30 Orange Grove Road, down Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 258352
Mailing Address: 1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, Singapore 308899
Email: email@example.com; Website: http://www.truelifebpc.org.sg
(Ring Pastor Jeffrey Khoo 62561189 Anytime)
|“The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep SILENCE before him.”|
No More Doubt, No More Afraid
I was born into a family of unbelievers. Since young, I grew up in the presence of a Buddhist altar which was given as a betrothal gift to my father by his mother. My parents accepted it out of respect for my grandmother, and only offered incense when my grandmother visits to please her.
After my grandfather passed away, my mother converted to become a Christian. She did something unbelievable; she enlisted the help of a pastor to burn and dispose of the idol and the altar when my father was on his business trip. Our family’s relationship with my grandmother soured; and my father received a very harsh admonishment. My father defended my mother, and I recently came to understand why. It was because my father was actually afraid of the idols and never worshipped them.
I was blessed to be enrolled into a Catholic kindergarten, primary and secondary school, where I learnt about Jesus. I believe in Jesus, yes, but just because I heard the story. I believe that He exists but I did not find out who Jesus really is to me. My friends at school were mostly Buddhist, so they could not even help. They only made me doubt whether my mother did the right thing or not by disposing those things.
I was blessed to have a mother who was strong in faith when she became a Christian. But my father was not a believer and so home became a battlefield. The atmosphere was very tense. Nothing much changed until I asked my mother to bring me to church. It was because of my curiosity. I really wanted to know why my mother was so firm in her faith. My father stared at me but said nothing. My mother was so happy and that week I entered the church. I sat with my mother and heard the pastor preach. Several weeks later, my mother enrolled me into the Sunday School. I agreed to it because I still did not find what I was looking for. There I found Christian friends and I was aiming so high thinking that I would find what I was looking for. The teacher taught me about Jesus and what He has done for me. Honestly, I was a bit confused about the story then. I later realized that Catholicism and Christianity is different. Somehow I couldn’t get more, and my mother also couldn’t answer many of my questions. So basically I was there just for fun. Still I wanted to learn more about Jesus. I read my Bible every day but nothing particular changed in my life.
Time passed so fast. I was already at sixth grade. It’s time for me and my friends to go for the baptism. The Sunday School teacher gave the form for us to fill. Many of my friends encouraged me to make the decision together. But somehow I still could not decide as I wondered whether it was really a right decision to make. I was scared and confused. I gave that form to my mother, and thought maybe my mother would sign and ask me to make the decision. But no, my mother only looked at me and asked me one question: “Are you ready to admit Jesus as your Savior, your King and also ready to serve Him forever?” As a 12 year-old girl without a firm handle, this question was hard. I want to say yes to first part but the other part—to serve Him forever—was a bit scary for me. I still remember my heart becoming more and more confused after my mother spoke about my motivation and readiness. I did not take that chance to be baptised. My Sunday School teacher and mostly my friends regretted my decision. But at that time I could not bear with the consequences.
I still read my Bible more than before, went to church, joined the Bible camp but I did not see what actually my mother saw or found in Jesus. Every time I asked my mother, she only answered with “Always pray and seek Him. Let Him enlighten you.” Somehow this kind of answer was not enough for me.
My father started to confess his faith in 1998, when the monetary crisis hit Indonesia. God with His miraculous works delivered him from bankruptcy. He declared his faith and gave himself to baptism. From that day onwards, home was really like heaven. My father let my brothers and me go to church and learn about Jesus without any hindrance, unlike before. God gave me to taste of His goodness not only spiritually but also physically. But somehow in my mind I still counted the plus and minuses of becoming a Christian. I saw many magnificent wonders and marvelous signs around me, but I was still walking on my own path and getting lost.
One day during the Bible camp, the pastor preached the gospel. He spoke about man’s relationship with God. He explained that before Christ came, people of the world could not have a relationship with God because of their sin. Sin is a barrier between God and people. In order for their sins to be forgiven, they needed to sacrifice an animal to atone for their sins. God needed something to take away the punishment for sin and the blood of the animal is the payment. The animal sacrifice was only temporary and they needed to keep sacrificing animals for their payment. But after Christ came to earth, He lived a sinless life and became the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He died on the cross for me and this opened my eyes. This time I found the answer to what I was truly seeking. But I was so afraid to make the decision to accept Jesus as my Saviour because it meant I was not free to do what I wanted anymore. It really meant there was no way to turn back. I am so relieved I was not urged to make a decision at that time.
