My earliest experience with the Good Shepherd Sisters was around the 1970s when my niece and nephew were in the kindergarten in Kuala Lumpur. I didn't know anything about the Sisters or the mission beyond the fact that the Convent and kindergarten were on a pretty hill!
Fast-forward to 2012, I was laid off from a retail company and facing my 50th birthday the following year. I had already decided that I would look for some work that was 'meaningful', not quite knowing what would touch me. Working with the Government, small enterprises, medium-sized companies and multinationals had drained me: it was always about profits and less about the service. I felt that life needed to be more fulfilling and that my skills and experiences should be used in a fruitful manner.
Poh Choo, the Director of PKGS (Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd) Sabah approached me about a position with the kindergartens. After reading some of the literature and meeting Theresa Symons, it seemed that the little pieces of the puzzle were laid out ready to be assembled. I joined in March 2013.
20 months later and I feel at home. I know now how it feels when one finds the right fit. I believe that all the education, training, skills and experiences that I have been acquiring have led me to this place where I can use every bit of it to further the cause of the mission. The mission and the values fit so well in what I have been searching for that it is never an issue of thinking about the work and what it entails.
It's a fine line that we walk sometimes: being an income-generating entity for the Good Shepherd Mission. It was also quite harrowing to come into an education establishment with a rich history and grand reputation. What I have experienced is that when I put my faith in God and trust in the mission, the puzzles find their place and fit perfectly. The values of Compassion, Respect, Integrity, Gratitude and Zeal have been my guiding light and I have seen how they have been almost miraculous in helping me make decisions.
I believe we are on track in ensuring that the kindergartens continue to support the mission and also become conduits in expressing Good Shepherd values through the children and their families. I find myself looking forward to every opportunity I can to tell people about the mission and find ways to support and help sustain this wonderful mission that has benefited and is continuing to play an important role in the lives of so many people.
Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region
Asia Pacific Intercontinental Assembly 2014 was held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia from 6-17 October 2014