What did God do in my life?
My first encounter with the Christian faith happened during the Billy Graham crusade in Singapore in 1979. I responded to the “altar call” issued during one of the meetings and was subsequently channeled to a general baptist Church near my home.
I participated in many of the Church activities & was even baptised as a teenager. But it was only when I was 20-21 yrs old that I really understood sin and the saving grace of my Lord Jesus Christ. That realisation was my true conversion. The message of “Christ and Him crucified” made Jesus so precious to me that I was willing to part with sins that have ensnared me as a young man. It also developed in me an endless thirst for spiritual truths. I read the bible several times over. I also found great treasures in the writings of Jonanthan Edwards, John Calvin, Martyn Lloyd Jones & AW Pink. At that time, I could sense that God had a purpose for giving me that thirst for & understanding of His truths.
I became a member & subsequently a deacon in Shalom Church Singapore in 1990. Shalom Church is Calvinistic in its beliefs and holds to the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. And they started a bilingual (English-Mandarin) Sunday afternoon worship service & bible study at ACS Indepent School (Dover Road) in 1995. That was when I started preaching as a layman. That was also when I realised what God had been preparing me for.
The congregation meeting at ACS Independent School grew from a handful to almost 20. In May 1999, it was formally constituted as a Church (called Shalom Dover Reformed Baptist Church). 13 members from Shalom Church became its first members. Pastor Enyi from Shalom continued to preach regularly at Shalom Dover (since it did not have a full-time minister) while I continued to preach once a month. Subsequently, Paul Chong went into the full time ministry in 2003. As Shalom Dover developed its own identity, the leaders felt that it was time that we adopted a name that depicted our clear independence as a Church. On 30 Jul 2006, Shalom Dover was renamed to be called Ebenezer Church. I had the privilege of preaching a sermon from 1 Sam 7:12 that commemorated that occasion.
It was extremely challenging to be a lay preacher & church leader. I had to bear a good testimony and give my best in everything I was called to do, whether it was my career or my family. I probably faired very poorly in my attempt to juggle these concurrent responsibilities. In the last 20 years, God gave me opportunities to lead companies. God also made me a Battalion Commander in the S’pore Armed Forces (reserve). God also gave me a wonderful wife & 3 lovely boys. Most importantly, God gave me a special measure of grace to sustain a disciplined lifestyle inorder to give attention to all these callings in my life. Obviously, there had to be a lot of sacrifices & self-denial. But these were nothing compared to the sacrifice that my Saviour made for me.
I now have 3 adult sons. My wife & I homeschooled them till they were ready for the mainstream school system. Why? Because we knew that the first 5-6 years of their life were formative years and it was important that their minds were shaped with correct values & practices. My wife was a government scholar who was bonded for 8-years. When our first son was born, she still had several years to serve. But we decided that she should give devoted attention to the wonderful children God bestowed to us. Hence, we emptied our savings to pay up her bond. Life as a stay-home mum was not easy for her. It was also not easy for me to juggle all my concurrent responsibilities. There were times where we wondered if we had made the wrong decision. But when we look back and see how our sons have grown & developed into the young men they are now, we can testify that God is faithful! The savings we had to forgo is nothing compared to the joy & blessing we have as a family.
My purpose of sharing these is to exalt the name of my great God. I hope it will also encourage Christians not to fear “losing out” in other aspects of their life because of their commitment to serve God. Jesus assured His disciples in Luk 18:29-30 that “…..there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
We live in an age where even professing Christians get caught up in worldly pursuits & lose sight of the the treasures they should, instead, be building up in heaven. May God help us give of ourselves to Him just as Christ gave His life for His Church.
I welcome feedback and interaction with you, especially if there are areas where I could be of help to you.