Alpha OLE School: The Tongkat Group

Alpha OLE School: The Tongkat Group

Kampong Kapor Methodist Church

We are nicknamed the Tongkat group. We feel honoured to carry the tongkat and still do God’s work.

We heard that there was an Alpha for Seniors run by Kampong Kapor Methodist Church and spoke to one of the seniors in this group to find out more..

Aunt Lye Im, a very sweet 84 year old lady, opened her doors for us to chat. She shared with us about the beauty of fellowship in her small group and some tips about life.

Our small group began at Hill Court, hence the name - Hill Court Life Group. Mrs Tan Lian Neo was the original leader of the group. Later she asked me to help out. We usually do a collection for those who come to speak at our group and the money in the box is also used for any expenses incurred when we visit homes or friends who are sick, to cheer them up and sing songs for them. We used to go in a fleet of 2-3 cars but as the years have gone by, some of us are not as mobile to go visiting like we used to.

After some years, Auntie Lian Neo’s home was enbloced, so her son found her a place at Mei Ling Street. We go there now for our regular meetings. She has dedicated the house to the Lord for us to continue meeting as a life group. We thought she would change the name to Mei Ling Street Life Group but she wanted to retain the legacy of the old name because that’s where we started 35 years ago.

At our gathering to plan the schedule for the year, we asked Lyndon (an Alpha coordinator and staff member at Kampong Kapor Methodist Church) if he could speak to our group. He agreed and said that he would like to speak to us using the Alpha content.

Initially, we thought it would be a little difficult watching the Alpha DVD as it would require us to be very focused, and this would be a problem for some of us who are quite old. Therefore, Lyndon very kindly changed the plan and instead of us watching the DVD, he gave us a talk instead. He provided hand-outs too (here, she cheerfully walked to her bag to whip out her neatly kept hand-outs).

I used to be a teacher and then a principal so I am a structured person and keep my hand-outs. We enjoyed the way Lyndon prepared the lesson.  It is nice coming together but we are old and sometimes we slip in and out of sleep. The younger ones, those below 75, are able to enjoy the lesson and follow it better. When it is time to eat, however, we are all able to enjoy the fellowship together.

The fellowship and friendships unites us and the openness we share is enjoyable. What we discuss also stays within the group; we are gathered together because the Lord wants us to be together and there are times we need people to pray for and with us. It can be for healing or anything at all. Recently, we prayed for our friend’s three grandchildren taking the PSLE.

There are more than 20 people in the group now, including the domestics. Some come in wheelchairs and are brought there by their children.

  What do you do in your free time? I read, I do my bible study, watch television and play with my smart phone. I do my quiet time in the morning and then go to the market to have breakfast with my helper. It is important to participate in classes and activities to stay healthy. I regularly go for aqua aerobics. I once had a slipped disc and have to straighten my back and strengthen my legs. How do you maintain this youthful spirit? Be happy. Keep your health in order. Do not worry about anything - is that not what the Bible says? Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The Lord has the whole world in His hands. Sometimes just sitting in the market and watching people, I see so many who need to hold the tongkat. I see them and feel sad for them but just pray for them. Pray for everyone. Do that every day. Pray especially for people who are less fortunate. Without warning, unfortunate events occur, and they are faced with difficulties. Many parts of the world are struck by natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes. We might not be able to actively do anything for people who are less fortunate but the least we can do is to pray. As we age, we need to have friends. We cannot just sit and do nothing. When I need a friend, I simply pick up the phone and call a friend to chat to and then I’m okay. If that is not possible, we can also always talk to The Lord. He is always there for us.

 

What do you do in your free time?

I read, I do my bible study, watch television and play with my smart phone. I do my quiet time in the morning and then go to the market to have breakfast with my helper. It is important to participate in classes and activities to stay healthy. I regularly go for aqua aerobics. I once had a slipped disc and have to straighten my back and strengthen my legs.

How do you maintain this youthful spirit?

Be happy. Keep your health in order. Do not worry about anything - is that not what the Bible says? Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The Lord has the whole world in His hands. Sometimes just sitting in the market and watching people, I see so many who need to hold the tongkat. I see them and feel sad for them but just pray for them. Pray for everyone. Do that every day. Pray especially for people who are less fortunate. Without warning, unfortunate events occur, and they are faced with difficulties. Many parts of the world are struck by natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes. We might not be able to actively do anything for people who are less fortunate but the least we can do is to pray.

As we age, we need to have friends. We cannot just sit and do nothing. When I need a friend, I simply pick up the phone and call a friend to chat to and then I’m okay. If that is not possible, we can also always talk to The Lord. He is always there for us.

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