Monday Nights at Chinatown
By Jayce Tham
It started with a casual conversation with the chef at The Loft café (South Bridge Road). Derrick shared that he needed help on Monday nights to distribute food to the homeless elderly at the courtyard in front of Chinatown Complex, just round the corner from the cafe. God had placed the idea of serving them regularly in his heart after he cooked extra food one Monday night for the Alpha course he conducts at the café. There were just too many of them now for him to talk and minister to properly every night, and that was how we joined him.
We built relationships with the aunties and uncles, understood their stories and saw their needs. They were estranged from family, angry over their lack of resources, physically and mentally disabled, unemployed and ill. Using our limited dialect and Mandarin or English, we did not hesitate to pray for them and share about God’s love for them whenever the opportunity arose. We accompanied them to the hospital for checkups and linked them up with employment. During the haze period, herbal drinks were prepared and distributed to them daily, along with surgical masks. Blankets and hygiene packs were also prepared and given to them. On special occasions like the Mid-Autumn Festival and Christmas, we prepared more sumptuous food for them, sang Christian songs together with them, and gave them flowers and cards. We also compiled their birthday dates to celebrate their birthdays with them. Over time, they grew to expect our presence, our prayers for them, and we could easily exchange conversations about the faith and church.
The conditions of the elderly stay the same after we leave each time, and we continue to lead lives vastly different from theirs. But at this very moment, I know that some of them have been led to say the sinner’s prayer, some have renewed their interest in the faith, and some are even making arrangements to go to church. Sometimes it simply takes Monday after Monday, and seeing Jesus in the least of His brothers, to make that eternal difference. If you would like to join us in sharing God’s love to these precious uncles and aunties, please feel free to come down on Monday nights, 10pm at The Loft café!
‘’ ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed Me; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me…And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.’ ‘’ Matthew 25:35-36, 40