We celebrated Teacher’s Day in early September and in October we celebrated Children’s Day. Teachers and children are 2 groups of “very influential people” in many of our lives. I am not exempted. Both my teachers and my boy, Daniel, have impacted my life in pretty significant ways.
My Primary 4 teacher, Mrs. Wong, brought me to Christ. She shared the Gospel message to the class, led me to say the sinner’s prayer and taught me Bible stories, Christian values and basic disciplines of Bible reading and prayer. To a 1st generation Christian she is my mentor and guide to everything Christian. She and many other teachers in my growing up years have inspired me to be a teacher when I grow up.
I came to Gloria Methodist Church in Primary 4. My Sunday School teachers – the late Rev Lim, Bro Chong Pong,
Bro Hong Ngak, Bro Long Shang, Sis Choy Fong, Sis Yin Chee, have left deep impressions in my life. They have helped shaped my faith, my values and my character. I have seen and learnt from their lives what it means to serve wholeheartedly without expecting rewards, what it means to give up everything to follow Jesus, what it means to love God, His people and His Church. They are role models and Christian parents to me. They have been instrumental in challenging me into Children’s Ministry.
I started serving in Children’s Ministry when I was in Secondary 4. I attended teachers‘ training and started serving in Good News Club, a Saturday outreach program to neighbourhood kids and Children’s Sunday School. Serving in Children’s Ministry was a weekly affair; prepared lessons week after week and ran Saturday programs week after week.
Sometimes I felt alone; no support, no encouragement, no guidance. Many whom I have taught are no longer with us. Some have grown and are leaders in ministries and leaders in their own work and in their families. I do understand what it takes to serve in Children’s Ministry. It’s not as easy as what some would perceive it to be and very often you will only see the fruits of your labor after many years of hard work.
May I encourage all teachers not to give up. The Lord sees and knows your labor of love. Our children need you. What you do will have a lasting legacy in the young lives you touch and influence week after week. Press on teachers!
Daniel is God’s miracle in our lives. He has brought Lena and me lots of laughter and at the same time lots of frustrations, lots of anxieties and headaches as well. Daniel has become our key considerations in many of our decisions and has changed many of our life plans. He has caused us to go to places and do things that we would otherwise not have done.
Personally, Daniel has helped me understand what it means to love selflessly, what it means to trust our Father in Heaven with childlike faith, understand the heart of a Father who will never deny their child of good things, understand the dilemma between discipline and love.
Fatherhood is a struggle for me. I fear that my child will be drawn away by the attractions of the world and will be less committed than his parents. I fear that I am not setting a godly example for him. I am afraid that I am not giving him enough of my time and attention in his growing up years. I struggle to balance between instilling discipline and sparing the rod. May the Lord grant wisdom to me and all fathers.
I pray that all teachers will press on in their calling to the teaching vocation and may the Lord continue to bless the work of their hands in moulding young lives. I pray that all parents will train up their children in the way of the Lord so that when they grow up they will never depart from it (Prov 22:6). I pray that all children will understand and appreciate the love their parents have for them and will obey and honor their parents for this is the first commandment with a promise (Eph 6:2).
Happy Teacher’s Day and Happy Children’s Day in 2018 and beyond!
By Loh Kum Fei