Growing up as a child who hated school, I skipped most of my classes. I found myself in the wrong company; gang members and drug addicts were people hung out with. I dabbled in narcotics at a young age and soon, I was placed in a drug rehabilitation centre at the age of 15.
As a result of all the troubles I had gotten myself into, I was in and out of prison a total of six times and put in the military detention twice. Close to 20 years of my life was spent incarcerated.
You may be thinking, “How can you be so comfortable and open with sharing about your past?” The answer to that is that I’m not. However, it is a great testimony of how God can change lives, how God is so real, how forgiving God is and how God looks after His children. I first came to know Christ when I attended a Sunday Church Service by a foreign preacher. I’ve never felt anything like that before. God’s message of love and salvation truly touched and transformed me and totally changed my life. I was baptized five months after that church service.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor 5:17. Indeed I’m a completely changed person as promised in His word. I now have a new identity in Christ and a whole new sense of purpose in life. Serving the most high God is truly a great joy and honour. I’m so grateful that the Lord picked me up and saved me. I still have to battle with challenges and temptations every day but I thank God for everything He has done for me. One of the things is how God orchestrated and placed my beautiful soon-to-be wife in my life. I will leave that amazing story for another day!
I remember spending one afternoon studying in a cafe. It was, then, the lowest period of my life. It was not just because I could not cope with school work and environment or I did badly in my examinations. Instead, it was because I had “backslidden” from church for nearly half a year. It was at a point so low that no one would have even anticipated what would happen next.
During this period, I bumped into my secondary school classmate and since we had some time to spare, we proceeded to catch up with each other. As we were talking, we came to the topic of “my journey with God”. Apparently, she knew that I have stopped attending church and strayed away from God. She then invited me to join her for church service that coming Sunday. Feeling spiritually drained, I accepted the invitation without any hesitation. Attending service that very Sunday turned out to be the first of many Sunday services to come. Over the next two years, I found myself answering to the Lord’s call to serve in Salem Chapel in the Connect Ministry and learning the bass guitar. I thank the Lord for His faithfulness and for giving me the strength to continuously walk with Him.
My brothers and sisters-in-Christ , I believe that the Lord rescues us from the lowest of our situations and at the least of our expectations. But nothing is beyond His expectation because the Lord springs into action in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and His time is always perfect. If there is anyone facing a situation, stand fast in your faith because His hope does not disappoint.
Salem is a spiritual family that God has used to grow my faith throughout the years. Having grown up here, I’m most thankful for the various opportunities to serve in ministry, as well as the leaders/mentors who have modelled a life of faith and invested in me.
As a youth leader, I’ve also witnessed how God works in amazing and sometimes mysterious ways, proving His faithfulness over and over again. I remember there were times when we, as the youth leaders, did not know how to tackle the many hurdles we were facing or how to move forward in the right direction.
But God always came through for us in the end. He brought the right people to come alongside us, in the form of new friends or a new Young People’s Pastor at just the right time. He raised up leaders to pursue His heart for them and for the youth, and to take on the different roles needed in the ministry. He has never failed us, and I believe that He will continue to be the One who sustains us. It is also a personal reminder for me that He is watching over my life and will bring His purposes to pass.
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead “,we “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13b-14). So we press on in being a community that spurs each other on to love and good deeds. And I hope that we will also grow in our knowledge of just how much Jesus loves us, His church, and the world.
English: Sundays 10am
Chinese: Sundays 2pm
Hokkien: Saturdays 11am