave a remark when she received the 7979 CIP Special Assistance. “The application approved very quickly, and money was transferred into my bank account very quickly too. I feel thankful that I can now withdraw money to buy food for my grandchildren,” the granny said. Sister Low shared this story of gratitude at the end of our conversation. Indeed, a genuine caring never demands returns.
Story from Abundant Grace Assembly of God (AOG), 7979 Holistic Care Station