Oh, how I love them! I just dropped of a friend, Gerald Wu, at the airport today. He’s a Singaporean college student who just finished up a semester as an exchange student at the University of Minnesota. We were introduced over email by a mutual friend. Gerald happily jumped on board with our church plant and helped us in a number of ways to get our community off the ground. He participated at our Community Life Gatherings. He helped me build crates. He was a huge help at our first service. He helped setup the praise equipment, and he took care of all the powerpoint and media stuff during the service. Gerald was great to have around because he was so willing to help out. He was a gracious servant who helped make our community a better place to be.
As I reflect on Gerald, I realize that the characteristics I love about him are common to many Singaporeans I know. I have a number of Singaporean friends who are similarly servant-oriented. Doing ministry with them is a joy because they rarely complain and they are willing to help out with whatever needs to be done. As a pastor, I deeply appreciate this. Too often, people are only willing to help out when it is convenient to them. Or, they only want to serve occasionally without making a long-term commitment. Or, they only want to serve in a few areas where they feel they can use their gifts and “come alive.” The reality is there is a lot of grunt work that needs to be done to make a community work. It’s not all glorious. A lot of it isn’t all that rewarding either. People who are willing to just show up and serve are worth more to a pastor than almost anything else.
And that’s why I’ve come to love Singaporeans…at least the one’s I’ve gotten to know. They are gracious servants. They are willing to make personal sacrifices for the good of those around them. Thanks Gerald for all your work, and I look forward to seeing you again some day soon!