Most people are still in their youth at the age of 20, but for Ah Ping (pseudonym), at that young age she not only provided for her family, but she also shouldered the burden of her family debt….
Ah Ping lived with her grandfather, grandmother and a younger brother. To support the whole family, she worked at a travel agency while her grandmother washed dishes at an eatery. In March last year, her grandmother suddenly passed away. Meanwhile, her job at the travel agency became unstable as the tourism industry was badly affected by the pandemic. She immediately plunged into financial difficulties. Her family had to rely on the small monthly allowance from the government to make ends meet. The pandemic worsened and for months businesses in most industries were still unable to resume. In desperation, Ah Ping resorted to getting loans from her colleagues and the company to tide her over. She even withdrew all her EPF which she had accumulated for two years. At that time, she had already piled up a debt of RM8000 while the outlook for tourism economy recovery remained highly uncertain. The loans she took from her colleagues and the company had deterred her from finding a new job.
Feeling helpless, Ah Ping contacted the Elim Gospel Church at Ipoh, a 7979 Holistic Care Station. With the help of the Church, Ah Ping, who had no one to turn to for support previously, calmly dealt with her debt issues. She found peace and a sense of calmness through the prayers and comfort she received from the Church volunteers. Shortly after that, Ah Ping found a stable job at a child care centre. At that time, the Church volunteers also brought Manna food bags for her family once every two months, so that they can save a little on their daily expenses to pay off their debts. Over the past eight months, although the debt has not been fully paid off, the care and spiritual comfort she received from the Church volunteers have sustained her and she’s no longer at a loss. She now believes that life beyond the age of 20 is worth exploring.