God is always good; no matter what happens, He always brings me back to Him one way or another.
Hi, I am Benjamin Koh. Brought up in a Christian family, with a Christian aunt and uncle, I knew who Jesus is and who God is. I attended KCPPS and joined the Boys’ Brigade. With so many Christian influences I should have been a good Christian boy who knew a lot about Christ and all, but nope, I didn’t, not at all. Going to Sunday School was like the norm to me, like a daily routine and that’s about it, nothing more.
When I reached secondary school, life was different altogether. I had learned about gangs and black stuff when I was in primary school already, so going into secondary school and meeting friends who were in gangs and all was a norm to me. I was hanging out with some of them, but not with their gang, ’cause I was a streetsmart boy and knew what to do and what not to do. That was life to me — being outwardly a Christian but with non-Christian interests. To be exact, I was not a non-Christian but just a playful boy wanting to find trouble. My studies weren’t that great but were good enough. As I mentioned I was a streetsmart boy knowing who to please and who to anger.
I graduated from Sunday School to youth cell group, meeting different people and all, but I didn’t pay any attention to my fellow 13 year old friends in church. I then decided not to go to youth service at all after Secondary 2, almost deciding not to go church at all for I felt it was kind of a waste of time. My thinking at that time was “I’m already a Christian and saved already liao, why must I go and attend church some more?”
Little did I know that I was far from being a Christian, let alone being a good person. As someone who was both logical and emotional, I acted according to what I thought and felt, and the worst part of me was that I was so hot-headed that I would use both my brain and brawn to attack anyone who stepped on me. It was a destructive time for me, and all of this happened without any of my church ‘friends’ and family knowing at all. But as I said at the start, God is good and will always find a lost sheep no matter what happens.
It was during the second half of Secondary 3 (I was 15) that one of my Christian friends invited me and a few of my friends to an after-school Bible study at McDonald’s Ang Mo Kio Park, with a guy named Chee Hong, who later became my first ever mentor. He was kind, funny and an interesting person, and he taught me and my friends a lot about being a Christian, but knowing a bit of the Bible I would mostly try to play and not really listen to him.
One day he brought me and my friends to an event at Sentosa. It was almost like a bonding time with other Christians and all. And at this point he told me he was from SYFC (Singapore Youth For Christ) and told me he knew that I was only acting as a Christian. He asked me to wake up and look at myself. I knew that deep down I wasn’t a Christian at all and I was just acting like one. He told me that maybe God had made my friend invite me to Bible study in order to challenge me to wake up and walk the hard and narrow path back to God again. For the first time, I really woke up and realised that I needed to do something. I followed his advice.
After that, when I was 16, Chee Hong asked me to take part in Project Serve (SYFC’s short-term involvement programme). I did, both to serve God and to find out more about Him. After that I decided to go back to the youth ministry, but after all that time a lot had changed. I decided to get to know my church friends better and attend more church events.
So God has been really good to me and to my family. As you know, my dad is a cancer patient. He was diagnosed when I was in Secondary 4 and during that time I was very close to God and He held me and didn’t let go even though I felt weak and helpless. He held me and told me to trust Him. Blessed be our God.