“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Carl and I can attest to Romans 8:18. Carl’s journey as a student, especially when we were still in the Philippines, was not easy. Not all schools were ready to handle ADHD, and not all were willing. Some charge additional fees for a shadow teacher, claiming they will handle the child, but Carl even experienced trauma in one of the schools he was enrolled in. Jumping from one school to another, I noticed Carl feels comfortable in places where he finds love.
God is so good that we found VLCS when we first moved to Singapore, so we didn’t have to encounter the same experiences as in the past. From the time he was assessed, I was already happy to meet Mrs Boey, who was very welcoming and who prefers not to label Carl as having ADHD. It wasn’t smooth at the start: adjusting to the new environment, and bringing his trauma from the past and heavy heart then, Carl had problems in class; but I am grateful that VLCS has been my partner in raising Carl as a son of God and a part of society. From a boy who had anger management issues 5 years ago, Carl is now an aspiring artist and a loving, empathetic and God-fearing boy. He has always been loving, but he found it hard to express it in certain instances, and we are happy that now he is able to control his emotions and frustrations. Carl is growing to be a God-fearing man even in his teenage years, which I know some parents struggle with. I am able to see this especially when out with others, even outside school. Being a solo parent, it wasn’t easy, but VLCS has been my partner in raising Carl and has always reminded me that God is Carl’s Father.
When he first joined VLCS, I was called almost every week. I have to be honest, it was stressful – but what was good is that the school worked with me and provided continuous feedback and prayed with us a lot. The succeeding year, I was only called once a month; what a relief! Later on, only quarterly – I couldn’t be more grateful. And now, I’m not called at all! Now I only go to school for PCs, praise God! I am teary eyed when I recall who Carl was before and what he is now. The school also recognised what Carl is good at – he found fulfilment doing his art and crafts, and also competed at RSC and ISC in photography, drawing and even singing. The school, the environment, the foundation, the supervisors, the students, have all been accepting of Carl and we are thankful for that. He has been handled by almost all the supervisors, and I am thankful that they have been God’s instrument in helping Carl. Special mention to Mrs Liah and Mr Karlo who have continuously provided guidance to Carl up till now and have been pushing him (in a productive way) to be his best. Thank you!
We are now moving to the UK. Leaving VLCS is our only hesitation in moving, but we are reminded that God will take care of us. We pray that we find the same care, the same love, and the same nurturing environment and people for Carl in the UK. We also pray that VLCS continues to help students like Carl.
– Carol Tragura
Sandy is doing very well in College; she’s been on the Dean’s list every semester so far. She will be finishing up her second year soon. I truly thank God for the wonderful foundation of VLCS that helped shape Sandy to who she is today. Thank you for creating this wonderful school.
Testimony by Mrs Rachel Chin
Since young, my son, Moses Chin, suffered from a form of social anxiety disorder and was petrified of being in the spotlight. When he was in primary one, he was enrolled in a wonderful school with caring and loving staff. However, he did not speak a word to any staff or student for the entire year because of his anxiety. Under the loving and patient care of his teachers, Moses gradually opened up and was able to hold short conversations with his teachers and fellow classmates from primary two onwards. However, he would clam up whenever he had to do an oral presentation. In other words, no sound would come out of him, no matter how hard he tried. So as far as I know, from primary school to secondary one, he had never done any oral presentation or platform event.
When Moses came to VLCS, God performed a miracle on him. God gave him the courage and desire to do oral presentations, firstly in a small group of about 10 students, and gradually to a bigger group of 20 plus students. Then, to my great surprise, Moses signed up for the preaching event for Regional Student Convention 2017, in spite of his phobia of being in the spotlight. I thank God for godly and caring mentors such as Mrs Ranee Quirey, Mr Philip Yee, Mrs Cynthia Chan and Mr Jonathan Cheng whom God has placed in Moses’ life to help him overcome his fear of public speaking. With their encouragement and guidance, Moses has improved by leaps and bounds in his skills of oral presentation. Mr Jonathan was particularly instrumental in preparing Moses for his preaching event at RSC.
