Let Your Light Shine
The Singapore Anglican Community Services (SACS) and St Andrew’s Mission Hospital (SAMH) were privileged to have Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office as Guest-of-Honour at the Annual SACS-SAMH Charity Dinner on 25 August 2017. In his speech, Mr Chan lauded the contributions of SACS and SAMH in shaping Singapore’s health and community care landscape throughout the years, providing holistic care for patients to meet their medical, social and psychological needs.
2017 marks SACS’ 50th and SAMH’s 104th anniversary of serving the community. In 1913, Dr Charlotte Ferguson-Davie, a medical doctor and wife of first Bishop of the Diocese of Singapore, laid the foundation for SAMH by pioneering medical care to vulnerable local women and children. The genesis of SACS began in the early 1950s under the most unexpected circumstance. It was recorded that Mrs Eng Neo Thomas, a trained nurse and wife of the principal of St. Andrew’s School, Mr Francis Thomas, started a free clinic to serve the needy villagers living in the Potong Pasir area. Later in the early 1960s, a student suicide incident moved St Andrew’s School Principal, Mr Francis Thomas, to establish a student counselling service - a forward thinking decision that acknowledged the vulnerability and help needed by teenagers.
Recollecting the work of her parents at the SACS-SAMH Charity Dinner, Ms Margaret Thomas, daughter of Mr Francis Thomas and Mrs Eng Neo Thomas said, “While (they) may have come from rather different worlds, they had in common a desire to help others, a genuine love and care for people, regardless of their race or religion or position in life. They also had in common their faith. Hers was a simpler approach to Christianity, his was more cerebral, but they were steadfast in their faith and in their commitment to doing God’s work. Love was the lamp they lit. Compassion the light it shed.”
The Rt Revd Rennis Ponniah, President of SACS and SAMH said in his welcome address, “the testimonies of SACS and SAMH remind me of the words from Matthew 13:31-32, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
Under God’s guidance, as health and social issues grew more complex and inter-linked over the years, SACS and SAMH evolved, adapted and expanded their services. Today, SACS and SAMH serve over 20,000 people annually, working hand-in-hand to provide a continuum of care services in four key areas: Senior Care, Autism, Psychiatric Care as well as family and children services.
May we continue to step forth in faith and be the light that shines for Him; when darkness blinds the path of those in need, may God enable us to care for them with His love and compassion, bringing them light and warmth.