All my life I have been just a Sunday Catholic until last year when I joined Clare’s Missionary (CM) for a their trip to Sabah to do a recce for a life skills project we had planned for the disadvantage youth.

But the project faced challenges right from the start. The estimated cost of S$40,000 was a daunting fact. In addition, Monsignor Primus Jouil, the patron of CM in Sabah was not keen to allow us to charge any of the students any fees. When we asked him how we could finance the class, he simply said we should pray!

I had volunteered for this three-month-long pilot project to teach basic cooking skills simply because I was not working any longer and had the time and training. I thought that God had directed me to join CM because I could fulfil the requirements for this post. But being almost 60 years old then and having spinal and knee cap problems, I was very half-hearted during that trip and I thought this project would never take off, given the challenges.

When we asked him how we could finance the class, he simply said we should pray!

Nonetheless, we started work on the project. We visited a hostel owner who wanted to sell off her kitchen equipment. After only 10 minutes of negotiations she suddenly blurted out that since we were doing God’s work, she wanted to be part of it too, and offered us everything free of charge. The equipment was only a year old and had cost her RM100,000!

The following day, we went to check out the premises that Monsignor had kindly offered to us free of charge for our classrooms and kitchen, but they were totally unsuitable for our use. Disappointed and out of ideas, we started to recite the rosary. Before we could finish, we got a call from the same hostel owner offering us her kitchen premises for our training!

If these two incidents are not miracles, then I really do not know what miracles are. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life, and now I truly believe with all my heart that God really cares and listens to our prayers.

Stephen Frois
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