The last rehearsal in school was a breakthrough for Moses, as he was able to overcome his fear to preach in front of the entire school. However, he was unable to project his voice, so the majority of the audience could not hear him well even though he was using a microphone. After that incident, he prayed regularly to God to help him project his voice at RSC.
The day when he was due to do his preaching at RSC, I could see that he was very nervous. He walked up and down the hall and his hands were icy cold. I prayed with him and his prayer was again, “Dear Father God, please help me project my voice.” When his turn was near, he kept drinking water from his water bottle and making coughing sounds. I went to the front and sat near Mr Jonathan. The first thing Mr Jonathan told me was that he hoped Moses could project his voice. I was very nervous and spoke to God in my heart, “Dear Lord, please don’t put Moses to shame. I don’t need him to win any medal. My only wish is that he is able to project his voice!”
When it was Moses’ turn to speak, I was like watching a tense horror movie, feeling very scared inside. As Moses opened his mouth, I held my breath, and then to my amazement, an unfamiliar voice came forth, loud and clear! Tears of relief and joy just flowed down my cheeks uncontrollably. Then, I sensed God asking me, “Did you see the Red Sea parting?” “Hallelujah, Lord, I see the miracle! Sorry, for my unbelief! Though I am faithless, thank You that You are faithful.”
Praise be to God, Moses won a medal (6th place) in the preaching event! Till today, my husband, my daughter and I marvel at God’s miracle. Moses spoke fluently with a different accent – we had never heard him speak like that before. My hubby said if he were to hear Moses’ voice only and not see his face, he wouldn’t know that it was his son preaching. All glory goes to God for this miracle that happened in Moses’ life!
VLCS was the saving grace of God for my son as he struggled to get his life together after a tumultuous period of teenage sojourns coupled with severe health problems. Before coming to VLCS, he had lost so much self-confidence after the social and physical failures of the past few years, that he was quite withdrawn and unable to continue in the local school systems.
At VLCS, he buried himself in the coursework and thrived in the self-paced learning. With the kind support of the supervisors in his class, he managed to finish up his High School requirements much quicker than expected.
The less stressful pace at VLCS, where there was no homework to be brought home to complete, meant that he could devote his time after school, with his limited energy, to his musical pursuits. This enabled him to do a credible audition and be accepted at the NUS Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music with a full scholarship to pursue his dream of a career in music.
We are so thankful that enrolling at VLCS has given him the opportunity to move on successfully to the next phase of his life. His confidence level has shot up and his health is so much better as well!
Thank you so much VLCS!
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.
Good evening, Mrs Boey (Founder), Mrs Valluvan (Principal), supervisors, fellow parents, guests and students, it is my pleasure to be invited to speak. My name is Siew Pheng and I am the mother of Damien Wong who is one of the graduates today. I asked my son what I should speak on and he very helpfully drafted for me a 5-point outline and a reminder to keep it short. 🙂
Please read the rest of Siew Pheng’s speech HERE.
Testimony by Mrs Priscilla Pham-Poland about the Malaysia Regional Student Convention 2014
I am the mother of Johan Poland. Last year in January, we enrolled Johan in VLCS and we had doubts if we were doing the right thing. In the first year, Johan was not keen to attend RSC and we did not force him to participate. But this year, Johan managed to take part in the School Challenge and he qualified for RSC. As a parent, I wanted to know and see what RSC was all about and to support and encourage Johan at the RSC. Therefore, both Johan and I attended the RSC.
On the 24th August, we all gathered at the airport, and I was amazed at how big the group was. There were about 40 students aged from 8 years to 18 years old, about 13 staff members and 4 parents, totalling 57 of us!
The synergy among the students was very good. They took care of each other, with the older students looking out for the younger ones. The staff members were also very vigilant about the welfare and safety of the students during the whole trip. As a parent, I am happy to know that my child is in good hands with the staff.
