This morning, I had already opened the door to take my little boy to his sport rehearsal. He was putting on his socks and suddenly, the rain came down so heavily. Since the sport rehearsal is in town at some isolated field, I decided not to bother sending him. True enough, his teacher phoned and said sport practice is canceled.
So, I decided to go and film Hare Krsna centre where they provide free foods to poor people. I only found out later that it is a temple and not just a centre. I had an enlightening time there with CJ Leow. Hare Krsna is near Waterfall Garden, at a row of houses.
I later told Leow that not everyone can cover issues like religious tolerance. Religious tolerance, human rights and the environment are the three core issues we CJs are asked to focus on. In order to be able to report truthfully, one has to have an open mind and total detachment momentarily of one’s own religion. I was greeted by the priest, given a joss-stick and told to kneel in reverence. I have no problem with that and actually am proud I have no hang-ups.
I had a lovely time listening to the administrator of Hare Krsna explaining the faith to me. They gave me some religious books, blessed me with flowers and holy water and welcome us to visit them again. We also had a tour of their kitchen and the cook was busy preparing lunch for the poor.
Since it was still early, I decided to source for another soup kitchen. Vincent told me about Kawan in Love Lane and we went over to Kawan. What greeted us was absolutely awesome works of the Divine. Kawan is Christian based but they are non-denominational and welcomes everyone.
A lot of encouraging signs have been slowly revealed to me by the Divine. I met Mr. Teoh, the gentleman I interviewed when he was sleeping on the streets. Then, I witnessed his conversion to Catholicism. This morning, he was attending Bible study with a group of friends. I hooked him up with the chap running Kawan and I recommended Teoh (who was a coffee shop owner) to volunteer his help in the kitchen. LOL, for a while, I was like Mr. Teoh’s job agent. But whatever….I feel compelled to get Mr. Teoh to actually work and return the kindness of the centres which provided him free meals. There is nothing like empowering a man with something meaningful to do.
The Kawan centre welcomes volunteers and donors. If you have used clothings, shoes, books, magazines, foods (halal and no beef only please), marneyyyy…and whatever, please visit them. They are at 37 Love Lane, which is the tiny road behind St. Xavier Institution.
The place is so cheerful and I had lunch with a few nice peoples. (actually I was rather full after koay teow thng but what’s reporting if you don’t taste the yummy curry rice yourself, right?) They provide shower cubicle, place to wash clothes and also a place for them to take a nap.
So, I can say that the rain which dampened my son’s sport practice has opened up an opportunity for me to make documentaries on soup kitchens provided by Hare Krsna and Kawan. I also get to learn the faith of Hare Krsna and meet some wonderful people.
Sometimes, I wonder if it is worth spending my time doing these visits. And at times, I know it is certainly worth pursuing because it enriched my own life as well. I just need to sit down and eat with the poor and I feel so honoured to be their friends. When they warmed up to me and started to share their stories, I thank God He gave me this chance to serve His people. I didn’t do much but at least I am able to film them and get the rest of the world to understand their plights. I meet a family with three girls and the eldest daughter who is 14 years old is so proficient in English and comfortable with the camera. All these faces etched on to me and I can only pray that the Divine will always look kindly on them and shelter and protect them.
I can go on forever about the beautiful experience but I shall let the videos do the talking. (i.e. when I have edited them in a week’s time. Meantime, here is a little shiok sendiri, look at my brown hair video!!!!)