Our Desperate Need

Who will meet it?

By Goldie

Wan Yin was brought into the family by Tek’s grandmother – in those days it was common to have orphans as a sort of servant girl cum adopted daughter. She has been with the family taking care of four generations until now in her 80s she still serves faithfully and cheerfully.  She loves it when the family members return to the ancestral home in Melaka.

 Every time we go back she would cook, wash, serve, give us all kinds of presents like clothes, shoes which she has accumulated from what other relatives gave her.  She was born deaf but being super intelligent she speaks her version of Hakka (the family dialect).  Being limited in communication she longs to share her life with someone. Whenever we visit, she would tell us all that has been happening, like the vegetables she grows, her companions the turtle, the cock, her beloved dogs, the  mangoes and rambutans harvested from the garden, the neighbours, etc. Living alone, starved of attention she always has a lot to tell us.  Needing an audience desperately she loves to express herself in dancing and singing for us.  Putting aside what we need to do, we feel our ministry to her is to be that audience.


When I shared about Wan Yin with our children,

Lisal wrote back: Mum

Wonderful that you are an audience for Wan Yin. It really is your ministry to her. I was thinking everyone of us

desperately needs an audience and it is  our loved ones who provide us that. I’ve come to realise being an audience is a major part of what I do as a mother. . I took Nelia and Omi to swimming lesson and all throughout the lesson, both girls check on me regularly to make sure I’m watching them, that I see what special thing they just did. They make sure I acknowledge their new skill, that I give them the thumbs up to affirm and prove to them that I saw what they did and that they did it well.   Both girls constantly glance at me to check I’m paying attention to them. In the same way, Wan Yin needs that too. And seeing that she doesn’t have people around her like us, you are her audience and your attention affirms her and gives her assurance. It’s so important that we all have a loving audience. Keep it up!

Love Lisal

Her older sister Cristal commented:

Dear Lisal

Very insightful about everyone needing an audience, needing affirmation and acknowledgement. You are a wise and good mother. Nelia and Omi are blessed to have you. Very proud of you!

Love, Cristal

Jasmine, second sister commented:

Cristal, I also note that some people need an audience more than others! Haha (referring to Cristal liking to burst into dancing and jokes for the family’s benefit)

Cristal again:

Dear Lisal

I have been thinking of your email about everyone needs an audience and how true your insights are. Here are some of my thoughts and personal experience with God that I would like to share with you.

Like you rightly pointed out, I’m one that really enjoys the attention of an audience, especially from my family because I know they will always support and love me even when I repeat my dance, jokes, etc.

I used to crave the attention of especially of mummy and daddy and remember when I used to always say to them as a teenager, “Pretend I’m the only child, ok?” I pinned my need for approval entirely on them and when they were busy or didn’t give me the attention I expected, I would feel rejected, unloved and angry with them.  Without realizing it I had idolized them. It was only when I had to leave home to work and be separated from parents that I learnt how to really look to God. I’m still learning to find my true worth and approval from Him.

Yesterday after I read your email, my devotional reading was on “God who sees”. I felt it was related to your email because it talked about nothing being hidden from God and that He sees everything. He is our constant, faithful, loving, supportive and appreciative audience. Even when our loved ones are not around to applaud us, He is watching and cheering us.

Am I a God who is only in one place and cannot see what they are doing?  Can anyone hide from me? Am I not everywhere in all of heaven and earth?  Jeremiah 23:23-24

The LORD your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

In fact this verse says that He is so happy with us that He rejoices over us by singing over us!

My trust and need for approval has slowly been turning from man (parents, Mike, people) to God. I’m beginning to see that He is the rock that cannot be shaken. Though man may disappoint me, God will never. “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me, He will hold me close.” Ps 27:10.

I hope you will also teach Nelia & Omi to look to the Lord for He is the one who loves us perfectly and meets our deepest needs for security and significance. He is the most important audience they will have. The approval of God is the one thing that will count.

I affirm your desire to be positive and affirming to the girls. I think you are a great audience for the girls. At the same time we must remember that God has created us to find our significance and security fully in Him not primarily in people. For He is our creator who loves us perfectly and will never leave us nor forsake us.

Love, Cristal

This event has caused a ripple effect among the Chong family members.  Ming, Tek’s sister took up the case:

Having heard from various sources how lonely Wan Yin is, now that she is getting on in age, I feel it should be part of our duty, as her family to give her the opportunity to get away from Melaka for a change. I know she has her longing to visit, Singapore, Bangkok and even Australia to see the different family members.  Can anyone get her travel papers ready?


One Comment

  1. May 2015: Feedback from readers for ArticleOur Desperate Need

    Your article reminds me of my grand daughter,Audrey who is 4 years old and is constantly drawing her favourite cartoon characters.After every masterpiece she would make sure that we examine her work and give her the appropriate encouragement.

    Peter Chee ~ Perth

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