Children from the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home were treated to a day of pre-Christmas fun activities.
Contributed By Gloria Wong
Christmas came early for the children of Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home as they participated in a carnival held specially for them on Nov. 19. The event was organized by members of the WYZ Zone at City Harvest Church, which is under the pastoral care of district pastor Wu Yuzhuang. It saw 79 people coming together to bring joy and light up the lives of these children, many of whom come from dysfunctional family backgrounds.
Jourdan Kamal, 25, one of the cell group leaders spearheading the event, said, “We wanted to do something meaningful this Christmas season, so we decided to get together to do something special for these little children this Christmas.”
“I got in touch with the staff of CSLMCH, who suggested a carnival-like event for the children. After a brainstorming session, we decided to have various stalls that involved activities where we could spend quality time engaging the children.”
The various stalls at the carnival featured art and craft activities, a makeover booth, a photography station, a music corner, basketball, football, and even a grooming station offering manicure.
The children soaked up the atmosphere, merrily partaking of the delicious goodies that were handed out to them. Several children were soon drawn to a station requiring them to decorate a Christmas tree.
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“The children had to decorate a Christmas tree made up of three slices of bread, using dye, M&Ms, chocolates, sprinkles and the like,” said Huang Liang Peng, 27, a compliance executive. “It gave them the opportunity to display their artistic talents and creativity as they made the most out of the limited items that were available.”
The children seized the day to showcase their creativity and talent at the various stalls. From creating Christmas cards to painting volunteers’ nails in unusual patterns and colors, the obvious joy at being able to unleash their imagination was apparent for all to see.
As the younger children spent time at the craft stalls, the football and basketball games went on while several girls were visibly fascinated by the grooming station. Hesitation at having their make-up done soon faded with the constant encouragement and sincerity of the volunteers.
The make-up artists for the day, such as husband-and-wife duo Tim Wong, 27, a business owner and his wife Teo Ling Nah, a teacher, began working their make-up and hairstyling magic on them.
Slowly but surely, confidence replaced shyness. The girls relished the attention lavished on them, and had their photographs taken to commemorate the moment.
“The children were pretty excited to have their photographs taken, and were especially intrigued by the ability to edit a photograph such as choosing a background, inserting text onto the picture,” noted Diana Chua, 26, a lawyer.
Taking photographs, being able to edit and touch up the pictures before printing them is considered commonplace in our society today, yet it is a novel thing for these children.
The booth was soon swarmed with a deluge of children wanting to have their memories documented.
Patience was the name of the game as children had to wait their turn for their photos. In eager anticipation, they kept running back to the booth to check if their photographs had been printed.
Upon receiving them, the children alternated between showing off the beautiful photographs and clinging on tightly to them lest their reminder of a wonderful day got lost.
Beginning the day as strangers and ending the day as friends, it was a heartwarming day where people came together as one to have fun and enjoy themselves. The afternoon was then concluded with a round of Christmas carols.
“The children were very enthusiastic and it was apparent that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It touched my heart to see them experience the joy of Christmas,” said Joseph Chen, 26, an army regular.
Although the day was meant to bring cheer into the lives of the children, the children also touched the volunteers with their exuberance and delight in return.
“Seeing them laughing and having so much fun makes me glad,” said Ivan Sum, 23, logistics assistant. Huang agreed readily, noting that the volunteers were as blessed by the children. “It is truly a blessing to be able to bring joy and love to them during this festive season. I look forward to visiting them again!”
Kamal expects that more such events will be organized. “Personally, I couldn’t bear to part with the children, and was thinking of organizing more events for them in the future. Besides, as children of God ourselves, I think we should be doing such things more often.”