SINGING CAROLS at commercial establishments has enabled The Harvesters to raise funds for a missionary group and evangelise the general public about Christmas.
“We started carolling for fundraising purposes last year as an extension of our evangelistic ministry,” said Ms Jane Lau, who coordinated the carolling.
The group, whose mission is to evangelise, raised some $2,000 last year for the Catholic Welfare Services and the Missionary Community Of St Paul The Apostle.
This year, between Dec 7-23, the group carolled at three commercial establishments, CK Tang, Serangoon Garden Country Club and Strawberry And Spice Restaurant, and in the homes of some group members.
Ms Lau added: “We hoped not only to raise funds but also to spread the Good News during the Christmas season.” She added that the group agreed to sing at CK Tang because it is a very popular public place.
“We hoped to tell the Christmas story of Jesus as the light of the world without being too obviously evangelistic,” Ms Lau said.
The $3,000 raised this year will go to the Missionary Community Of St Paul The Apostle based in Africa. One of its members, Fr Francis Teo, is a Malaysian who studied in Singapore.
Ms Lau said that part of the group’s objective is evangelization but “since we can’t go out to evangelize full-time, we are doing it through the missionaries”.
They also sold personalised books to aid their fund-raising effort even after the Christmas season.
The Harvesters is looking into doing fund-raising and helping out at Catholic charitable institutions as a year-long activity.
“We do not have a lot of money and time but we have lots of energy so we want to do something on a regular basis,” Ms Lau said of the group, whose members’ ages range from the mid 20s to mid 30s.
Their carolling of the past two years was made more poignant when they were asked to sing carols at the bedside of two terminally ill patients. “It was really an outreach. It was an experience for us because Advent is about preparing for the coming of Jesus and here we were carolling to people who were going to meet Jesus,” Ms Lau remarked.
“It reminded us of the reason we wanted to do the carolling, to spread the message of the birth of Jesus, of hope, of love,” she added.