Stark Reminder

Screen Shot 2012 06 11 at 7 01 13 PMPhoto from

Have you heard about the concept ‘Cycle of Poverty‘? For some, it’s a never-ending cycle and you wonder if they will ever get out of poverty.

Picture this, a single mother in her early 20s, with 5 children, oldest at 7 years old, with her other children who are at 6, 4, 2 and 4 months old. One day, her husband just decided that it was all too much to handle and left the family for good.

Why doesn’t she help herself and her kids by getting a job, you might wonder…

For her, a job is simply not an option she can consider. Her children are young, she has no other relatives in Singapore and no one who is able help her to take care of her kids. As for child care? It is totally out of the question, when having 3 square meals a day is already a challenge.

My parents got to know about her situation through the MCYS recommendation to Methodist Welfare organization. And when they first met her, she had just been discharged from the ICU unit from the hospital after giving birth to her youngest child. All they saw was a stick thin woman, with hallowed cheeks and dark eyes who lived in a dark and dimly lit government welfare flat in Jalan Besar with her children.

K and I got to visit her and her kids at her home on Saturday, with some of K’s pre-loved toys that he did not play with anymore, together with some snacks and cakes.

It was like Christmas for the kids for the first time.

It was a sobering sight, to see the children so excited over old toys that K has no interest for anymore, and fighting over the simple snacks that K eats every day. As I watched and talked to the kids, I had to hold back my tears numerous times.

I have heard about families like that but only seen it for myself for the first time on Saturday. I realized that It is only when I see real life families living in poor conditions like that, then I will learn to be content regardless of the state that I am in.

Have I ever gone hungry? Never.

Do I still have a room over my head? Surely, and I even have my mom’s helper to do laundry and iron the clothes for K , hb and I.

So if ever you feel discontented in the state you are in, think about the many out there who are barely surviving with a lot less than you have. Consider even extend a helping hand monthly to a less-priviledge family, spend some time in their home and it will be a stark reminder to how blessed and how much we need to be content with the plenty that we already have.

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  1. thanks for sharing this. sometimes it really is so easy to “forget” that there truly others less fortunate than us.
    Ai Sakura´s last blog post ..Hong Kong 2012: Back from Pearl of the Orient 东方之珠

    Rachel Reply:

    One of the reasons tat I was motivated to lend a helping hand was tat I Knew tat I needed to move out of my comfort zone n b constantly reminded how blessed we really are.

  2. Rachel,

    That’s so true… sometimes it’s all too tempting to hanker over luxuries, without thinking how blessed we are to still have what we do.

    When C is a bit older, I would like him to know how lucky he is, too, and not have him think that what he has is a given. Thank you for this reminder – and for leading the way.

    Rachel Reply:

    I noticed that kids tend to forget really easily, n Kyle tends to recall the less infortunate kids for a moment n go back to his selfish n individualistic ways. Maybe that’s a challenge parents of one child will face often, n indeed it is important to often remind them how they need to b content with the plenty they have been given.

  3. This is indeed sobering. Whenever I think I’m in a bad situation, I’ll remind myself to be thankful with the little I have. And kudos to you and K for reaching out to them :)
    qiu xian´s last blog post ..Mischief Managed

    Rachel Reply:

    We are just helping tat little we can. The sobering thought is tat there are plenty of families m children out there who need assistance but are not getting any, n for those of us who are willing, are limited by our resources that we are able to give.

  4. God has been revealing the words, thankfulness and gratefulness to me in this season of life as I’m struggling to get my priorities in life right. Some times when we are too comfortable where we are, we fail to see the struggles that so many around us are facing. Thanks for the reminder to be contented and to ponder about just how blessed we are. I’m slowly recognizing that the stuff that we have are merely earthly possessions which holds no value in eternity. Praying that I’ll lead the way and set an example for Sophie to look beyond having stuffs in her life and be contended.
    Susan´s last blog post ..Days when even supermoms need a break

  5. Indeed everyone of us are appointed different seasons in our life to mould us n bring us closer to Him. In reality it is very tough to survive with little earthly possessions, but at the same time, we do need to stop hankering for more, n expecting possessions to satisfy us. I am sure with your priorities u set for your family, u will surely b able to bring up Sophie well to learn God’s ways n His will for her life.

  6. Wow touching story! Am inspired =)
    Madeline´s last blog post ..Fashion Pronunciation Faux Pas

  7. Thank you Rachel for this very timely and honest post. It is just too easy to forget just how blessed I am; I take too many things for granted and wane from the burden of want. I too have been challenged lately to hold lightly the things of this world as His Word says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matt 16: 19-20.
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Children’s Season, Singapore, 2012

  8. Hey Rach, managed to catch up reading your blog and it’s such a touching post, affected me a little bit. Your blog always keep me grounded, that’s why i keep coming back to it, thanks!

    Rachel Reply:

    Hey Sarah,
    Good to hear from you after so long. Hope everything is going well with you new business and all – Would love to hear more about u from your blog, but it has been so quiet for so long :(