Posted by:
25th Aug 2019

Testimonies of New Members (III)

Charlene Mae Abrena

I was born in a Roman Catholic family. My parents would bring me to church every Sunday and observe all the Catholic traditions, like praying the rosary, lighting candles and bowing down to the images while reciting prayers. I was led to believe that traditions and my own efforts to do good works were my ticket to enter heaven, and my only goal was to attend the mass for my sins to be forgiven.

When I was 20 years old, one of my closest friends (who is a Christian) invited me to a youth gathering in her church. That was the first time I heard of the Gospel. At that moment, I realised that I really didn’t know Jesus. I was so full of myself, being self-righteous and very prideful. Even though I claimed to know God, I rarely read the Bible and had very little knowledge of Him.

After graduating from University, I worked in a private school for one year before deciding to come to Singapore to look for a job. By the mercy of God, I was given an opportunity to work as a child-care teacher. While here, I was invited to a church where most of the people I knew were attending. When I first came to that church, I witnessed how people were hyped up by the expressive worship, wherein people dance, scream, cry and “speak in tongues” as they normally call it. They passionately “declared” healing and blessings upon the people. Soon I also was part of their practices. Instead of turning to the Word of God and seeking the truth about all these things, I blindly followed them. I listened to what I wanted to hear and what was appealing to me personally. That resulted in me making terrible mistakes and falsely assuming I knew God better. I really thank the Lord that by His mercy and faithfulness, I was delivered from this bondage.

Indeed, we have a merciful and faithful God who never forsakes us. Thank God for using someone to lead me to read a passage in the Bible pertaining to the things that had blinded me for years. As I spent several hours reading and praying, I cried as I realised how the Lord has treated me with undeserved grace. I thank God each day for illumining me by the Holy Spirit, for opening my eyes and causing me to see the truth in the Scriptures.

Praise the Lord for bringing us to Gethsemane BP Church in September 2018. I thank God for the faithful preaching of God’s Word (which is the supreme and final authority of our faith and life) by Pastor Koshy and other preachers. The constant reminder about repentance towards God, salvation by grace through faith in Christ, and obedience to God as His people, moved us to decide to worship here in Gethsemane. We are fully aware that it was the gracious Hand of the Lord which led and brought us to this church. God is sovereign, He knows how things will turn out before they happen. Therefore, I rejoice and praise the Lord, who is my Deliverer and Redeemer, who bore my sins in His body and paid the price for my redemption. I thank the Lord for the gift of faith to believe in Christ and trust in His plan for me. And it is my sincerest prayer that I will grow closer to God, serve Him with clean hands and a pure heart, and rely on the Holy Spirit to live a life that glorifies God.

Rowell Nicodemus Gabriel

I had been attending a Pentecostal/ Charismatic church for a couple of years before God amazingly brought a group of us to Gethsemane B-P Church. In the meantime, through online videos (such as YouTube), some of my fellow Filipino brethren (from that same church) and I, through listening to the sermons of John MacArthur and R. C. Sproul, became aware of the teachings of John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, etc. Our hearts were opened up to the truths of God’s Word. After several months of listening to the expository teachings of the reformed, fundamentalist pastors, we became aware of the wrong teachings and practices of our previous church. Praise be to God for giving us the opportunity to see His truth.

By God’s providence, in August 2018, I engaged in a serious conversation about the Bible with Bro Melvin Mendoza, with whom I regularly had lunch in a coffee shop. Bro. Melvin shared with me about the church he was currently attending, i.e. Gethsemane BPC. I googled, and viewed some of the sermons of Pastor Koshy and Rev. Reggor. About 2 weeks later, on 2nd September 2018, I came to attend Gethsemane, with some of my Filipino friends. Since then, we are able to learn more of the truths of the Bible. We are thankful for the sound doctrines expounded by Pastor Koshy. We are also thankful for the guidance we have received from Pr Jeremiah Sim (who teaches us in KBS), as well as Bro. Norefel Resuma (who oversees the Filipino Fellowship). We are greatly encouraged through GBI classes, the English worship services and other fellowship groups of Gethsemane. Day by day, having learnt more and more of the Word, we are led to live according to His will and acceptably in His sight.

Thank God for the warm welcome we have received in Gethsemane BPC. May more lives be transformed through God’s blessing of the church members’ outreach and evangelism. Praise God for bringing us out of the errors of Roman Catholicism, Pentecostalism and Charismaticism, to attend this church. We are very grateful that we know more of our God and His Word, that we may follow and obey Him. All glory be to our God!

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:3-6).

Gao Jing

I am Gao Jing. For more than a decade, I have been a Buddhist. I constantly felt remorseful about my sins. I also felt that I could not find my direction, whenever I needed help or support. I was in Singapore alone, and singlehandedly brought up my children here.

