Dear Reader, I’m Called To Call You

A volunteer with Our Daily Bread Ministries receives a fresh perspective of his gifts through talking to people on the phone.

By Jasmine Goh

Victor and his wife on holiday in Taiwan.

Victor Foo remembers the phone call vividly. It was a woman who answered. As usual, he stated his name and reason for calling. But what happened next caught him off guard. The woman on the other end turned emotional.

What was meant to be a two-minute courtesy call turned into an hour-long conversation.

“She was crying and could not stop,” says Victor. Between tears, the woman recounted her problems and struggles as he listened patiently on the other end.

After she calmed down, Victor prayed with her over the phone. He assured her of God’s help and love, and encouraged her to seek support from her Christian friends.

“Thanks be to God, the conversation ended on a positive note!” he says with a smile.

This is one of the many memorable incidents that has happened during Victor’s time volunteering with Our Daily Bread Ministries Singapore. Such moments remind the 75-year-old retiree that at his age, he is still able to serve God and make a difference in the lives of others.

More Than An Avid Reader

Victor and his wife on holiday in Taiwan.

As a volunteer, Victor works alongside the Ministry Relations Services Team to help the ministry build and maintain relationships with readers and ministry partners. This is done through phone calls, emails, and in person when visitors drop by the office.

Before he was a volunteer, Victor was a long-time reader of Our Daily Bread (ODB). He found its daily devotional articles “very captivating”, and would spend time meditating on the Bible verses.

Even today, he continues to enjoy the resources that Our Daily Bread Ministries produces. He cites the book-by-book devotional Journey Through Series, online articles on Spotlight Singapore, and books like Growing Old Gracefully, by Robert M. Solomon, to be particularly helpful in his spiritual growth.

“Through the devotionals and additional reading materials, Our Daily Bread Ministries has blessed and encouraged me and my family,” he says. This was why, in 2016, Victor decided to find out how he could contribute to the ministry.

Looking through the ministry’s website, he chanced upon the “Volunteer” section. “I was motivated and impressed by their reading materials and mission,” he says. “And I also liked that there was flexibility to choose the time and day I could work.”

He filled in the volunteer application form, and it wasn’t long before he was called up. He was 70 years old then.

Victor’s 70th birthday celebration with his family.

Together with other volunteers, Victor would help the ministry pack devotional booklets for mailing. After a while, he was also tasked to make phone calls on behalf of the Ministry Relations Services Team, to reach out to readers and ministry partners.

To date, Victor has made more than 400 calls—and has met his fair share of challenges.

“There are a few people who are cautious. They need assurance of the authenticity of the call,” he says. “On such occasions, I will try my best to explain, stay calm, and assure them.”

But more often, Victor is encouraged by the interactions with the people he calls. “ODB readers, in general, are receptive and positive. Some will ask how they can make donations to the ministry. When they do, I will direct them to the online donation page or the physical ODB envelope.”

Faithful Steward Of God’s Grace

Victor and a fellow volunteer with Our Daily Bread Ministries Singapore at a year-end gathering in 2018.

Today, the sprightly 75-year-old continues to volunteer his time at Our Daily Bread Ministries. Unfortunately, due to social restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, volunteer work has been suspended.

But he looks forward to returning, as he enjoys his time there. “The staff are very friendly, strongly committed in their work, and appreciative of volunteers,” he says.

He also misses meeting other volunteers. “All of them are extremely cooperative and motivated,” he enthuses. “And we always have a good time sharing and fellowshipping during ‘tea break’ sessions!”

On top of this, volunteering has changed the way he looks at life. Victor now reads 1 Peter 4:10 with a new perspective: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

He says: “ODB has made a difference in my daily walk with the Lord Jesus. And for these five years, the ministry has also given me the opportunity to do volunteer work.”

“By my small and humble part of volunteering, I know that God has blessed me with a fresh mind and healthy body. So I will continue to use these blessings to serve others.”

As an 18-year-old who was constantly on her phone, Jasmine's life changed when God reached out to her through a text message. Since then, she is of the opinion that God is way more tech-savvy than He lets on. After 8 years in the media industry, Jasmine now writes for Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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