To whom much is given, much will be required.
The joy on all their faces brought tears to my eyes. They were a sight to behold. They made me want to sit in a corner and think about why I did not do this sooner. Why I always prayed for God to take care of the less fortunate and did not do much about it myself. That was a profound moment for me and for the rest of the people who came together to make yesterday a success.
Let’s back up a little. Three months ago, a friend of mine told a group of us about this children’s home he has been supporting for over a year. The home consists of 50 children, most with pasts that can reduce a whole man to tears. Even the macho ones that have no emotions. Together with a bunch of other guys, they decided to be making a monthly contribution to cater for the home’s rental expenses. This was informed by the fact that most of the donations came in form of food and clothes, which would leave them struggling to meet their daily and monthly cash requirements. My friends and I joined in. Finally, my budget had a practical ‘giving back’ section, active every month.
So three weeks ago, we decided to give the kids a Christmas treat which I talked about under A Helping Hand. A friend suggested we take them out for a day of fun, instead of visiting them at their home. When the kids walked in at Lunar Park on Sunday afternoon, they seemed happy and content with life. Their ages ranged from 2 years to 17 years, with a level of discipline that would put most of our kids to shame. No tantrums from the two year old, only impeccable poses whenever the camera was aimed at her. The older ones took care of the younger ones. They ensured they were all seated before they sat. After we all had our meals, Santa Claus presented each child with their gift. “Singing watches” for the toddlers, Ben 10 and Hannah Montana ones for the middle group and Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea branded watches for the teenagers. When they walked out to go for the different rides, the toddlers were all excitedly showing off their watches to their aunties and mummy, while the bigger kids were analyzing theirs critically, trying to understand the functions and set the time.
It was not until I spent half a day with them yesterday that I realized I really was not a hero. You see, you can’t put things into perspective until you get yourself in the middle of it all. The real hero was Jane. The person whose heart was big enough to allow her to take in all these kids without the resources to sustain them. Armed with faith, a few years ago, she took them in and believed that all will be well. When they became too many to fit in her house, she rented a bigger place, unsure of where the rent would come from. But she has survived, and so have the children, through the grace of God and the kindness of well-wishers. Like you and I.
From the bottom of my heart, thanks to all those who sent in cash which made yesterday possible. To those who donated clothes. To those who made themselves available. Because of all of you, the children from Priscilla and Angelica Chalk’s Foundation had a Christmas to remember!
May we purpose to help out the needy in the society. May we not remain oblivious to the suffering in the world. May we remember that to whom much is given, much will be required.
P.S. Thank you to Renato and Billy for the great photos.