2007 was a memorable and life-changing year for me. That was the year Sr Susan Chia invited me to join the Good Shepherd Sisters Mission Link Committee (MLC) as a volunteer. The MLC was then in the midst of planning the first Good Shepherd Partnership Gathering for the Province. The weekend was extremely successful with Sisters and Lay Mission Partners coming together for team-building activities and planning the future direction. It was an opportune time to get to know one another better and gain insights into the ministries in both countries.
In late 2007, I made my first mission trip to Matunggong, Sabah. By then, I was both a volunteer and part-time staff with Restful Waters. The trip stirred and awakened me to the harsh realities of the living conditions faced by the people at the margins. I was saddened and disturbed by what I saw, but I felt encouraged when the Management Committee of Restful Waters made a pledge to help build houses for five families in Matunggong. I felt inspired by their zeal and ‘can do’ spirit which reminded me of the words of St Mary Euphrasia, “Do what seems best and get things started.” At the same time, I witnessed something very special and different, that is, the partnership, openness between lay mission partners and sisters, and how both worked hand-in-hand to respond to the cries of those at the margins. This memory remains deeply etched in my heart as it was then that I decided to let go of my then established career and made a drastic switch to step into the new and unknown.
Today, 10 years on - 2017, I am an appointed member of the Asia-Pacific Partnership Core Team. I attended my first Core Team meeting in February. How apt that I began my journey in the Good Shepherd Mission with ‘Good Shepherd Partnership’ at Province level, and now, I celebrate 10 years in the mission with ‘Good Shepherd Partnership’ at the Asia Pacific level. I am still a member of the Mission Link Committee and it has been a privilege to participate and witness first hand, the developments within the Province. Indeed, it is a joy to be a part of the evolvement of Partnership and Co-responsibility for Mission especially, in Singapore-Malaysia.
It has been a fantastic journey for me, regardless of the ups and downs, as ultimately it has been life-changing and most fulfilling to say the least.
In undertaking my new role as Manager of Cross Border programmes, another door has opened for me to build relationships and work with mission partners overseas. This has enabled me to understand the context in which services are carried out and hence, allowed me to seek out and share relevant resources with my counterparts in the Asian region, thereby helping to build capability and capacity.
I look forward to more collaboration and networking with Mission Partners from Asia Pacific to ensure the sustainability of the Good Shepherd Mission.
The Centre, named in memory of the late Sr Susan Chia, will provide literacy and skills training aimed at empowering local women with business start-up and employment opportunities.
On 5th June 2017 participants gathered at Restful Waters, Singapore for an English language programme, which also offered time-out to learn and refresh the Spirit
The Good Shepherd Mission Team in Singapore describe the steep learning curve they travelled in enabling a community in Padaviya, Sri Lanka to have new healthy water systems
Good Shepherd Mission Partners gathered in Singapore from 8 countries to participate in dynamic training workshops in Grant Proposal Writing and Presentation
In its 10th year, the Good Shepherd Asia Pacific Partnership (GSAPP) Team met in Singapore to review its work and continue to build capacity for Mission in the region
The Formation and Partnership Teams meet together, as an important step in an ongoing process of integration of Core Teams within the Asia Pacific region
From 27 December 2015 to 9 February 2016 a group of 17 Good Shepherd sisters from Angola-Mozambique visited Singapore for an English language immersion experience - and more
Historic first Formation and Partnership Session in Asia Pacific creates a distinct shift in the understanding of Partnership for Mission
Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region
From 7-11 November 2014, 18 Mission Partners from Singapore-Malaysia visited Myanmar - a Good Shepherd Beyond Borders experience