By some unexpected coincidence, I was brought to Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church. It was through one of my customers that I came to the church. I felt at home here since then. Subsequently through the preaching of God’s Word, I am convicted that I am a sinner under the curse of sin, and the only way to be forgiven of my sins is to receive Jesus to be my Saviour. I believe only Jesus can forgive my sins and save me. I began to learn to pray and to read the Scriptures. Every time I met with a problem which made me perplexed, the Lord Jesus has always led me forward step by step through prayer and God’s Word. I have felt the true existence of the Lord Jesus, and have experienced the power of preaching and the mutual sharing by the brothers and sisters in the church. Therefore, I am now at ease and very joyous in the Lord!

Nydel Castines Fernandez

I was brought up as a Catholic and went to church every Sunday together with my family. Yet, all I knew about Jesus was no more than many unbelievers. I didn’t know what it meant to have a saving relationship with Jesus, although I prayed to Him and continued to attend my local Catholic church.

There came a period in my life when I felt a deep yearning for life’s meaning. But I wasn’t sure what it was. Though I had a great job, active social life and my family around me, I didn’t feel contented. On the outside, life seemed good. But on the inside, it was like a gaping hole, which I yearn to be filled. God awakened me to realise that a life of joy and peace was not through abundance of worldly things. From that moment, I wanted to know more about what God is like. I was curious as I had plenty of questions about God and life. I tried to look for answers in the Catholic church but I couldn’t find them.

Life went on, despite those feelings inside me. When I later moved to Singapore to work, my friends invited me to their church. When they subsequently left their previous church, I too left together with them. I knew they were leaving because of the errors within the church. Thank God for moving all of us in His own peculiar way to bring us to Gethsemane. I thank God for inspiring me with His precious Word through the preaching of Pastor Koshy and the rest of the preachers. By attending several of the fellowship groups in Gethsemane and being surrounded with believers, I am blessed with opportunities to learn and grow in faith.

When I first came to Gethsemane B-P Church, I had only a little knowledge of God. After learning more of the Bible truths, I have been able to discover answers to many things that had troubled me earlier in life. It is only through the love of God that calls me to prayer, worship and fellowship, that I have been able to let go of all the lies that I had held onto for so long. Praise God that He helped me to step out into the light and believe in the truth. I now experience peace within me. In the past, I found it a real struggle to move forward; today I have found the confidence to bear my struggles because of the Lord who is with me.

Now I know God has a plan for my future. As part of the body of Christ, I believe God has given each one of us a part to play within the family of the church. I pray He will show me the path that He wants me to go – and that, I believe, is the secret to finding true contentment in my life.

Charlene Mae Distor

I was baptised in a Roman Catholic church. During my childhood days, my family and I regularly attended the early mass at 6:00 a.m. in Manaoag, Pangasinan. At an early age, I was led to memorise the different “mysteries” in the rosary by my mother, who conducted prayers in our house everyday. This practice went on until my mother became a Christian during my college days. She also brought me to her church service. Then I was baptised in a Charismatic church. I followed the teaching and practices of the church. Slowly, I learned how to read the Bible and pray.

When I came to Singapore to work as a preschool teacher, I met a group of Filipinos who were also working here. They invited me to attend their church. As a Christian, I was longing to attend Sunday services, so I followed them to Hope Church, where I attended their “life groups”. As time passes, I knew that what is being practised in the church is totally different from what is in the Scriptures. For instance, the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:11-13, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” But why is the pastor of our church a woman? I started to question the leaders, pointing to those verses.

Another thing that troubled me was a certain phenomenon they called “Holy Spirit Encounter”, wherein they will just worship God with the songs composed by many ungodly singers from groups like Hillsong, Bethel, etc. Many of these events were conducted by the woman pastor and woman leaders in the church. During those worship services, I was distracted by people who were shouting, crying and engaging in the so-called ‘speaking of tongues’.

When God convicted me through His Word concerning their errors, I started to look for a Bible-believing church. I first went to Zion Presbyterian Church in Bishan. Sometime later, some brethren in Gethsemane BP Church invited me to attend Gethsemane’s worship service at SingPost Centre. By the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus, I was glad to hear God’s Word preached, with understanding and clarity based on the context of the Scriptural passages that are preached. I was happy that the sermons were not attempts to stir up the emotions of the hearers. I thank God and also would like to thank the GBPC family for teaching and correcting me with God’s Word.

Leong Kin Meng

I came from a Christian family and was baptised as an infant in 1990, during the Christmas Service at Galilee BP Church. Though I reaffirmed my faith on 22 December 1996, I only came to know the Lord Jesus Christ in the year 2000 during a Christmas musical entitled “Emmanuel Has Come”, where I was playing the role of one of the soldiers torturing Jesus Christ. During the rehearsal, the act of torturing Jesus Christ was hurtful and unbearable, knowing that He is the true and living God whom we should love, honour and obey. So whenever I partake of the Holy Communion, I will always remember how He was crucified on the cross for our sins.

