A group of businessmen and their spouses spread love, warmth and joy to the elderly in the Toa Payoh heartland.
Contributed By Gideon Foo Cechao
Coming together from all walks of life, 15 businessmen and their wives organized a luncheon on the afternoon of Oct. 16 to bless a group of elderly folks residing in the heartland district of Toa Payoh. The lunch was held at the popular Mellben Seafood Restaurant.
Wong Loke Kit, 48, who works in the construction industry, is a connect group coordinator in City Harvest Church and the main organizer of the lunch event. His wife is a cell group leader in the church and his son serves as an usher in the English service. Says Wong, “The objective [of the event] is for the elderly to enjoy a sumptuous lunch, to fellowship with friends and simply to have a good time.”
The businessmen volunteers come from various cell groups in CHC’s Chinese Church under the pastoral care of assistant pastor Leong Yan Chee. They collaborated closely with the workers in CHC’s Dialect Service who have organized events for the Fei Yue Senior Activity Centre and the Toa Payoh Care Corner in the past.
John Koh, a full-time staff of the Dialect Church explained, “We have conducted activities at the Care Corner before. It is great that these volunteers have chosen to give their resources to help and bless the elderly.
It is important to reach out to the older generation because they have contributed so much to the building of our nation; we should bless them back in return.”
On the afternoon of the lunch, 80 beneficiaries arrived by chartered buses to the front of the restaurant, where the volunteers welcomed and assisted them up the stairway to their seats. The afternoon kicked off with an icebreaker and was followed by a time of testimony sharing by 69-year-old Wang Xiang Lin. He shared candidly about how he used to be addicted to gambling, but God helped him to kick the habit after he began attending CHC in 1998.
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Throughout the lunch, the atmosphere buzzed with eager anticipation as the elderly participated in various entertaining and fun-filled activities. Despite their advanced years, they remain unabashedly energetic, clapping and singing classic oldies. An elderly woman even came forward to dance the “cha-cha,” garnering the loud and appreciative applause from the audience.
The sumptuous lunch came to an end with a performance by the volunteers, who sang a farewell song and distributed “red packets” as a parting gift to every elderly person present. “I enjoyed myself a lot. My children actually asked me out, but I came here instead. You are all very kind,” conveyed Teo Ah Lek, 82, in Hokkien.
Thum Keen Tong, 68, also expressed similar sentiments, “I am very happy to be here. The food is good and the people are friendly.”
Lawrence Loh and Helen Mah, two Chinese Church members in their early 50s working in sales, are among the volunteers who contributed their time and finances to make this event a success. “It is really nice to be able to help out with the elderly folk. When we see them enjoying themselves, we feel happy too,” remarked Mah, beaming with satisfaction.
Another volunteer, Judy Lim, 48, shared, “It is great to get together with other like-minded individuals to help others. I feel happy doing things for the old folks … doing our part to make them feel accepted.”