Being at RSC, I could witness how RSC is a platform for the children to excel at their events. The children have a chance to build confidence and belief in themselves to perform in front of an audience. This will help in their character building and self-esteem which a classroom will not be able to provide. They also have the chance to see their fellow students participate in different events and this will encourage them to also try doing these events. The students were fantastic at helping each other and encouraging each other at their events. They had time to bond with each other, and team work was evident.
I would encourage every parent to let their child participate and attend RSC to enjoy the synergy, bonding and fellowship which will help build their confidence and belief in themselves. Parents, I would encourage you too to attend at least one RSC to experience what I have experienced. In the words of my son, Johan, “Next year I will do better…” Now, I have no doubts sending Johan to this school.
See you at RSC 2015!
Testimony by Mrs Grace Chow about the Malaysia Regional Student Convention 2014
I am Grace, mother of Peyton Choo of Middle School, and I would like to share my experience and observations as a parent attending RSC 2014 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 25-29 August. I decided to accompany my daughter as this was her first overseas trip with the school. Being a little protective, I insisted on going along even though she pleaded with me not to. As this was our first RSC trip, I wasn’t sure of what to expect. I just knew that it was a competition amongst ACE students from the region.
Prior to that, I noticed that Peyton was busy preparing and practicing her events daily at home. In fact, I did discourage her from participating in so many events, as I didn’t think that she could do it, especially in table tennis, running and solo singing. Nevertheless, Peyton insisted on trying and doing her best. She believed that God would help her and give her the strength. Besides her effort, I must also commend the hard work and dedication of the supervisors in helping the students to prepare for their events.
During the trip, Mrs. Boey and the supervisors took excellent care of the students as if they were their own children. They were all one big happy family! What impressed me most was that the students themselves were very caring and supportive of one another. The older students always looked out for and took care of the younger ones. They displayed the virtues of responsibility and love for one another, like brothers and sisters.
In my opinion, RSC is a good platform to display the students’ talents and abilities, while building their self-confidence when they participate in the competition. The spirit of sportsmanship was also displayed among them. During the competition, everyone was very supportive of each other in cheering and, in events where they did not do that well, in consoling one another.
The other high point was the rally nights. We were very touched by the messages that Pastor Thompson preached every night. They were so impactful, even to me. One that struck me most was about daring to step out of one’s comfort zone to do great things for the glory of God. Lastly, I must also commend the fantastic, delicious meals that were provided during the event.
I would like to encourage all the other students and parents to experience RSC in the future. I was totally blessed by the experience and will continue to allow my daughter to participate in RSC yearly.
Remember, God has a plan for each of our children, and all we have to do is to trust and submit our children to Him. Only Jesus can bring out the best in our children. Once again, I am grateful that I had the chance to experience what RSC was all about. Thank you!
We, parents of Timothy Kwang, want to give glory to our Lord Jesus Christ for His abundant grace and favour upon our son and upon VLCS.
Timothy has been granted National Service deferment till 2014 to complete his American High School Diploma studies in VLCS.
This deferment approval is an awesome miracle from our Lord. We want to recount our journey of faith (and honestly, anxiety too) in praying for VLCS and our son, and how God has displayed His wondrous splendour and power, and of love and mercy on us.
As late as early June 2012, though work was in progress, VLCS had yet to obtain its CPE approval status. And this CPE certificate is a prerequisite to be eligible for Mindef to consider deferment for our students.
Race against time
It was a race against time. Our son, Timothy, was fast approaching his 18th birthday in July, which for a Singaporean boy means time for National Service enlistment. In fact he had already received pre-enlistment communications from the Ministry of Defence way back in December 2011.
We did all the needful and even approached Mindef personally to appeal for deferment for our son so that he can complete his Year 12 to qualify for the American High School Diploma. Our appeal was rejected because VLCS was not a CPE approved school yet, and thus our application was not eligible for Mindef’s consideration.
