70 City Harvest volunteers turned on the magic and charmed 600 guests of the Pavilion Estate Residents Committee.
Contributed By Dennis Lim & Sherie Ng
Three groups of guests—the residents of Pavilion Estate, elderly persons from Toa Payoh Care Corner and people with special needs from RAYZ—gathered at the Pavilion Christmas Celebration on Dec. 18, 2010 at the Pavilion Estate located in Bukit Batok.
The event brought joy, cheer and love to all present. It also sparked generosity and a sense of charity among many at Pavilion Estate—many people were inspired to give to the elderly and intellectually disabled. Besides the warmth this event brought to participants, the organizers also raised S$5,000 for RAYZ, the arm of City Harvest Community Services Association that provides support to individuals with special needs.
The celebration was graced by Member of Parliament and Chairman of Hong Kah GRC, Mr. Ang Mong Seng and Chairman of Pavilion RC, Mr. Lim Bong Guan. Lim later told Shin Min Daily how impressed he was with the great performances and spirit of excellence demonstrated by volunteers behind this entertaining and meaningful celebration. He advocated this exemplary spirit of volunteerism and demonstration of care and love for the community.
It was a magical evening; the audience was captivated by a series of performances, Christmas characters on stilts, fun-filled storytelling, balloon sculpting, a song-and-sign language dance presentation from RAYZ, a heartwrenching drama, high energy dance performances by children and adults, caroling and singing and even a candlelight Christmas sing-along, put together by volunteers from City Harvest Chinese Church and members of W491, a cell group under the pastoral care of Goh Yock Kiang, a district pastor of City Harvest Church.
Goh said, “I am so proud of our members, many of whom are full-time professionals and businessmen in the marketplace; I’m touched by their willingness to share and give what they have to bring cheer to the community.”
“This event is a great testament of how little becomes much in the Master’s hands,” said Rick Quek, cell group leader of W491, who helped organize the celebration. “When approached by the Pavilion Residence Committee chairman to put together the 2010 Christmas Celebration party for Pavilion Estate, I was a little apprehensive. Then, God strongly impressed upon me not to hire professional entertainers but to use what we have in our cell group to pull this event together. Thank God that we have a group of people who are passionate about sharing the love of God and who are true to the City Harvest vision of a church without walls. The CHC volunteers, aged 6 to 60, from Indonesia, Korea, China, Singapore and Malaysia brought the house down with their dedicated involvement. The beneficiaries were asking, ‘Who are these talented people, where are they from and why would they volunteer to bring such joy and warm to this community?’”
To bring the love of God and the joy of Christmas to Pavilion Estate, the 70 volunteers spent six weeks in preparation for the drama. The cast and crew (many of them businesspeople and professionals) were not professional performers but did a stellar job.
“We were all very impressed,” said Eldwin Wong, a resident of Pavilion Estate, a senior executive at a multinational company who came with his family of seven. “The entire production was very entertaining and at the same time meaningful and heartwarming. This is one of the best RC events I have ever attended, having been to many over the years. What strikes me is how well the entire event, down to the finest detail, was executed. There is something different about these performers; their passion and enthusiasm is really infectious!”
|PHOTO COURTESY OF CORPORATE I PTE LTD|
“Awesome, awesome, awesome!” described Lim. “Our residents were really moved and touched by the great performance from the intellectually-disabled. We thoroughly enjoyed the highly entertaining drama—what an ingenious show! It reflected the current sentiment of society yet every minute of it was highly entertaining with songs, dance and great acting.”
For the performers, the joy was in bringing joy. “It was heart-warming to see such a spirit of excellence in every performance! Hearing laughter and cheers during the dances and seeing tears in the audience’s eyes during the drama … it really melted the hearts of us volunteers,” said Krystle Liew, an analyst by profession, who served as crew.
For volunteer Terence Seah, it was an opportunity to grow as a person and a Christian. “The many days and nights sacrificed for rehearsals were tough for someone like me who works in sales and whose monthly income is dependent on commissions earned. However, I do believe that sometimes God wants to stretch us just so that we can be enlarged in him. I like to think of myself as la mian dough. Just when I think the dough is going to break, it always manages to not just stay intact but grow even longer, finer and more beautiful in the end. I know God is stretching me to be more and more beautiful in His likeness!”