Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome to Kampar!

I received an unexpected visit from Joseph kindy’s principal. While we were talking about the business and Malaysia's economy, I couldn’t help but to bring up the problems I face with Joseph. “Joseph? He is a very stable and independent boy. He likes to ask questions and chat with his teachers.” If I hadn’t known Christine for close to 3 years, I would have insisted that she has got the wrong boy. Before I could voice my surprise at his prefect-type behaviour in school, the bullets start to come!

“However, when Joseph first came to Fungates, he was, in my experience, the most difficult child to deal with!” She went on to elaborate how every day for 6 months, she had to hug Joseph, who was then 2, so that he will not hurt himself, roll on the floor or create a disruptive scene for others. Normally, based on her experience, a new student would only take 2 months to settle down. Christine, being a fervent Christian, would take time to pray over difficult students and when it comes to Joseph, she was at wits’ end! In fact, during that period, she had stopped wearing accessories as Joseph would end up tearing them apart! I could feel myself sinking into my seat, hoping that the chair could spread its wings to cover me!

When we first moved back to Kampar 3 years ago, we had difficulty in locating a good kindergarten. After much hunting, Ray decided that we should send our children to Fungates in Ipoh! Therefore, for one whole year, there would be a frantic parent driving 160km a day just to send their preschool children to Ipoh. It was regarded as madness by many but to us, we felt that we made the right decision as we had wanted Clarissa and Joseph to focus on character building that was only available under Fungates syallabus. However, the traveling started to take a toil on us and 1 month after we had started, I asked Christine if she might consider starting a branch in Kampar. She had received previous requests before but as she was expanding her kindy in Ipoh, she didn’t have time nor the resources to consider a branch that is 40km away.

After 6 months of clogging up road miles, I approached Christine again with the same request. To my surprise, this time, she said she would think about it! “And you know, at that point, Joseph was still crying. He was loud and disruptive. By the time he settled down, half the day had gone!” she said to me. “There was a parent from Kampar who sent her hyperactive child to us as no kindy in Kampar could take him. Under my care and praying hands, the boy settled down within 2 months but Joseph, he was quite a handful!” she continued. “I asked God if there were something wrong with my teaching methods, my prayers etc. Therefore when you asked me to come to Kampar, I told God that if He could made Joseph stop crying, I will definitely consider as I know that He is really speaking to me!” The next day, Christine was late to school but she asked her staff if Joseph were difficult and much to her surprise, Joseph “decided” to stop crying! In fact, from then on, Joseph had stopped crying endlessly but would merely whine.

I was really humbled when Christine related the incident to me as I had no idea what they had to put up with then, although I did suspect that Joseph was difficult. Now, 3 years on, Christine runs the biggest kindergarten in Kampar that is not only well received locally but attracts students from satellite towns and villages. Her testimony truly warms my heart as she concludes “Your son has brought me to Kampar!”. I couldn’t believe that God had used Joseph to speak to her but then again, nothing is impossible with God!


  1. God sure works in mysterious ways! Thanks for sharing. I can realte to her about being at wits end and am still praying about it. My mum just told me this about praying that they will be better behaved children. Other children are not like that. Sigh. I guess there is something I still don't understand and seeking His wisdom. There's a lot of wisdom on your blog and I am so glad you are sharing all this. :)

  2. Yes I agree with Bunny. Your blog is very cleverly written and I'm so glad God is using you and your family in so many ways :)

  3. wow, joseph is a challenging child indeed, truly a rough diamond in the making. but if there's anything i've learnt, it's that there's no magic formula as every child is different - God has made each one of us unique. i remember i gave my mum quite a bit of grey in my time!

  4. Each child is special and unique. Its up to us to bring out the good in them, and guide them in such a way that they choose to be good on their own. We need plenty of wisdom from God...hey, having challenging kids make mums pray more and that is GOOD! hehe

  5. hi brave mummies
    thank you for yr encouraging comments. Liz, i know exactly how you feel cos my parents are the same!Patsy, i am just amazed that God give you strength to cope with 3 boys.

    Yes, all of us need to pray more! Even a difficult child like Joe could be used by God, imagine what potential they have if they were good!

  6. *malu* forgot to mention too, that actually I am convinced that God is working in all of our families but we must be observant and sensitive enough to detect and praise Him for it!
    Like the recent chat with Christine was a bombshell to me! :)

  7. Hi, I was searching for Fungates Kindie in Ipoh and found ur blog. Could you suggest me any good Kindie in Ipoh that applies Fungates system? I am from KL and moving to Ipoh early next year. Thanks for your help. My email is


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