On the occasion of New Sight’s 10 years of service in Congo, we bring you our Top 10 Quotes of life lessons and uplifting encouragement that have been helpful to us in our journey. We hope they bring you wisdom and encouragement as well!
Through the years, Joyce and Henri have always regarded the successes of New Sight and their family as God’s blessings and not human achievements. Everything has been by the sheer grace of God.
This uplifting thought has encouraged the New Sight family over the years – it is not a burden to give or serve; it is a privilege to be invited to join a wonderful journey of helping people regain sight.
This wisdom comes from Joyce’s mum Chim Hoo Fan who encouraged her when she didn’t know what to do at various points of her life. Does this encourage you today?
In 2012 when they visited a village in the rainforest, Joyce and Henri met a man who had a horribly infected leg wrapped in dirty rags. Henri wanted to bring him to hospital for treatment and pay for his medical and travelling expenses, while Joyce, overwhelmed by the tremendous needs all around, was concerned that the whole village would start expecting them to help. This quote was Henri’s response, and we’re thankful that they both did what God asked of them that day. They took the man for treatment, he got better and returned home! Joyce reflected, “We won’t be able to help everyone, but as much as we can, we are going to help the one right in front of us.”
As Joyce recounts, she was a spoilt only child and risk-averse. Yet she felt the call to be a doctor serving in Africa. She had a long argument with God why she was unsuitable, and at the end of it she realised that she either believes that God is who He says He is, or she doesn’t. And if she believes Him, then it only makes sense for her to trust Him, even when she did not understand how she could survive in Africa. The next day she met Henri, who became her husband, and partner in this journey of faith.
When The Samoutou Family received the call to go pioneer non-profit eye care in rural Congo, they struggled greatly with funding. Three months before their departure, they had already quit their jobs to prepare, and despite their fundraising efforts, they only managed to raise 5% of the start-up cost. They wondered if they should postpone their departure, but decided to let God, rather than the bank balance, have the final word. Within one month, God provided 100% of the budget! All through the history of New Sight, whenever the Samoutous were faced with decisions, they always carefully considered the financial implications, but they have come to know that God is bigger than any need. If God is in a project, then He will always provide.
The first time The Samoutou Family experienced the threat of Ebola in Congo, several NGOs and mission organisations pulled their teams out temporarily for safety reasons. The Samoutou kids were little and Joyce Samoutou-Wong and Henri asked God what they should do. God’s reply was this: It is not wrong or lacking in faith to leave when you’re faced with a risky and potentially dangerous situation. Even baby Jesus fled from King Herod. But if you are going make a move and leave, make sure that it is God asking you to. Once they heard God’s answer, peace came; it quieted and settled them. Then, they knew God was leading them to stay, and they were able to continue the clinical service and contribute to the community response to Ebola. They learnt that while decisions, actions and outcomes may end up being the same, it matters that they act by following the voice of God, and not act out of fear or worry.
God is not interested in our so-called success. All He asks of us is to obey and be faithful. The fruits are only by-products.
If we don’t look up, we will not see. If we do not see, our hearts will not be moved; and if our hearts are not moved, we won’t need to care; but if we don’t care, we will miss the essence of humanity, we will miss all the natural benefits of giving, and far too many in this world will continue to suffer.
Giving is core to who we are and fundamental to our happiness and well-being. Did you know that the root for the word “generous” comes from genereux (noble birth), from the stem genus (genesis), describing our very origin? You and I were born to live generously, and that is why giving is so good for us.
God asked me, “Who told you that? Who told you who you are and who you are not? Who told you what you can and what you cannot do?” No one, not me, not you, no one can tell us who we were created to be, except God.