By Eugene Seah, 23, Singapore
Boy 1 – Surak
Surak was about 8 to 10 years old when I first met him. At that time, I was on a mission trip. The setting was at a Christmas celebration event. The local church had organized a Christmas outreach concert with songs and drama. It was held at a public area, on a makeshift wooden platform set up by the corridor of a row of shop houses.
I remember vividly the first time I met Surak. It was at the rooftop of the shop house where our belongings were placed for safekeeping. Another young friend whom I met at the local church the weekend before introduced him to me. For the rest of the evening, I had a younger brother! He was with me everywhere I went. He was also the guardian of my camera—snapping comical close-up shots of the “VIPs” and the children in the local community.
As the program came to a close and some of the Singaporean youth gathered to share a Christmas carol with the local youth, Surak sat on my lap. But soon, he became restless and hopped off to play with his friends.
At the end of the long night as we boarded the van and set off to our accommodation, I realized that I didn’t even bid farewell to Surak! I took for granted that my young friend will always be by my side.
Six months later, I was back at Nepal. This time, I was with my family. I inquired with local friends for Surak’s address. I wished to pass him a present. But I was told that Surak had left the capital with his family awhile back. I was beyond dismay. How I longed to meet him again! After some probing, I found out that his dad was an alcoholic and that his sister had lost her job. Even their former neighbors did not know their whereabouts.
As I looked at the photographs that were taken during the mission trip, I realized I had actually met Surak in church prior to the Christmas concert. However, I guess I was rushing off somewhere and missed the earlier introduction. It’s been 2 years since that blessed meeting and I am hoping and praying that he is safe.
Through this encounter with Surak, I’ve learnt an important lesson on seizing opportunities. If I hadn’t taken him for granted, I could have showed him more love and kindness. While the past is gone and irreversible, how about the present? Am I taking my loved ones and friends for granted?
Is there a text message you ought to send, a phone call you have to make, a relationship you have to build, a dispute you have to settle, or a help which you should render to a needy/unreached people group? Our life on earth is one that is fleeting like “the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14). Therefore let us seize every opportunity, for our prospective recipients may not be able to wait out our delayed act of love.