I have said that our lives are tiny pieces of jigsaw puzzle and all the things we do somehow fit into a bigger picture one day. Sometimes, it happens years away, sometimes weeks away and so on.
Today, I was told that someone is getting baptised. I rushed to witness it because it is really something I least expected. I wasn’t so sure what will greet me.
I reached the SFX church in Penang and was totally in awe of the beautiful church. I tried to recognise the person but I can’t because his back was facing me.
Andre from my church was there to play the organ. My multimedia ministry leader was there to help them with the OHP. Other than that, the people there are all strangers to me. Part of the people are homeless and poor folks. They come in all shapes, ages, colours and health condition. Yet, they have made sure they wear their best, a mish mash of hands-me-down clothings.
So, Andre was going through the song with the folks there and they sang in Hokkien! I tell you, when I heard the song they were practising, I couldn’t hold back my tears. The tear just keep dripping down from the edges of my eyes while I was desperately wiping it away.
Coming from my church where things are so organised, people are so ‘polished’, singers (cantors) are supposed to be the best of the best and so on, this raw talent really overwhelmed me. One of the singer is an elderly man who is getting baptised. Their voices may not be melodious but their passion and spirit totally shook me.
It is just a simple song but when I heard the man crooning something in Hokkien about ‘chit tiau lor chin khong khor kia” (this road is hard to journey) and asking Jesus ‘gim wa eh chiu’ (hold my hands), I cried. The tears are not for me but for them. Those people who sleep on the streets, they know how difficult life journey is.
Then, this elderly man went up to read the Bible. In Hokkien again! Suddenly, Jesus speaks Hokkien to me and I was like OMG, why does Hokkien stir my heart so much?
And how does the jigsaw pieces fit? Do you remember the man I mentioned in my old post? He is the one who get baptised. I catch up with him after the ceremony and had kenduri nasi dalca with him and all the homeless/poor people who go to the Lighthouse for their meals.
Note that I like to separate my faith with my blog and work. When I went to interview him, I totally do not bring any faith talk with him. Yet, today, I feel so happy to see him in church. I had a chance to sit down with the priest who baptised him and I told Fr. Dominic about the faith encounter I had with the man when he was sleeping on the street. I told Fr. Dom that his faith totally humbled me. (One does not easily get baptised into the Catholic church and the people have to go through some thorough soul searching for months with a group before they can be baptised.)
I have told one of the Lighthouse welfare officer I will donate the RM508 collected from you guys to buy grass cutting machine which will be used by the (former homeless) people whom had undergone skill training for them to use to earn a living. I noted that money for foods are coming from other well-wishers so no point to add on to the fund.
I am also going to arrange a date where my son and I can go to the Lighthouse to cook for these people. The Lighthouse provides tea and dinner for about 120 people from Monday to Friday. The kitchen in Lighthouse is halal certified, no pork or beef are to be served. Momo – we go together, ok?