Timothy was very much dismayed. Because of gaps in the two different education systems, he started in VLCS at Year 9. He was at about Year 10 in 2012, and would need about two more years to complete his Year 12 to get his diploma. He asked our Lord why he was prevented from completing his basic education not once or twice but thrice!! “Three times, Lord, why, why, why?” he asked, “Why won’t you let me finish my schooling?”
(Just for some background information, Timothy was down with a severe and debilitating illness in 2010 just before the GCE O level examination. He relapsed in 2011 when repeating his O level in his then St Andrew’s Secondary School. He was thus prevented from completing his O level education twice. Having to leave VLCS for National Service in 2012 would mean he would be obstructed from completing his basic education thrice in a row! It would be a hard blow on him.)
Praying parents pound on Heaven’s door
Our family prayed for God’s intervention and also for His will to be done. I sought reinforcement by raising the issue at the weekly Praying Parents’ Partnership Group of VLCS. Together, we knocked, or rather pounded, on Heaven’s door asking for God’s favour to grant the school the CPE status and its ensuing eligibility for NS deferment for the male students.
Praise be to God that HE gave us the CPE status in mid June 2012. Immediately, armed with this certification, we applied to Mindef for Timothy’s NS deferment. However, Mindef needed time to study the school to ascertain its eligibility. “Oh, God! This is the time for YOU to show YOURSELF Big, real BIG. Please, Lord!” I implored Him.
Meanwhile, by August 30, Timothy was asked to report for enlistment on Oct 9, 2012. The situation looked bleak.
But praise to our God who is never late! The deferment approval for him to complete grade 10 came on September 3rd 2012. (Three months from application to approval but just in time, not late. Praise be to God for His grace.) The enlistment order was rescinded. Timothy is the first student of VLCS to be granted NS deferment in the history of the school. Praise the Lord! Right after him, two other students in the school were also granted deferment.
“The LORD is (indeed) close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
In January 2013, Mindef extended the deferment to 2014 for Timothy to pursue Year 11 and 12 of his studies.
We are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. We indeed serve an Almighty God whose arm is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. (Isaiah 59:1; 50:2)
What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? (Deuteronomy 4:7)
Winnie and CT Kwang
Email from Mrs Priscilla Hou:
It is with much gratitude that we write to thank VLCS for all that Samantha has received throughout the entire three and a half years she has spent in the school.
Sam started attending VLCS after completing secondary one in one of the all-girls schools in Singapore. By that time, she was discouraged by the constant bullying that was happening in school, of which she was a victim. She often came home unhappy and distraught. By the middle of secondary one, we were convinced that we needed to rescue her from her daily tormentors. She had lost confidence in herself and was totally helpless when faced with her aggressors.
Within a year after Sam started school in VLCS, she blossomed. She became more confident, and found much joy and pleasure in learning the ACE curriculum. At the same time, she grew in wisdom, not only in things of the physical realm, but also in the things of the spiritual. We were amazed!
Today, Sam is a wonderful young lady who is such a joy to be with. She is kind, thoughtful and cares for the less fortunate. Sam completed the High School Diploma at the age of 16, and applied to Houston Baptist University for a place to study for her first degree. Not only was she offered a place very quickly, she was also offered a Founder’s Scholarship! This indeed came as a complete surprise to us since we had not applied for any scholarship and had most certainly thought that we would not qualify for any! God is good! His favour is upon Sam!
So, thank you, Mrs Boey, Ps Raj, Mrs Valluvan, Mrs Lim and Mrs Liah, for all the hard work you have put in to bring about transformation in the lives of all the children in VLCS, which Sam is proud to be a part of. Thank you for all the opportunities given to groom and to nurture each precious child of God. Sam is very blessed to have been a recipient of all that you have offered to the school – your love, your encouragement and your commitment. She has indeed spent her most impressionable years in the right place, at the right time.