Every heart-warming deed is worthy of gratitude TRANSLATED BY DAWN LIM
Motorcycle is the only means of transportation to Ryan’s (pseudonym) family. Every day, Ryan sends his eldest daughter to work on his motorcycle before he heads to work while the rest of his children go to school in a school bus. Ryan is a welder; but during the pandemic, his workload reduced tremendously, thus he only worked for two or three days a week. Christian Praise Centre 7979 Holistic Care Station provides the family with food aid through the Manna Food Bag program every two months.
Ryan, a Sarawakian, married his Indonesian wife many years ago without a formal registration of their marriage. They have four children aged 20, 17, 16 and 12, and the family now lives in Kuantan. Without a birth certificate, the four children could not enjoy the benefits offered to Malaysian students in school. The eldest daughter had an outstanding academic performance and was able to study up to Form 6, but she could not apply to any of the local universities since she doesn’t have an Identity Card. As a result, she has to go out to work as a salesperson. Three years ago, the Church paid most of the expenses for Ryan’s wife to make a trip back to Indonesia in the hope of obtaining a legal document so that she could help her children apply for an Identity Card, but her effort was futile. Now in the midst of the pandemic, the cost of returning to Malaysia is even higher than before. Therefore, his wife can only stay in Indonesia and be separated from her family. The Church sought help from politicians and government agencies, but they were not successful in securing legal aid for the family.
Although this family is constantly going through hard times, it is also continuously experiencing heart-warming deeds perform by some good Samaritans. The family was in arrears of rent for several months, but surprisingly not only the landlord didn’t evict them, he has agreed to allow them to continue to stay in the property. Ryan was unable to pay the children’s bus fare which had accumulated to several thousand Ringgits but the bus driver did not demand for payment and continued to give a lift to the children. His youngest child is more fortunate than his brothers and sisters though. After school, he attends the Companionship Class for the underprivileged children at Kuantan Glorious Grace Presbyterian Church and the church volunteers will send him home thereafter.
Although their helpless situation has yet to improve, the silent companionship of the volunteers and their care over the past few years have given hope and warmth to the family. When the government agencies and social welfare organisations were unable to intervene, the volunteers would still continue to deliver the Manna Food Bag and keep them company.