After that day, nothing much changed. I still went to church, went for prayer meetings, and read my Bible. Now, many verses of the Bible revealed Jesus more and more and I tried my best to deny what the Bible said. “I am not ready and still young” I thought. I still have so much time left.
In my last year at Secondary School, one of my classmates had a very bad accident. After the surgery, he stayed in a coma. Our class visited him at the hospital and many wished and hoped for him to get his consciousness back. Time went by and mid-term exams were coming. Then our headmaster announced that our friend was in a hopeless stage. All were told to visit him for the last time. There were many tears. There were no comforting words. The atmosphere became heavy and utterly desperate. The doctor also said that there was no hope for him anymore; even if he did open his eyes he would be a vegetable, and so it was better for the parents to let him go in peace. His mother was crying and I started to think how fast life could vanish. No one could tell you when your time would come. This shook me. Where would I be if I were to die now? The prefect said we ought to pray. We prayed for his recovery, but when we reached the word, “Let your will be done”, I said in my heart, “If you really are the living God whom I have read in my Bible and able to do magnificent works, please let me see your sign that this impossible thing can be possible, and I will give myself to you.” His mother was laughing at our prayer. Even I also could laugh because I did not believe.
Jesus heard our prayer, even my “wrong” prayer. He came back to school exactly on the first day of mid-term exams. Chaos filled the school for no one believed he could open his eyes, and take the mid-term exams with us.
I went back to my mother and told her about my decision. This time she did not say anything. She saw my readiness and brought me to see the pastor in church. The pastor asked me about my seriousness in making this decision, and my willingness to bear the consequences of my decision. This time there was no more doubt; I was no more afraid. I said yes and my pastor gave the same form for me to fill. I filled it up as fast as I could and told my mother to sign it. The new requirement was that I needed to complete the Bible lessons before I could be baptised.
So from that day till today, I’d have to say it has been a “wild ride”. Committing my life to Christ was the best and most important decision that I’ve ever made. I am not saying that choosing to walk with Christ is easy life, that everything will be solved afterwards and that I will never sin again. Unfortunately, I still live in this world, and bad things still happen and somehow I can also make wrong choices. But Christ will still be there, wherever I am, in whatever situation I am in. He is still there waiting for me to repent and making things right again. I am not saying I am perfect, I am saying that I am forgiven. Irma O
God Had Planned Everything
God had already planned everything. Let me share my testimony with you.
My parents, though Filipinos, have very different religious beliefs. I know very well that my mother was a straight A student, despite being unfortunate. My father, a cliché Roman Catholic, believed Mary was everything (but now he knows this is not true).
My mother and my father met each other and got married. They lived life together but with bumps on the road. Although my mom and dad had decent jobs, they had to work harder to support their two daughters. So, my father went to Japan while my mother stayed in the Philippines to care for my sisters. You see, my mother was the only one in the family who was a Christian. She read the Bible and prayed. My father? Not so sure. Most likely Roman Catholicism was still in his mind, but dormant. He did tell me that at this period, he did not know God fully. So he was usually lost (spiritually) and the devil caused him to have many mood swings.
Things began to change even more when I was born. My birth was extraordinary, since my mom was suffering from a heart problem at that time. So birth was literally a suicide mission. But my mom did not care. She wanted both me and herself to be alive. So she prayed and prayed. And guess what? My mom survived and so did I.
As much as it was a joyful event, it was rough for my family because now my parents had to work things out for three children. And so, we decided to move to Singapore. I moved here when I was three years old and did not see my full potential as God’s gift until I was ten years old.
It was a nice relaxing day. I was on my phone (dad’s), and was interrupted by the doorbell ringing. I opened the door to find Dr Jose Lagapa giving me pamphlets. I gave the pamphlets to my dad. Glad I did, or else I would have been stuck in the Roman Catholic Church. That Sunday, I went to a different place, not the Roman Catholic Church. Confused, but I stayed on. It was my first ever Filipino Bible fellowship. That same Sunday I confessed and prayed the sinner’s prayer for the first time.
As a youth, it is fine knowing God and His Word, but being young is not all that good. I am still young, and trying to be a “perfect” Christian is nearly impossible. As children, despite being saved, we hop over the fence like exploring sheep.
But I know one day, I will fully understand God. Camille
1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, S(308899) firstname.lastname@example.org 6254 1287
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