35 Years 35 Stories
Director – Services for People with Special Needs
“What makes us human is not our mind but our heart, not our ability to think but our ability to love” – Henri Nouven.
Life was meaningless after my mom’s passing. I started questioning the purpose of my existence in this world. The search for meaning in life led me to a journey with people with special needs. It began with me volunteering with Malaysian Care in Social Club that provided activities for people with severe intellectual disabilities. I felt so fulfilled every time I was with these friends with special needs. My passion grew, prompting me to do something more for them. A year later, I joined Malaysian Care as a full time staff, equipped with next to nothing in skills and knowledge in special education.
Throughout my journey in serving the people with special needs and their families, I have been blessed with numerous unforgettable wonderful experiences with God through them. There are two that are most memorable to me. I remember on one occasion helping a couple who are my friends, to take care of their son, Dominic. Dominic has cerebral palsy with severe intellectual disabilities. I was left alone with him and decided to spend time just worshipping God with him. At the end of my prayer, I heard a loud ‘Amen’ from Dominic. He even gave me a big smile. At first, I was puzzled and wasn’t sure it was from him because Dominic has no speech ability! But there was no one around except us! I was amazed and filled with joy. God has shown me that the impossible can be possible when we are in His presence.
The second was while working as a camp helper in Handi*Camp in USA. My role was to have devotion with my camper, Christina who was stricken with cerebral palsy and severe intellectual disabilities. I felt the love of God swept over me and I wept tears of joy when I saw the love through Christina’s smile. I have experienced that people with special needs are also God’s vessels to show His glory and love.
From these two wonderful encounters, I received God’s complete healing for my inner self. I have also discovered God’s purpose for my life and it led me to be aware of my own brokenness and pain. My experience with people with special needs has helped me realise that everyone is useful no matter how weak or disabled they appear to be. Despite their severe limitations, God can still use them to meet our needs, teach us and show us the beauty of our God.
Make no mistake. Ministry is tough. It has never been a bed of roses nor smooth sailing. There were times I was so overwhelmed by the pressing needs of families of children with disabilities. With my Master’s degree in Education for Special Education Needs, I tend to rely on my own abilities. But God reminded me of my need to depend on Him. Often I faced overwhelming challenges that brought me to my knees, learning to be completely relying on God’s wisdom, strength and grace.
I don’t consider myself having sacrificed much at all. Instead I have received so much of God’s grace and His love in exchange. Serving is not only about you giving. These special people the society has marginalised and considered invisible in the eyes of many have brought so much joy and meaning into my life. My special calling is to touch the heart of special people with the heart of God and be touched in return.
‘God has chosen what is foolish in the world to confound the wise. He has chosen what is weak to confound the strong.’ (1 Corinthians 1:27)