holding it up

this week was tiRING……. but reminded of His sovereignty and well rested in the Lord. how nice 2 spend a few hours in worship, with others who yearn for Him as well 🙂 joy comes from Him alone. 

those days are the reason why it is so important to know why i am doing what i do…. when u feel helpless and when self efficacy iS…. haharrr missing. the road seems so long but wanting to get to the end doesnt stop me from getting distracted.. should be working so much harder- owe it to my clients and to the Lord. praying that i will be faithful in the remaining weeks and months to come…..

sad to accept that i am far too quick to judge……. but after awareness comes action for change. 不能再那么懒散了!!must not expect from clients what i dare not even expect from myself right???????? hello discipline!! the smallest things matter, like a seemingly harmless complaint or whining about your situation. // held it in during session but felt like i was cutting my heart out and shoving it to the client.. literally ‘my heart goes out to you’ dong ma?? wish i could tell him how much i respect him and his resilience. but empathy isn’t internalizing another’s feelings and emotions


one of my weakest links.

Excerpts from some interview with a v inspiring social worker for own future reference:

Interviewer: During your visits to Singapore for the various symposiums and workshops you conducted, you have been vocal in speaking out about how Social Workers in Singapore may have strayed from their true calling. In your view, what are your thoughts about the true calling and mission of Social Workers in Singapore?

V Inspiring Social Worker (VISW): You must watch the movie “3 Idiots”! I believe it answers the key question you asked. In a nutshell, we need to be passionate about what we do and reflect on the meaning of success. What is the reason for becoming who we are and doing what we do? I think an outstanding social worker has that “idiot’s” passion to be different and to make a difference. I cried buckets watching this movie. You watch it and tell me if it does anything to you?

For some years now, social workers in Singapore have been fighting for better salaries, and finding ways to educate the public about what we do. I think we have been successful to some extent. We should continue to negotiate for due recognition. But in the process, let us not forget what we should be and do. My fear is we may lose the respect eventually, and along with the recognition if we become too obsessed with looking for recognition. This seems to be happening. I recently heard about some stakeholders being unhappy that social workers in Singapore are not delivering at the grassroots level because they are not connected to the community.

Have we become too comfortable and inward looking with the quest for recognition? Or are we incompetent and separated from the people we serve? These are questions I will continue to ask myself. In fact, more than recognition, we need to continue to earn respect from the government, community and clients because of who we are, what we do, and what this profession represents…

…I believe in families [and missed my own family in Singapore too]. Using a systemic thinking, I find it hard not to think about families in social work since the family is one of the most important developmental contexts for all stages of life. And I feel compelled to work with families of the poor.

That is how I started out as a social worker, and this is what I will continue to do, particularly serving those who are caught in the systems, those who are less endowed with resources and support, and those who turned to addictions for a way out. I find it hard to fathom how do social workers expect their clients to visit social service agencies during office hours.

We need to reach out to people and reach into their world. We need to understand their living environment. We need to appreciate the arcades they hang out in. We need to get to know their peers whom they find solace in, etcetera. When we do, we will be amazed at how little we know and understand them. Believe me; there are many possibilities that would open up when we reach out. It is not what we think we know. It is a different world they live in, one that can be much more dynamic and exciting than we think or imagine.

I believe that the true calling of all social workers, not just in Singapore, is to respond to those who are have different needs, especially those who are less privileged or disadvantaged, or are highly distressed. With this focus, I believe social workers can make a difference, however big or small, in the lives of individuals, groups, families and communities, lest we become unfaithful angels who have abandoned our mission to aid and serve the underprivileged (Specht, 1994).

Interviewer: You have had extensive experiences working in Singapore and Hong Kong. How is Social Work Practice in these two developed Asian countries different? What lessons can Singapore gain from Hong Kong Social Work Practice?

VISW: In comparing social work development in Hong Kong and Singapore, I would like to just highlight one difference that is most apparent to me: Outreach [there I go again!].

…Social workers in Hong Kong do a lot of outreach work. They reach out to the poor in their homes; they reach out to the youths at risk on the streets; they reach out to the street sleepers under the fly-overs; and they reach out to the elderly in their hideouts.

They will go at the time most suitable and convenient for their clients, which often means odd hours of the night. Their supervisors and management however make sure they are given time off and reduce the personal risk they bear [e.g., going in pairs and providing handphones for security reporting]. I think we do not do enough of that in Singapore; correct me if I am wrong.

