“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This is a famous proverb which some of us have learnt in our growing up years. Without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring. It is indeed the case for many of our migrant friends.
While trying to impart values on self-care and the importance of taking a Sabbath rest (which many of our migrant friends do not observe or have yet to learn), coming to the English Class has enabled them to learn such concepts. We do not merely teach English. We also befriend them and share with them how they can live a holistic life and be part of a caring community.
The month of October has been an exciting time for Wesley Migrant Ministry (WMM)! In partnership with Witness & Evangelism, as well as Mt Sinai Small Group, we managed to successfully organise two recreational events. Drawing some 50 migrant friends across the East and West part of Singapore was our Dragon Boat outing. This is the first outing held at the Passion Wave at Marina Bay, and it had such an encouraging turnout post-COVID19. Many who came have never rowed a Dragon Boat and felt it was both a strenuous yet fun activity.
Two weeks later, we had a Bowling cum Lunch outing which was also well attended by 15 migrants. This outing was only opened to former students of our English Classes and was generously co-sponsored by members of the Mt Sinai Small Group. During the outing we caught up with two of our migrant friends, Aung and Prakash, who are both in their 20s. They have been in Singapore for over a year and shared their sentiments about our English Classes and outings.
Bowling cum Lunch Outing
Beaming with joy was one of the three top scorers, Aung from Myanmar. He has been working in Singapore for over a year now. Since October 2022, he has been part of the mooring crew. The tasks of the mooring crew consist of securing and reeving ships to the dock by tying ropes to bollards (a sturdy post firmly fixed to the dock). When the ship sets sail, the mooring crew are once again called on, but this time to unmoor the ship. He works on board the cargo tank which provides cargo storage. The cargo gets distributed to many places around the world.
“When I was in primary school, I tried to play bowling and was not so good at it.” He quipped. I believe that because of the physical work I have been doing on board the cargo tank, it has helped me to play bowling well today.”
During the Sunday bowling game, he also shared with some of us how much he has benefitted from the English Class in his dormitory. (He lives in a dormitory located in the West of Singapore.) He expressed his appreciation towards the kindness of Mt Sinai Small Group for organising the bowling game cum lunch.
Like Aung, Prakash who studied Civil Engineering previously has now been employed as an electrician in Singapore for over a year.
“I was really unhappy due to long working hours and the work stress I had to face last week. Coming to the bowling outing and meeting with new friends has helped me refresh my mind and body. The English classes I have attended have also helped me with better pronunciation. I have since learnt many new words and am now able to speak English more fluently. Thank you so much to all my teachers. This has been really helpful to me.”
As you can see, being conversant in English has helped to narrow communication gaps between Aung and his other migrant friends. He was really happy to meet them from other fields of work and in other dormitories. Through his interaction, he has learnt interesting things from friends of other nationalities and different fields of work.
“I am now looking forward to the next event WMM is planning and will try my best to participate!” exclaimed Aung.
A resounding “Yes, and me too!” from Prakash.
Photos courtesy of Wesley Migrant Ministry
If you enjoy spicy foods, enjoy making new friends and have a passion for the migrant worker community, we would like to invite you to consider serving with us at WMM. Please contact Leonard (WhatsApp No. 9618 9448) or email Evangeline at firstname.lastname@example.org.