We’re going through the women of faith from the Old Testament at home group at the moment. Tonight, we studied Sarah (her name means princess). Sarah, the woman who laughed at God in disbelief, who schemed out of her impatience and resentment, who was harsh and unkind toward Hagar. The woman God treated with graciousness and kindness despite her ungodliness, and whom he commended for following her husband, for doing good without fear.

When I think of Sarah’s husband Abraham, I remember my physics teacher at National Junior College, Mr Kenneth Koh.

Mr Koh suffered from chronic ezcema. He was frequently on leave needing treatment.

I remember fondly the time when he went to try out for Singapore Idol, with the song His Eye Is On The Sparrow. He sang it for us in class one day. It wasn’t quite in tune, and it moved me.

In late 2007, the life I knew had collapsed around me. There were days where I simply went through my phonebook calling anyone and everyone who would talk to me. Some asked me to take my pity party elsewhere, but Mr Koh, he had compassion on me.

We didn’t know each other all that well and he wasn’t my tutor anymore, but he phoned me from Singapore and spoke to me for an hour. He told me Abraham’s story. I hadn’t realised back then that Abram was the coward who “lied” twice that his wife was his sister to save his own skin.

Mr Koh told me: “Jasmine, if God loved and used such a person, don’t you think he can pick you out of your mess and use you too?”

Mr Kenneth Koh was a real person who shared his real struggles. He hoped. He identified with the Psalmist: “I would have despaired unless I have believed I’d see His glory in the land of the living“.

Mr Koh taught physics well. But more than that, he was a teacher.

Thank you, sir.