Friday, November 19, 2010

Our miracle

I just finished preparing the receipts for all the donors in Expedition Agape (well, except for a few whose scribbled address and name I really couldn't decipher!) When I looked at my list of all the receipts that I had issued, I was deeply touched.

You know what, all in all, more than 100 people have donated to Expedition Agape. More than one hundred people, who have never seen our youths, never met the children and people of the impoverished village in West Bengal, have given whatever they can to make this dream of Expedition Agape come true.

Some days, I just sit back and look at the Expedition at this stage of the journey, and I'm just so amazed...

I think back to where we started from on this journey when we first met outside Dhoby Ghaut MRT - We were a bunch of volunteers who didn't know each other (will I ever forget Phi Fern telling Shufen, "Eh, you are Fen ah? I also Fern leh!"), had no bank account let alone money to put in it, had no youths signed up for the Expedition, and no activities or program planned for them whatsoever!

Serene told us, "We're going to create this from scratch!"

Fast forward to today... 3 and a half months after that first meeting. Our bank account holds enough to cover the expenses for 12 youth leaders and 10 adult leaders to make the trip to West Bengal, India and build an extension to a school and a fence around the playground. Bit by bit, drop by drop, the contributions from loving people who willingly extended their hands to give, have filled our financial needs in EA.

The youths are busily preparing the programme for the local community service they are going to do in Singapore prior to the trip, and the activities for the children in Kolbung Primary School during the two-week period we'll be up there.

Our team has formed and bonded. Last week, we had a camp in Pulau Ubin. We had a night walk where the youths positively insisted on swtiching off torchlights (and saw ghosts! ha ha!), cross-dressing (ahem!), trail activities in the pouring rain... and most of all, as with any CampVision activities, open-heart sharing of our lives, our dreams and hopes.

At the end of the camp, youths and volunteers alike had faces soaked in tears... the youths sharing, "I felt accepted for just being myself" "I've made friends"... the volunteers sharing, "It was worth it, to give up what I had to to be here" "I remember again why I do this"

How did we get from there to here? Our air-tickets purchased, activities and itinerary planned, and strong friendships of Agape love formed within the Team? I don't know.

But this song ran through my mind yesterday as I mused about all we'd been through, and the journey yet ahead, and I think it speaks of just what the journey through Expedition Agape has been so far....

There can be miracles
Many nights we've prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood

Now we are not afraid
Although we know there's much to fear
We were moving mountains long
Before we knew we could

Chorus:
There can be miracles, when you believe
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe

In this time of fear
When prayers so often prove in vain
Hope seems like the summer birds
Too swiftly flown away

Yet now I'm standing here
My heart's so full I can't explain
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say

Chorus:
There can be miracles, when you believe
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe

Bridge:
They don't (always happen) when you ask
And it's easy to give in to your fears
But when you're blinded by your pain
Can't see your way straight throught the rain
(A small but )still resilient voice
Says (hope is very near)

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