Well, one of my greatest thanksgiving is working with our volunteers! Currently, we have 19 volunteers serving with us in different capacities. Some are involved in regular outreach while others plan events or follow up with students. A number of them are ITE graduates who used to attend our small groups (P.E.P).
For Koh Liwen, who graduated from ITE College East and currently studying in Nanyang Polytechnic, serving in SYFC has helped her to grow in her discernment. When students ask difficult questions, she takes time to think of in-depth Biblical responses. Yeo Weiqiang, 37, recounts, “Throughout my two years in ITE, I realized that ITE students may look tough or lazy but actually they are more vulnerable than others. Just like Steve Green’s song ‘People Need The Lord’, they too need to hear the words of life which only we can share.”
While most of our volunteers are ITE alumni, Jeremy Ang, felt led to the ministry (though not an ITE graduate). Jeremy was introduced to us after finishing his National Service while awaiting university studies. What made him serve despite not having an ITE background? “ITE students tend to look down on themselves because the society looks down on them. So if I, a university student can show them love, hopefully it will help change their minds and let them experience God’s love.”
Jeremy’s volunteering has allowed him to witness God’s hands at work. He recalls an encounter where he approached two students to fill in a questionnaire. They rejected him and walked off. Yet as they exited the supermarket a little later, one of them came back to ask Jeremy if he could fill up the questionnaire! After sharing the gospel with him, the student was interested to find out more. He has since placed his faith in Christ and is joining our ministry’s events!
Serving Christ as a volunteer certainly has its challenges. Liwen recounts Short Serve as challenging. “Not only did I need to reach Bible House early daily, we needed to try and reach a certain evangelism goal that we have set for ourselves”. For Weiqiang, presently an engineer and married with two children, struggling with work commitments, family and service can be quite demanding. Yet, his heavy burden for ITE students has kept him volunteering since 1999!
Liwen describes a typical ITE student as one who loves “eating sweets and chocolates and eating around the campus, wherever they are.” According to Jeremy, “a typical ITE student might have medical conditions that affect their studying capabilities or come from dysfunctional families that led them to work part-time. Some may also get into bad company and make some bad choices. In spite of that, they try to enjoy the simplicity of life.”
Short Serve, a variation of Project Serve, is a full time stint for ITE graduates to serve in ITE Ministry during their holidays.
While it is not difficult to share the good news with ITE students, not many of them readily respond to the Lord. Yet, we need to press on in sowing seeds because Weiqiang strongly feels that “ITE students need to know that they can find everlasting love and security in Jesus Christ himself!”
The work of ITE Ministry has been a delight with the faithful volunteers’ partnership. My prayer is that our volunteers will not give up on doing good, for in due season, we will reap the harvest (Galatians 6:9)!