I made two promises when I agreed to give this speech. The first promise is to the school that I will not spend more than 5 minutes talking. My second promise is to my son Josiah that I will not share any thing “personal” about him.
Shh… I am about to break the second promise!
When we first came back from Thailand where we had been missionaries, my concern was getting Josiah into a primary school that would take him in, and if he would fit in. After all, he had never been to a Singaporean kindergarten nor attended any “formal” primary school education other than homeschooling. In order for Josiah to be admitted, he had to sit for an assessment test where he was given some papers to do on his own. After he finished answering the questions, the staff asked Josiah to please check his answers before submitting it in. Being home-schooled, my son innocently and obediently searched for the answers at the back of the paper, for some weird reason it was there, promptly found it, and began to “check” his answers by marking it right and wrong. Imagine the shocked look on the face of the staff who got the paper back all marked and graded! That was ten years ago.
I love telling this story because of one thing: home-schooled children are taught to be independent learners right from the start.
However, along the way, I saw how Josiah struggled to fit into a fixed way of learning, and had to attend CCAs that he didn’t want to attend. I prayed and only in my dreams could I imagine giving my son what I thought was best for him. If only he could go back to homeschool! But at that time, I was a single mom with two jobs trying to make ends meet and taking care of two young sons – time was not on my side. So when I was introduced to VLCS 5 years ago, I was so so grateful!
I thank God for the vision that was given to Mrs Boey to start this school. Thank you, Mrs Boey, for making this dream come true!
VLCS is a place where students learn to be effective learners. Teachers are dedicated to guide and encourage every child to pursue excellence in whatever they do.
I want to especially thank Mrs. Liah, Mrs. Lim, Mr. Jonathan and all of the teachers here for the years of sowing seeds of faithfulness into every student’s life, including my son. God has answered my prayers. One of the biggest satisfactions I have as a parent is seeing my child blossom under the gentle care and love of all the staff in this wonderful school.
And now, together with so many friends and school mates, son, you are about to graduate and soon will be out of here. How exciting is that!?
Let me share with all of you a story to help you remember a very important lesson.
Once there were two young boys who went ice skating on a frozen lake. Half way through skating, the surface of the frozen lake suddenly broke and one of the boys fell into the freezing water. The other boy who was still on the lake, overcame his initial shock, immediately ran ahead and grabbed a big tree branch. And with all his might he broke the branch off the tree. And with that branch he kept hitting the ice where he knew his friend was going to be swept to. He kept hitting and hitting, not caring if his hands were bleeding. Within a few minutes, he broke the ice and managed to grab his friend out from the freezing water.
Thankfully someone saw what happened and had called for help. When rescuers came to the scene, they were amazed that such a young boy managed to break the branch off the tree, as it was nearly impossible for such a young boy like him to break the branch off as it was quite thick. Even more amazing was how he managed to use this branch to break the ice in order to get his friend out. When they asked him how he did it, his answer was, “No one told me I couldn’t do it.”
And now, my message to all of you who are graduating. Dream big. Go after your dream. There will be times where it will be very hard and difficult and almost impossible. But don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, just because they haven’t done it.
And the greatest rewards come when you give of yourself to serve God in whatever He has called you to.
Dream for God and achieve great things for God.