By: Sabrina C.
Every Mother’s Day in Heart of God Church, Pastor Cecilia Chan (Pastor Lia) prepares a special something for youths who do not have a mother at home. For some of these youths, it is a day of swimming in dreadful thoughts and emotions. So, in her cards and letters to them, she affirms them and brings their attention back to Jesus.
This tradition goes on in our church each year, in the same vein as Pastor Tan Seow How preparing a letter for fatherless youth during Father’s Day.
Here is a letter Pastor Lia wrote in 2018:
On this Mother’s Day, I want to tell you that everything will be alright!
Despite your circumstances, let your story become HIStory!
Write your history from your future, not your past.
You are not a victim. You are a VICTOR.
Speak TO your mountains.
Job 8:21 God will let you laugh again; you’ll raise the roof with shouts of joy…
With Christ, you can be…
Free to LAUGH!
Free to LOVE!
Free to LIVE!
Seeing your amazing future with you,
One recipient shared, “Because of you (Pastor Lia), not only has every Mother’s Day been different… Now, my life and future is different.”
While another shared, “Mother’s Day has never been a sad day for me because every year without fail, I receive something from my Pastor, Pastor Lia. She loves us like her own, encourages us every year and I am so so grateful to be part of HOGC…”
Once, I had the privilege to be part of the team who worked with Pastor Lia to send out gifts and cards to the youth. It was Mother’s Day 2018. I got to step behind the scenes to see how our Pastor would prepare each card and gift. In our first meeting, Pastor Lia pulled the team together and shared her thoughts. The brief was simple yet touching: It would be a gift that she would have given to her own daughter.
She had noticed that the youths would overly indulge in sweet drinks. To motivate them to stay healthy, Pastor Lia prepared and bought customised water bottles for each of the recipients.
Through the project, I saw how Pastor Lia paid close attention to every aspect of the gift and cards. She catered and customised the bottles to each person’s preference and season of life. This colour would fit that girl so well! That would suit him since he’s already working. Let’s also surprise the younger recipients with a special design!
I remember how she would say, “I want to look through every single person’s name again because it would mean so much to them on this day.” By the way, there were over 70 names that year!
Every gift and card would encourage and love each person receiving it. Which explains why she would pore over details of the cards during meetings and even over multiple emails – from the choice of words on the card’s cover, to the different fonts, and even down to the texture of the card!
I could not believe that Pastor Lia has been giving out these Mother’s Day gifts for over a decade! I still see her in meetings being as eager to love the youths – as fresh if not more than her first time doing it! In fact, the project starts close to one year in advance before the next Mother’s Day arrives! It is so clear to me how she holds this project close to her heart.
Thank you, Pastor Lia, for loving the young people in Heart of God Church. This is a place where young people are loved and empowered! They will always have a family and home in HOGC!