News Story

Volunteering in Malaysia 
Menjadi Sukarewan di Malaysia

In every opportunity to serve, you can see Christ’s light

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(For Non-Muslim Use Only)

“When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). Many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have put this principle, taught by King Benjamin, into practice and have found a deep sense of purpose while serving others.

Sister Chen Ying of the Petaling Jaya Branch in Kuala Lumpur has been a volunteer with the non-profit organization, MERCY Malaysia for several years. In December 2022, she joined many others in responding to the devastating floods that hit the area of Terengganu. The scope and timing of this disaster required help from volunteers during the week of Christmas. She spent 5 days in Terengganu over the Christmas holidays.

Chen Ying is a trained clinical psychologist, and she volunteers with MERCY Malaysia's Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services to provide Psychological First Aid (PFA) to people affected by disasters, aiming to reduce the impact on the affected individual’s emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.

Sister Chen YIng© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

She explained, “In this most recent flood response mission, our role in this situation is to fill the gap by providing mental health and psychosocial support to the flood survivors. We check in with the local organizations and support the community efforts that are already in place. We provide PFA and psychosocial care to build resilience among individuals and families, especially those who live in the affected areas. We teach them coping mechanisms, including relaxation techniques, and help them focus on what they still have and not just the loss. We educate them that if their symptoms prolong for more than a month then it’s time to reach out and get professional help.

“Sometimes communication can be difficult because of language barriers. In my previous mission in Kelantan, I drew comic strips and used their language to describe things that they want to avoid doing, things that they should do, and things that they should take note of, including healthy habits and when to contact someone for further support. Religious persons can be encouraged to pray and read their scriptures as part of their support. We can all relate to that.

“What really touches me is the experience of working together with others to help those in need over Christmas, despite the differences between all the volunteers. We come from various backgrounds with different expertise and religious beliefs, but we are all ready to respond to the call to serve. The humility that we see in each other brings forth the good, which provides a sense of community. It reinforces my belief that we can’t just stay within our own group, we need to reach out and let people see His light. I’m glad that I was, in small ways, able to do that.”

MERCY Malaysia is a non-profit organization with a long history of medical disaster response in Malaysia. Chen Ying also did volunteer counseling with MERCY in 2014 when two Malaysia Airlines flights experienced tragedy. Flight 370 disappeared over the ocean in March of 2014 and Flight 17 was hit by a missile over Ukraine in July of the same year. She helped to provide PFA and mental health support to crew members and airport staff who had to continue working in the aftermath of those disasters.

Sister Chen Ying© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Although Chen Ying has served through these very difficult tragedies, she maintains a positive attitude about serving others. She offers these words of encouragement to those who may be considering volunteer service, “Just start by talking to someone who has volunteered before. Then don’t think too much about it, just jump into it. There is much to gain and little to lose. I missed celebrating Christmas with my family, but we celebrated after the disaster. After all, Christmas is a time of caring, sharing, and giving. It was my honor to lend a hand to those in need over the festive season, it was a way of living the true spirit of Christmas. I think that in every opportunity to serve, you can see Christ’s light. As we consecrate our time, resources, and talents in serving others, we can see a lot of good in the world uniting people and renewing hope.”

Additional Resources

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