The love of God is truly shed abroad in these two business owners’ hearts: they bring hope and love to the needy and the sick.
By Theodora Ho
For many, Christmas is a time for receiving. But for businessmen Stanley Quek and Franck Wong, it is the perfect time to give back to the community. Even as families gather for a time of merry-making, these two individuals gather their staff and friends to bring joy to people who never had the chance of experiencing Christmas the way most Singaporeans have.
Stanley Quek runs a wealth management firm Catalyst Capital Group, with a staff strength of 30. Having experienced a childhood that was devoid of luxuries, Quek, now a successful business owner, felt prompted by God to share his wealth with various charities in Singapore as the Lord prospered him. A faithful City Harvest member since the year 1998, he eventually extended his helping hand by partnering with non-profit organization CityCare Limited in their many efforts to help the needy.
In 2011, Quek and his staff held many activities to provide for the less fortunate. His company provided free insurance for more than 20 needy families. They booked an entire cinema theater to treat children from different orphanages to an animated movie; they also brought the elderly to a fish farm and dined together with them. They organized outings for the poor during the Mooncake Festival and Christmas, and even sponsored a charity golf event for the YMCA.
When asked how Catalyst balances business with good works, Quek tells City News that he values his and his staff’s family time, so he arranges for outings to happen during the company’s scheduled meeting times. In this way, Quek and his staff accomplish much without compromising anyone’s personal time.
This year, as a one-time Christmas event, the company will be giving out goodie bags at a school in Chongqing, China. Many of the students come from poor villages, and toys and candies are luxury items for them. Getting gifts helps the children to feel the true meaning of Christmas, that is, it is a blessing to give and to receive out of love. It is something many of the children have not had the opportunity to experience.
Quek reveals that he believes in sowing where he reaps. For this reason, he has expanded his company into China. The company’s first global helping scheme started in Jakarta in 2005, when they provided help to orphans in the Indonesian capital. Today, Catalyst has expanded into Jakarta, Chongqing and Shanghai.
Although his business partner is not a believer, he shares the same sentiment. Quek says, “We believe that we are prosperous for a divine reason, and to not share when we can afford to is wrong.”
BRINGING WELLNESS TO THE ILL
Franck Wong of VisionWorks Health & Talent Institutes, a health business that has regional reach, impacts and changes the way people think of and use real food nutrition. With an annual turnover of close to S$1 million, Wong works with a team of five dynamic people. He also collaborates with a group of professionals including doctors, pharmacists, and resellers like hospitals, organic health stores and other natural health practitioners.
Wong joined City Harvest Church in the year 2007. Coincidentally, it was in that same year, just six months after he received salvation, that God set a powerful vision in his heart. Since he was undergoing studies to become a nutritionist, he felt God wanted to use him as a vessel to help the less fortunate by improving their health.
Wong shares, “God said, ‘Franck, you have a special health program that can benefit many people. Let’s go to the poorer countries to help orphans stricken with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).” So, he obeyed.
Four years later, as Wong grew deeper in Christ, so did the work God led him to do. “After a series of training as a wellness speaker, and having had contact with over 500 cancer and diabetes patients, both young and old, I began to see the vision coming to fruition.”
With little in his pocket but the help of a humanitarian organization, he found himself visiting Third World countries such as Vietnam where he made strategic connections that would eventually help him fulfill his vision. In Vietnam, he met the director of the Center For HIV Children, Hanoi. He also came to know the director of the Bac Giang Disability Center Hanoi, a village for the descendants of Agent Orange victims.
Agent Orange is an herbicide and defoliant. Large amounts of this chemical was used during the Vietnam War and many Vietnamese soldiers troops were exposed to it. This chemical is known to have lasting and disastrous health effects.
Every month, Wong and his team engage Singaporeans to donate clothing, electrical appliances and necessities such as rice, toys, milk and biscuits, which Wong’s teams bring to Vietnam for the children they help.
Wong’s view of HIV is that it is not the end of the road for a person. “It is no different from cancer or diabetes and therefore can be fought with a healthy immune system,” he says. Hence, Wong and his team created a health regimen that they believe will help “resurrect” immune systems. All the children with HIV as well as the Agent Orange victims are on this health regime which the company provides for free.
The regimen consists of “oxygenated filtered water” for drinking, as well as “special beds they sleep on that emit infrared rays, negative ions and alpha waves to induce quality sleep, regulate hormonal balance and boost the immune system.” Wong’s team also provides “an award-winning Taiwanese food supplement designed specifically to provide all necessary elements and electrolytes patients need to combat the diseases.”
Wong plans to expand his humanitarian efforts by building a network of health centers across Singapore and Asia in the near future.
As the team continues its good work this Yuletide season, Wong reflects, “Christmas is a beautiful reminder of our Christian roots. I know I am fully equipped by Jesus to passionately, physically, mentally, financially and spiritually embark on any journey that can transfer value to those in need. City Harvest Church has taught me that I do not simply rest in Him but I should provide rest to others as well. ‘Illness’ starts with ‘I’ but ‘wellness’ starts with ‘we’.”