Reaching out to rural kids
“THE world is a broken place full of suffering. But all is not lost. There is hope yet for humanity,” says Alvin Cheah.
Cheah is a globe- trotting pastor and his missionary work over the past 35 years has taken him to some 50 countries.
“There are people who go out of their way to show that they care. These individuals make the world a better place for the less fortunate by spreading cheer to alleviate their pain and suffering,” said Cheah who is in his 50s.
Cheah is often at the forefront of projects to assist underprivileged communities. His teenage sons, Jian Ming and Jian Ern are following in their father’s footsteps and have gone on trips to Cambodia, Indonesia, Taiwan and China to help with humanitarian work.
Jian Ern, 16, was excited and could not sleep on his first mission trip to Cambodia. During the week- long trip, he and other volunteers helped with farm work and socialised with the locals.
Jian Ming, 17, first went to Cambodia on mission work in 2011. Two years ago, he went again with his brother, Jian Ern. On his first trip, he visited orphanages and churches. They helped to clean, repair and paint the orphanages. On the second trip, he helped with work at a farm.
He fondly remembers how strangers became friends in just a week during his visit at a farm.
“We helped to plant fruit trees. We dug holes and put fertilisers. Life was simple at the farm,” said Jian Ming. “At the end of the trip when we waved goodbye to each other, our team was reluctant to leave. We had grown attached to the children and they, too, had grown fond of us.”
Having seen the poverty that surrounded these children, Jian Ming was thankful for his many blessings.
“Our children are raised to be independent and mindful of the needs of society. When my sons’ school announced a trip to Cambodia, the boys wanted to go and I was happy to pay,” said Cheah.
“Reaching out to the needy is an integral part of the children’s upbringing,” said Cheah. The boys have picked up a musical instrument or two to help them connect with communities in different parts of the world. Jian Ming plays the drum, while Jian Ern plays the guitar.
“Music is the language of the soul and helps to connect with people,” Cheah reckoned. “It touches the heart and brings joy.”