A JRS volunteer explains the Advent project to parishioners. SINGAPORE - As their Advent project this year, the Church of Christ the King has collaborated with the Jesuit Refugee Service to make the parish mission statement "One in Love and Service" more meaningful for its parishioners.

Eight parishioners were led by Father Robertus Sarwiseso to visit Krung Jor Temporary Shelter Camp, a refugee camp along the Thai-Myanmar border, from Oct 13-16. Aided by the Parish Pastoral Council, they have organised an exhibition on refugees, Masses, talks an Advent booklet, and the collection of funds to assist the Shan refugees who number about 500 in the camp.

The Shans are the largest minority ethnic group in Myanmar but persecution has caused almost 300,000 of them to flee to Thailand.

The parish of Christ the King has pledged to support the 170 Shan families in Krung Jor Camp with financial assistance for four income-generating projects - weaving of handicraft items, making of baskets, soya bean crackers, and rearing of catfish - and other essential facilities.

"Fundraising, however, is secondary" to the Advent project, said Samuel Tan, the project coordinator. The primary task is to create awareness among parishioners of the need to serve others, whether or not they are part of the church.

Advent period is the best opportunity, he said, because very often people are clogged up in a lot of secular activities, and forget that it is a time for awaiting the coming of Jesus.

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