By Lydia Teh

I used to be quite a letter writer when I was young. My name was published in the pen-pals section of a local magazine and I wrote to pen-pals far and near. I also corresponded with some members of the church. Their letters and cards are kept in a box still.

Nowadays I hardly write any letter or card. It is not surprising that I don’t get any letter or card either. When I was writing a newspaper column sometime back, I once solicited snail mail from my readers. They didn’t disappoint. Several people wrote me, these are mostly those of my generation.

There is only one person I know now who consistently writes to everyone in the church. Bro. Raymond Chirng makes little home-made cards and pens encouraging messages on them and hand delivers them to the recipients. To the young, he dishes out advice such as study hard, settle down, have babies – I know because I have read some of his cards to young people. He even wrote to my late grandmother though she was illiterate.

Perhaps some of us take his cards for granted. Getting a card from Raymond on our birthday is as sure as the sun rising in the west. But if he stops writing, then we will miss it for sure. Such is human nature; we often don’t appreciate what we have until we lose it.

Let’s take a leaf from Raymond’s book. Write someone a card or postcard. Writing a letter may be difficult for some of us – “Aiya, I don’t know how to write, what to write ah?” Cards are easier – there is limited space, especially on postcards. You can’t write a lot. Just two or three sentences and that’s it. You’d run out of space quickly, especially if you have big handwriting. If you don’t know what to write, just share a favourite bible verse, or thank the recipient for something he or she has done.

To have an even greater impact, post your card. What we receive in our post box are usually junk mail, bills and more bills. When we get a personal card in the mail, it is like finding a pearl among marbles.

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After writing this article, I have mailed a postcard to a sister in Klang. I picked her name randomly. After she receives it, I hope she sends a card to another sister who will then send one to yet another, and so on.

But you don’t have to wait for a postcard in the mail before you write one. Send one straight away. Let’s keep the chain of cards going, and the encouragement flowing.