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Interns from Synod Youth Internship Programme (SYIP) speaks out...
By Kieren Kong and Joseph Yap (Adam Road Presbyterian Church)
Mar 2015

At the end of January, a group of Singapore youth interns from the Singapore Youth Internship Programme (SYIP) travelled to Malaysia to participate in the internship programme organized by Geraja Presbyterian Malaysia (GPM). Part of the program was to do practical work in various churches, where a group of us went to a fishing village in Klang (also known as 五条港) to teach the village kids English as well as to help clear rubbish from their villages.

We had loads of fun interacting with the children. Unexpectedly, while we were touring the island, we saw the kids playing in the sea. We (Kieren and Joseph) taught it would be really fun and a good icebreaking activity to play in the sea with them. We felt that it was better to “blend” in with them so that they would be comfortable with us, so that teaching later in the evening would be much smoother. The village kids were very welcoming and warmly welcomed us into their games. We had a really great time breaking down any social barriers that we had with the children.

Thereafter, it was much easier interacting with the children when we taught them English lessons in the night. We taught the lyrics of the songs “Let it go” and “You raise me up” in an attempt to increase their vocabulary capacity through these songs while giving them an enjoyable time singing these songs. Some kids were really keen to learn while others were less interested, but we tried our best to engage them and teach them to the best of our ability.

We woke up early the next morning at 6 o’clock in the morning to scoop rubbish when the tide was high. We used nets attached to long poles to scoop the rubbish from the sea. We collected a lot of interesting rubbish such as slippers, clothing and even a suitcase! It was tiring work but we managed to lift a total of 18 barrels of trash.

However, more importantly, through our efforts in clearing the rubbish, we hoped to be able to show the villagers that a lot of effort was required to clear this rubbish and that they should not selfishly throw whatever excess they had into the sea. Honestly, our efforts were probably insignificant and what would make a long-term impact would have been to inculcate a habit of proper disposal of trash. We hope our actions would have inspired them to properly dispose their trash for better hygiene and sightseeing purposes in the future.

We felt that it was firstly, an extremely enriching experience as we experienced a totally different lifestyle compared to Singapore. Instead of the comfortable lifestyle at home, it was a harsh environment at the fishing village. Through this, we learnt to rely on God through the difficulties. Secondly, we learnt that we have to first meet the needs of the people before sharing with them about the gospel. As much as we want to share with the fishing villagers about the gospel, we realized that we should meet the people’s needs to convince them to listen to us before we go and share the gospel. Even though our visit did not reap any harvest, we pray that God will work through the Malaysian interns that will be visiting them regularly and they would change their hearts. Lastly, we learnt to be content with what we have. We learnt to be appreciative of what we have back in Singapore as we have so many things but are seldom joyful over these things. We learnt that we can be content with what we have and take immense joy even in the small things.

SYIP interns

SYIP interns at PHS


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