Written by Guesstine Leong
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
I am Guesstine Leong, and I am 25 years old. I came from a broken family. Since I was toddler, I was raised by my maternal grandparents. My mother left me when I was very young. And that separation brought a great emptiness in my life. My mother was never around, not to mention about showing care towards me. My grandparents stood in and tried to fulfil the parental responsibilities. This arrangement could not satisfy my needs; I was often made fun of and bullied by my peers both at school and neighbourhood. I was often jeered at for not having any parent to pick me up after school.
I was regularly bullied and insulted in school. I was often beaten up by classmates, yet I never complained or retaliated until one day when I could not control myself any longer. I lost my cool, and fell into a rage, and hit them back quite badly. Since then, I became very violent and would always fight back, not willing to suffer in silence but retaliate in violence. This became my form of defence and also a way of “earning” respect from others.
When I was in my teens, I started to be wayward and soon I became a loan-shark runner. I also become very materialistic and greedy for money. I would do the bidding of the loan shark, all because of pride and greed, in the name of loyalty and friendship. However, I did not last long in this illegal activity. I was arrested, together with all my acquaintances and friends in crime. Everything that I once believed in – loyalty, honour, fame and wealth – all came tumbling down! A friend (whom I had known for 7 years) pointed me out and told all about my criminal involvement. Because of the charges against me, I was in and out of prison for approximately 8 years, and received 14 strokes of the cane.
It was during my imprisonment in 2013, that I came to know of the Gospel; and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. But sadly, I backslided and was arrested again on 11 Sept 2015 – this time for consumption of drugs.
Being still impulsive and prideful, I assaulted a prison warden at the drug-rehab centre (DRC). For that very serious act, I was sent to the Administrative Segregation Regiment (ASR), known as a “prison inside the prison”. It is a set-up for housing violent offenders, where you are isolated and time “stands still”. For the first 3 days, I was chained and deprived of food (I was only given 3 cups of water). For 8 months I was confined in the isolation cell, all alone. Questions about my sanity would be asked by a medical assistant weekly. It was a terrible experience. Sometime during this period, the Lord caused me to remember Him. I cried and repented of my sins. What kept me going throughout my whole ASR stay were the spiritual songs I knew then, and a Bible which was brought by my grandparents at my request.
Finally on 1 June 2016, I was released from ASR, and continued with my sentence in DRC. There I started to attend Christian counselling and Bible-study classes. It was through these sessions that I met the preachers of Gethsemane B-P Church. I asked them whether there is a place I can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I was sick and tired of my life; I want a new life.
Truly, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). By the grace of God, He brought me to The Gethsemane Care Ministry. In the ministry, the Word of God is preached daily by our pastor, elder and preachers. Here I came to know the true doctrines of the Bible. The teaching that I learnt in the past from my Charismatic background was so shallow. Everyday, I am well nourished with spiritual food – the truth of God’s Word. Besides Sunday worship service, every Tuesday, there is prayer meeting and every Wednesday, GBI classes. Thank God for the faithful teaching of His Word.
Lastly, I like to thank Pastor Koshy and the leaders of the church for leading the church with godly truth and exemplary lives. I am also grateful to the church members for receiving me with outstretched arms in the Lord, and welcoming me in the fellowship of the saints. The Bible says, “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another” (Romans 12:9-10).
In closing, I would like to share a verse which I hold dear to my heart. John 6:68 says, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” Please pray for me that God’s Word will always be my defence, and that I may continually worship Him and dwell in the house of the LORD forever.