40acts: Act 20 – Close to Home

The half way point

Act 20…phew…half way there. I’m not going to sugar coat this – this year has been ‘challenging’ (aka difficult) trying to complete these acts. I don’t know why this year particularly has been extra difficult- but it has. I’m not nerdy enough to compare the challenges year on year but maybe they are more ‘challenging’ this year, designed to expand our capacity even further? Maybe it’s because I am in a new country and still finding how the nitty gritty things work here. I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve found it hard. I’ve found it tiring. I’ve found having to think outside the box, on each challenge, challenging. I’ve found other life events have knocked me sideways. I’ve found blogging about it daily disheartening as I’m not sure many are even reading these – so what’s the point? (I know a couple of people are as they have liked my posts and I want to thank them from the bottom of meart for that encouragement.) What I do know is that it’s not been as much joy as it has in previous years. Don’t get me wrong – some days have been delightful – but most haven’t had that shine. I know God calls us to serve Him cheerfully and that’s the whole point of 40acts but I don’t mind admitting honestly that I’m flagging a bit.

Act 20: Close to Home

Today we’re championing local causes. And if we don’t do it, who will? The only people who’ll raise a banner for local causes are locals, so let’s be the ones who’ll rise to that challenge. Imagine if people talked up your neighbourhood as a place where people are kind. – Hannah Whitehead

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.'”
(Matthew 22:37–39 NIV)

Today’s Options

GREEN OPTION:

Start chatting to people in your area, whether that is an isolated elderly person, your next-door neighbour or a homeless person.

YELLOW OPTION:

Take part in a volunteer day. You can look up local causes, care homes or schools.

RED OPTION:

See if you can volunteer frequently for a local cause you love.

What did I do?

After breathing a heavy sigh I wondered what I could do. Let me expand.

The green option – elderly people live with their families in Singapore. It’s the culture here. I don’t know without researching whether care homes even exist here. Family looks after family so no one is usually, (because I don’t know for sure) isolated.

I did research if there were any people who were homeless in Singapore because you just don’t see any. If anyone is discovered sleeping outdoors here the police are called. Not to move them on (like in the UK) but to take care of them. They will be taken to care facilities and helped. There’s a whole kind and caring system in place to help people. Hence why you just don’t see anyone sleeping rough.

The Yellow option suggests volunteering a day with local causes. This is going to require some additional research because I simply don’t know any.

The red option follows on from the yellow option and suggests regular volunteering.

Research

On receiving a lift home from church the other week we drove past a place that caught my attention. It said ‘Minds’ on the side of the building and it intrigued me. My friend said it was a development centre for the disabled. I thought I would look it up when I got home but then forgot about it.

Today’s task reminded me. I looked on google maps and found the address and website. The building is the Idea Minds Employment Development Centre (‘IEDC’). The centre was converted from an old school building in 1992 and has been serving people with intellectual disability through vocation training and various employment aids.

Their website: minds.org.sg

‘Minds’ means ‘movement for the intellectually disabled of Singapore’. It has been providing adults with ‘intellectual challenges’, aged 18 years and above, through sheltered employment, supported employment and open employment. They say:

The Centre strives on to constantly assist its clients to reach their potential for independence by providing opportunities in employment, friendship and community services.

The Centre has a staff strength of 45 and serves some 315 clients.

They say:

IEDC is always on the lookout for community partners, companies and individuals who are keen to help its trainees, in terms of employment and community involvement. Do feel free to drop us any enquiries you may have.

I now have the contact details from the website and will be emailing them to see if and how I can become involved. I’m sure it’s the first step in a journey to be continued.

#40acts

PS the fonts gone all wonky and I don’t know why and can’t seem to correct it- apologies for that.