by Rosalind Chia
Every Wednesday at 10am a team leaves COR for home and hospital visits. I have been a member of this team since 2010.
In 2009, after my retirement from the education service, I went to Bible School because I thought that as a trained teacher I should equip myself to teach the Word of God. After a year in Bible School I graduated with a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Studies. It was my intention to continue with my biblical studies but I was diagnosed with AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) in my left eye. I had to drop out of school because my vision was blur and I could not read. Words were wavy and illegible. I had to rely on my right eye to provide the sight necessary for my daily routines. I was devastated because I enjoyed studying the Bible and the fellowship of an international body of students.
I asked the Lord how I could serve Him with this handicap. He impressed on my heart to visit the sick and pray for them. On my first outing, I was pleasantly surprised to find our Vicar, Canon Tong, leading the home visit team. In spite of his busy schedule, he was willing to invest time and effort in this ministry. I inferred that the pastoral care of his flock was important to him. I recalled what Jesus said in Matthew 25:34-40, where He emphasized the importance of caring for the poor, needy, sick and suffering. I was glad to answer the call to serve in this ministry of care.
Visits were made to the sick and housebound and also to parents with new additions to their family. At each home visit we were received warmly and with much appreciation. Around the fellowship table, we shared anecdotes of daily living, testimonies of God’s goodness and healing in our lives, prayed for and comforted those who were unwell. Canon would serve Holy Communion.
I find these visits rewarding as stronger bonds of friendship are forged with those we visit. I am also encouraged by the stoic endurance and cheerfulness of the sick in our midst. Some of the elderly members we visited are less mobile but endowed with strength and health, the evidence of the grace of God upon their lives. Most important of all, by being aware of their struggles and challenges, I am able to pray more specifically for them in my quiet time. I rejoice when the sick are healed or their difficulties surmounted. However, when someone whom we regularly visited went home to the Lord, I grieved with the family because we had become good friends. I have been blessed by serving in this ministry, a testimony to the truth of what Jesus said, as recorded by Paul in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
What about my vision? The peripheral vision in my left eye is clearing up and I believe that the central vision will clear up, too, in the Lord’s good time.
Rosalind Chia was a school principal prior to her retirement. She has served in various ministries in COR. She taught Sunday School, New Believers Class, was a tambourine dancer for FOP, Ushering, Secretary of PCC and Scripture Reader. Rosalind worships at the Sunday Worship Service.
This article first appeared in Issue 11, August 2014 CHORUS Magazine.