Brother Herbert used to bring me to FCM (NTU/NIE) to listen to God’s Word taught by Rev. Wee Eng Moh on Wednesday nights at NTU. He also invited me to join him every Sunday for worship service at True Life BP Church. After much persuasion, I decided to join him once a month (every 3rd Sunday) as I needed to serve as usher back in Galilee (Youth Worship Service). After a while, Bro. Herbert advised me to consider leaving Galilee and transfer my membership to True Life BPC because our church pastor, Rev. Heng, believes that the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible has mistakes, and that is against the Word Of God. That time, I just ignored it as I was serving faithfully and dutifully as an usher in Galilee Youth Service.

Subsequently, I attended the Combined Youth Conference at Calvary Pandan BP Church on the theme, “Tongue-Tied: Don’t Be Caught Speechless When Your Faith Is Under Fire”. The message was about the different Christian denominations from “charismatic” to the “third wave” – about how they originated and how to refute them from the Word of God. Something struck me while listening: “Can we Bible-Presbyterians believe in demon-casting?” This question did bother me quite a bit, for I remembered that someone in our church told me that Rev. Heng used to participate in demon-casting. Is this practice exhorted by Scripture as part of the church ministry? I only know that if we are born again, we will not be possessed by demons. After talking to one of the FEBC students about demon-casting and whether I should leave Galilee because the pastor believes that the King James Bible has mistakes, things became clear in my mind. I do not want to worship in a church that has no full confidence in the Bible, nor want my kids (when I have a family later on) to grow up believing the Bible has mistakes. That’s why I wanted to transfer my membership to True Life BPC, and to entrust the rest to God.

On one Sunday that I went back to Galilee for Youth Worship Service, I told a church brother that I am transferring my membership to True Life BPC. He was surprised and asked me the reason, to which I replied, “Because our pastor, Rev. Heng, believes that the KJV of the Bible has mistakes.” He told me not to believe unless there is a proof. I agreed, so I went to find Bro. Herbert to ask him if he has any proof of our pastor believing that KJV has mistakes. He searched through the internet and came across Life BPC’s website on the VPP issue. He printed a copy for me to read. I found out that our church pastor was one of the signatories against VPP. After much prayer and consideration, I transferred my membership to True Life BPC during the Easter Service.

In January 2018, in the midst of my stressful work load, my friend Beng Wee from FCM encouraged me to join the Bible Witness retreat in March 2018. After praying, I booked my leave and went for my first Bible Witness retreat in Johor Bahru. I felt so welcomed when I boarded the coach from Big Box to JB. I never had this kind of feeling before in my life as a Christian. On that day, I told myself this is the church I want to grow with. Since then, I have been attending every Bible Witness retreat and have learnt a lot of lessons from the preaching of God’s Word.

On 3 June 2018, I attended my first worship service in Gethsemane BPC. As I attended regularly, I learnt a lot of biblical lessons from Pastor Koshy and the preachers. I also joined the Young Adults’ Fellowship. Thank God for the privilege to transfer my church membership to Gethsemane BPC. I am looking forward to that day when I can serve God in this church.

A Note of Encouragement

Dear Rev. Prabhudas Koshy,

I had managed to get the complete address of Mr Tan SQ as his phone was always engaged when I called. He was one of my former Sunday School pupils on St. John’s Island during the period between 1962 to 1964. He is now a grandfather of two grandsons. Every Lord’s Day, his wife brings the two grandsons to church with her while SQ prefers to stay at home. I hope by reading the Bible Witness, he will be convicted and follow his wife to church.

Praise God for The Gethsemane Care Ministry (TGCM). On Wednesday, 10th July 2019, Brothers Gary and Cayson kindly came to help me move some heavy furniture. Before leaving, Gary presented me with an invitation card to attend the 14th Anniversary Thanksgiving of TGCM. Congratulations, and I wish you God’s blessings for the success of this ministry. Enclosed is a POSB cheque, as a love gift for this happy event.

Before I continue, I apologise wholeheartedly for another error found in Mdm Q S Lee’s address. She moved house recently and gave me her block number wrongly, which I only found out later while talking with her on the phone.

All thanks be to God for the discovery and correction of all the errors before the Bible Witness magazines are posted out. Though a long and tedious struggle for me to send the Bible Witness, I view it a joy as the articles provide enlightenment, encouragement and edification of God’s Word to my friends here in Singapore and a dear relative in Penang. I consider sending the Bible Witness magazines to them as the best gifts, for they offer insights of eternal life to the readers. I greatly appreciate if you can send the magazines w.e.f. Jan-Feb 2019 issue (i.e. Volume 19 Issue 1).

Enclosed in my letter dated 10th July 2019, were five names and addresses to receive the Bible Witness magazines. However, I have now written out a new copy (without errors) for the Bible Witness team to refer to when mailing out the magazines. Please convey my greetings and thanks to Mr Lok Kwok Wah for the circulation of Bible Witness.

May the Lord continue to bless the Bible Witness Media Ministry and Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church abundantly!

Yours sincerely,
Mrs Lim K. H.

Posted under 'Pastoral Exhortation'