STAYING BY THE BAGGAGE
Dr Leong Keng Hong
MSI-SG Regional Centre
A story is told of an ancient king whose territory was raided and his enemies captured all the women and children and looted the place. He, together with 600 men went to rescue them. Along the way, 200 of the men were exhausted and so they stayed behind while the rest went to rescue their families. They had victory over their enemies and came back with much spoils of war. Some of the men did not want to share these fruits of success with those who stayed behind. The wise king did not agree and said: “As his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” (1 Samuel 30:24)
This has been my experience with MSI since joining the work in 1994. Although I have made short-term trips regularly over the years, my main role is to “Stay by the baggage”. This involves homeside roles of mobilisation, member care, finance and policy setting.
The work of MSI appeals to me because of the holistic nature of its work. We are all given good gifts to be used to bless others. These gifts include our professional experience and expertise. MSI gives us the unique experience of using our professional training to bring meaning and purpose into the lives of people we encounter.
Over the years, I have gone on trips to be part of the health fair in Zhaojue, I joined in ward rounds and gave lectures on Rheumatology to the 2nd Hospital in Xichang. My wife and I were involved in the initial stages of the autism work in Kunming. We have made other trips for member care and to visit other aspects of our work, such as the water projects, Sunshine farm and animal husbandry projects. The truth is that we learnt more than we contributed from all these trips.
Nonetheless, it has been a joy and an honour to be part of the work of MSI in the last 27 years. It is a work that needs many hands to bring about good outcomes. I am grateful for all the colleagues over the years who have been a part of this meaningful venture and long may the work continue to be a blessing to many.