My first encounter with Christianity was during an 80s Jackie Chan movie. The priest was an ang moh (Caucasian), and he was talking about repentance and God’s love to his fellowmen in a rally. Thus, my first impression was, it’s an ang moh god.
The god that was portrayed seemed different from the other deities in cartoons – such as the stories of the monkey god waging war in the heavens. To me, these stories were more Chinese and more exciting.
My primary school days were ‘exciting’. The day I played truant, I was at Ken Air Wonderland/ Small Small Word (an indoor theme park in Parkway Parade). My fellow adventurers who played truant with me were approached by a group of youths who shared the Four Spiritual Laws with us. Being shy and scared, I quickly obliged and said the sinners’ prayer that they asked me to pray. That was the first time I said a prayer. Nothing changed after that though.
My first visit to a church was during a Chapel period in Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School. I was in Secondary 1 then and the chapel session was held in Katong Presbyterian Church. The songs were mainly traditional hymns but I was more into Bon Jovi & Pet Shop Boys. The speaker was Irish and his accent made it difficult for me to understand what he was saying. His words that day went in one ear and went out the other.
My first time in Sunday school was when I joined Boys’ Brigade. To be awarded the BB One Year Service Badge, attendance in Sunday School was a requirement for me. Less than a year later, I stopped attending the Boys’ Brigade programs and Sunday School as I didn’t feel a sense of belonging.
About same time, I found new friends around my home where we spent most of our time together. It was also the first time I started to learn about smoking, fighting, and later betrayal and fear.
I called out to God and there was an instant inner peace in my life – my fear was gone as I began to hope in Him. I started attending the Boys’ Brigade again and found a bible study group in school. My life took on a new purpose with a destiny that was certain.
Slowly, I came to know a God who is almighty, who reached out and provided me a way out of my self-destructing state. Seeing His plans fall into place throughout time, I began to understand that the perfect solution to the complicated matter of sin and His Holy nature was for Jesus to bear my sin and be a holy sacrifice to appease God’s wrath. Because of what Jesus has done for me, this open, secure and eternal relationship with Him became possible.
After turning away from God during my working adult years, I started searching for a Word-based church and cell group for support. I found it in Living Praise Presbyterian Church. I like the friendliness and openness of the people. I’m also heartened that the warmth has no age boundary here. I like that the LPPC cell material and sermon are synced and structured. It not only gives a common learning experience for which we could share our triumphs but also the opportunity to encourage and pray for one another in our struggles. I also like that we are concerned about the sharing of the gospel to our fellow friends, our loved ones and our community. It has been a very encouraging journey over the past few years.
I would like to end by sharing the lyrics of this song ‘My Redeemer is Faithful and True’. Whenever I hear this song by Bobby Michael, it brings me back to the cassette tape era. I look back with thankfulness at all that God has done in my life. He is indeed faithful and gracious.
“As I look back on this road I’ve travelled
I see so many times He carried me through
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my life
My redeemer is faithful and true
And in every situation
He has proved his love for me
When I lack the understanding
He gives more grace to me”