Do not get me wrong. I am not saying that we must sacrifice our family life or personal time. One of our top social work students quipped in his first social work class with me: “Social Work is about sacrifices”. The class had a wonderful discussion, and I can still remember how the student and I had much fun, disagreeing with each other.

I live a very comfortable middle class life now. I do not pretend that I don’t. But I have no difficulty drinking rainwater, using makeshift toilets with no drainage when I work in post-disaster Sichuan locality. And I definitely hope I will have little difficulty living with less if that is what life brings me to. I am proud of this latitude I have to enjoy life in comfort and thrive in poorer conditions. I love eating in the best restaurants, and I love eating off the streets with my clients and social work colleagues in dark alleys. That is my identity, one that is inclusive. And I want to be able to reach out to people of all walks.


the days don’t ever seem to end….. T_T

comm mapping on tues + Meeting JM and one of the elders from our fruit packing tday made me realise that i actually quite miss placement and spending time with elders. erm wish i was less awkward about going back to visit… also talked about how one thing we took away from placement was that there is always something that can be done. if formal services don’t work out, there are informal resources, or appeals, or advocacy. gaps in the system should push us to action, not acceptance.

sent welly off last night and rly laughed till our stomachs hurt. moments like these r so rare and precious now, will miss her awkwardness and genuineness 😥

also worked with one of my favourite colleagues (not like i know everyone very well lah) last night. haven’t gotten paid but honestly don’t even mind (yet).

thought about all these while in the toilet before NHS VT today, am tired but happy, and grateful that it is the Lord that is in control of this life 🙂

/wheee thurs was another gr8 day except for the fact that i couldnt get my grey hair zzz but met n talked to a v inspiring social worker.. reminded time and again abt the importance of comm work. so grateful that from time to time, we meet workers that have so much conviction in what they do and are so willing to share them with n00blets like us. *.* i think.. there are too many people that i look up to in life HAHAH

learning, leaning

CRAY CRAY WK n went a little mad with fieldtrip, nhs, rehs, vetting, work, lit review n sch alLLlLlL in one week, and with self doubt + weariness creeping in. thought i was gonna die but it was really His grace and providence that got me through. even felt some inexplicable joy during some of the most tiring moments which is seRIOUSLY ODD for me especially… so i am really grateful n came out with some lessons learnt 🙂

read this last week that left a few timely reminders:

Before I climb out of bed and let my feet hit the floor, confess my sins and my weaknesses and mentally lean on him. Carry me, Lord, so I can accomplish Your goals.

Before I gaze into a mirror or look at a screen or to a single thing of this world, pray that he will show me his glory and goodness today. That I will see it. And that I will reflect it.

As the world and the day get louder and louder, remember to stop and listen for the Spirit over the noise. Learn to recognize him.

When I find myself growing weary, run to my God any way I possibly can. Not to the world or to myself, but to him. Whether I read his words, worship him, pour out my heart to him, or ask his Spirit to pray on my behalf because I just can’t. And then repeat over and over again, until my mind effortlessly wanders to him.


don’t post much abt food places but had lunch at the lokal today to celebr8 and food was gr999!?!!? they do their own butter, smoked salmon, yogurt and some other stuff i didn’t try but hooomai it was rly worth it yum yUMM almost finished the huge blob of butter and the scrambled eggs WOWWW so creamy and yummy TEEHEE and staff were nice too so will be back for more MORE MORE!!! yummmmmm

Also really thankful i’m doing NHS comm even though it’s erm very time consuming and crazy exhausting. so grateful we had volunteers who were genuine in their efforts.. but were faced w/ many rejections and abit of an expectation gap since we weren’t really serving the most needy….. but it was rly worth it in the end, discovering residents who weren’t known to the doctors/ medical services, and some who needed urgent social assistance. these were only <15 individuals out of the hundreds screened, but each life so precious and worth all the effort and time. so happy wheeee and thankful for a gr8 comm that works so well together and stays calm in last minute wrecks cos i turn into a wreck at those times lellllll wheeee say until NHS is over but actually only TJ screening is over and we have to do TJ follow up + MT vol trng and screening and follow up……………… ha HA but im excited!!!! 😀

Guide me to be a patient companion,
to listen with a heart as open as the sky.
Grant me vision to see through her eyes
and eager ears to hear her story

Create a safe and open mesu on which we may walk together.
Make me a clear pool in which she may reflect.
Guide me to find in her Your beauty and wisdom,
knowing Your desire for her to be in harmony:
healthy, loving, and strong

Let me honor and respect her choosing of her own path,
and bless her to walk it freely.
May I know once again that although she and I are different,
yet there is a peaceful place where we are one