“Let’s Be Real” – Evangelization Conference Message by Bro Aldy Katigbak
A CFC Singapore Evangelization Conference Message by Bro Aldy Katigbak
Let’s be real.
If I can read your minds, this is probably what some would be saying.
“Here we go again”
“We are so good at planning, but we never get around to executing” “Another framework, but the same results”
“We have not yet even accomplished what we said we will do for last year” “What will make this different?”
If you try to recall all the materials you have seen, both in the pre-work and in this conference, what do you see? Again, most if not all would say,“Numbers, spreadsheets, graphs, PowerPoint presentations, tables”
Bear with me if I focus on these sentiments as a springboard to my reflections.
I will ask you to try to look a little harder, concentrate even more. Again, I ask, what do you see? Or maybe the right question to ask would be, what should you see?
The answer I had hoped to hear is, “I see people, with faces and names and expressions on their faces, with needs to be met”.
Instead of seeing the number of CLPs we are asked to conduct this year, I see the faces of the couple I know who live in the same apartment building that I do, the same couple who I know are on the verge of separating because of seemingly irreconcilable differences. The same couple who are looking for answers to their problems.
Instead of seeing the graph that indicates that there was a significant decrease in our young ministries’ membership, I see the face of the nameless student who was on the verge of jumping out from the ledge of their apartment because he could not handle the pressures of life. The same student, who in the eyes of his parents, was doing well in school, but who was really desperate for someone to listen to him.
Instead of seeing the Singapore dollars I need to take out of my wallet and feeling bad each time there is a call to support ANCOP, I see the face of the poor but deserving child who lives in the overly populated slum area, who only needs the opportunity to be given a fighting chance to get out of the quicksand called poverty.
Let me tell you a little story of a little girl named Criselle who was in Grade4 at that time. She studied in an exclusive girl’s school. Her teacher noticed that Criselle was under-achieving, not doing the work that was required of her. Her teacher gave her more attention, letting Criselle sit in front of her desk, and ensuring she does her work. Fast forward, three decades later. The teacher sees a familiar face. It was the mother of Criselle. She introduced herself as Criselle’s former teacher and asked how she was. The mother remembered her as her daughter’s teacher, because, according to her, she was responsible for the turnaround of her daughter’s performance. That was the defining point in her life.
There is another story, closer to our hearts, of a young couple who joined CFC after starting out in the community as YFC and SFC. Early into their marriage however, they suffered a trial which resulted in the couple almost splitting up because of the husband’s infidelity. But with their leaders’ constant prayers and guidance, they sought the help of a counsellor who was also a member of our community. Their marriage was not only saved, and now are a happy young family raising their two young sons.
To Criselle’s teacher, she was not just another student, not just one among the 40 pupils in her class, not just another number, not just another statistic. Instead, she was Criselle, with a name, and a face, and her own set of needs that had to be addressed.
To the leaders of the young couple, theirs was not just one of those marriages which was bound to fail anyway, so why bother to help. There were other members of the household anyway who were less problematic. To the CFC counsellor who guided the couple, they were not just one of the many clients she had to see because of work.
Bear with me a little more on this as we stretch our imagination exercise to the limits. I know that this might be bordering on the impossible but imagine that not only do we see the people, with faces, with names, with their expressions, and with their needs.
But instead imagine if we can actually see the souls of these people. No matter how hard we try, it is impossible to see their souls alone without the body, but it does not mean that we have not touched them, have not impacted them and have not shown them love.
This is what makes us different from other people who do good. Knowingly or unknowingly, when we joined the community, we signed up to saving not only lives, but more importantly, also souls. To a certain extent, we are called to do more than counsellors or philanthropists whose impact ends when the lives of the people they help end. Our responsibility for others is forever, as the soul lives forever. As CFCs, we may not realize this.
Perhaps, this is the reason why the numbers, and charts, and graphs, and targets that we put up year in and year out are difficult to meet because ours is indeed a difficult responsibility. I exhort you, if the targets and goals are hard, then let us try even harder. These are not ordinary numbers we are speaking of, these are souls God has entrusted us with.
I started with a statement. Let us be real. When I first mentioned it, it was more of a challenge to filter our thoughts of all doubts and concerns.
Let me end with the same statement. Let us be real. This time, it is a challenge to live out our calling as couples for Christ.
God bless CFC Singapore.
Bro Aldy Katigbak exhorting last 19th October 2019, at the Evangelization Conference