Persons with Disabilities.
Due to a birth accident, I was born with cerebral palsy affecting both my legs. My twin brother also died at birth. Because of my cerebral palsy, I have some difficulty maintaining my balance when I need to stand still, or when going up the stairs without railings. However, my condition is unique to me as there are varying degrees and severity for other people with cerebral palsy, and so it is not a complete representation to cerebral palsy.
In spite of my physical disability, I’m thankful for a very supportive family where my parents and my two older sisters loved and cared for me. Although I was keenly aware of my physical disability, I never felt short-changed or unable to handle life’s challenges. I want to especially pay a tribute to my mother. She is no longer with us. Three years ago, in December 2013, she passed away at the age of 79. However, she lives on forever in my memory. In my growing up years, my mother was my primary caregiver. After I was born, she gave up her job as a nurse so that she could take care of me. Without her care, I wouldn’t be where I am today. She brought out the Best of Me.
A significant milestone of my life was when, at 10 years old, I was told that in spite of who I am, Jesus loves me. He forgives my sins by dying on the Cross. I am now accepted and reconciled with God. So I have found a greater purpose and meaning to life. I have also found another family who would support and care for me, namely my church family.
I believe that Persons with Disabilities, like everyone else can find love. In 2004, I met my wife Cynthia. Our daughter, Abigail, was born in December 2007, and our son, Nathanael, was subsequently born in 2009.
I also believe in equipping myself to do what other people can do, including getting an education and a career. So after 3 years of working at a traveling agency, I started working in my previous church, a local Anglican Church. And at the same time I embarked on further studies to obtain a theological degree and subsequently completed a Masters of Divinity at Singapore Bible College. I then transited to my current church, Bethesda Church Bukit Arang, as a Youth Pastor. I’m currently in charge of Discipleship and Christian Education and Family Life Ministry.
Persons with Disabilities can help others and contribute to the community. During my time working with youth, I was also a volunteer school counsellor, helping youths at different seasons of their lives. Currently, I’m also in the midst of completing a Masters of Arts in Counselling at TCA College, to equip me to help families in need.
To me, our disability is certainly a God-given gift that no one wants to receive. However, I believe that if we could, by God's grace, embrace it instead of fight it, we would emerge stronger. God can certainly bring out the Best of Me. As we embrace our disabilities, our circumstances might not change, the people around us might not change, but we ourselves would have changed, and we would emerge stronger from the experience.