I was born in an idol-worshipping family. Since young, I had believed in idols to protect and prosper me. When I was in Secondary 3, a classmate shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with me during Christmas period. But I got a bad impression about Christians because of his overbearing manner in convincing me to accept Christ and his over-aggressive condemning of all other faiths.
When I went for NS pre-enlistment medical check-up in 1979, I found out I had kidney problems. The doctor warned me that it could lead to kidney failure and death even at a young age. I was fearful and began actively worshipping idols to seek health and peace. However, I did not find peace and the fear of death still plagued me for many years, even after my marriage with Carrie.
Thank God for His mercy for not forsaking me. My sister-in-law Peggy and her husband Stephen had been bringing our two older kids to attend Sunday School in Calvary Tengah in the late 1990s. This had led me to learn more about Christ when we occasionally visited the church. Gradually, I found peace in Christ through reading of His Word and I began attending worship/fellowship meetings regularly. During one of their family worship meetings, I uttered the sinner’s prayer in acknowledging Jesus Christ as my Saviour who died on the cross and shed His blood to wash away all my sins. I found peace and cast all my burdens unto Him as He has answered my prayers to heal my second daughter Sheryl from urinal tract infection. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11: 28-30). Our family was baptised in 2001 during Calvary Tengah’s church anniversary worship service. Though we left Calvary Tengah subsequently and joined Calvary Pandan to worship God in 2015, we still continued prayerfully seeking for a church to settle in.
By God’s providence, I had first joined GBPC activities when I started to attend the Wednesday lunch time Bible Study at Hong Lim Complex in 2017. My wife Carrie and I participated in GBPC’s Bible Study Tour to Turkey/Israel in 2018, and we also attended GBPC worship services from time to time. Starting this year, we have been attending GBPC worship services regularly. We were blessed both from the faithful preaching of God’s Word by Pastor Koshy and the preachers, as well as the warm fellowship extended to us by the brethren. We are also encouraged by the Gethsemaneans’ giving and support to the many mission churches overseas. I look forward to joining GBPC with my wife; my prayer is that we can grow and serve the Lord together with fellow brethren in the church. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:10-11). All honour and glory unto our living God!
I came from an idol-worshipping family. My dad was a medium and the altar table was filled with idols. Those idols made me fearful.
When I was in secondary school, I was invited by my classmates to join them in their Christian youth fellowship. But I was not comfortable when they started to speak in tongues, so I stopped attending. My eldest sister is the first Christian in my family. On my 18th birthday, she presented me a Bible. I tried reading it, but found it dry and uninteresting. So, I chucked it aside and never touched it anymore.
It was not until I got married and have children that I started to visit church again. Every Sunday, my elder sister would bring my two older kids to Calvary Tengah for Sunday School, and my husband and I would visit the church occasionally. I have heard the Gospel numerous times. During a church family worship in 2000, I was touched by the Holy Spirit and uttered the sinner’s prayer. My family got baptised in 2001 in Calvary Tengah. When Tengah started a Chinese service, my husband and I served there as we were more comfortable and fluent in Mandarin. I also served as a part-time church administrator, editing articles and translating them into Chinese.
By God’s divine will and purpose, in 2015, my husband and I, together with our 2 daughters, were led to Calvary Pandan, where my youngest daughter became a member subsequently. Meanwhile, my son, Sean, came to Gethsemane BP church and became a member here. My husband and I have also started visiting Gethsemane occasionally and taking part in its activities (like church camp, fellowship meetings and Bible Land trip). I realised this is the church that God has led me to serve – I pray that God will mould me to be a vessel fit for the Master’s use. All glory to God!
From young, I have been actively following my parents to church, and would think carefully over the messages for my understanding. Despite all the preaching I’ve received and trying to follow my parents’ instructions, I have always been rebellious in my heart. It only became worse with my constant use of the internet. Over the years, I found myself clinging unto the devices and listening to worldly teachings. Gradually, I grew attuned to the worldly ways, and neglected my spiritual growth, even finding myself rejecting the Lord! However, I praise the Lord for His continuing and loving rebuking of me through His Word. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). I began questioning my ways in the eyes of the Lord. Realising how sinful I am, I asked the Lord to forgive me and to help me not to sin again, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my only Lord and Saviour, knowing how He suffered on the cross and died a painful death to cleanse me from all my sins.
With the help of Preacher Cornelius (during youth visitations), with spiritual guidance by Elder Choy and Elder Francis (in catechism class), and of course our Pastor Koshy (in his sermons), I pray that I may continue to grow spiritually towards maturity in Christ. I also pray that I will continue to read God’s Word, as 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. Praise be unto God.
Last year, after attending my first youth fellowship, I realised that, according to Romans 3:10 and Romans 3:23, we are all sinners. So, I repented and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. Once I received Christ, I finally understood what it means to be a Christian. A Christian is someone whose behaviour and heart reflect Jesus Christ. I began to learn to obey my parents, to dress modestly (according to the biblical standard), to have patience, and so much more. I thank God for giving me the wisdom to read and understand His Word, so that I could apply it in my daily life.
Pastor Donald dela Cruz of Gethsemane B-P Church, Pangasinan, the Philippines, reports on the joyful news of 13 new believers being prepared for baptism.
Dear Pastor Koshy,
I praise the Lord for helping the catechumens to finish their catechism class last Lord’s day. Next week, an interview will be held to examine whether they have repented of their sins and trusted Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. I also gave them the assignment to memorise the five points of Calvinism (“TULIP”) and to give a brief explanation of each point. Out of the 15 catechumens (2 catechumens could not complete their catechism classes), 13 will be baptised during the Christmas service. Besides, there will also be an infant baptism and an addition of 4 brethren to the church through membership transfers.
I praise the Lord for bringing people to worship the Lord every Lord’s day. Currently, we are learning about the parables of Jesus Christ. Though the messages encourage the brethren who follow the Lord faithfully, they are a rebuke to the rebellious ones. Sadly, several brethren had stopped coming to church, offended by the messages, for they’d rather choose the path of unrighteousness instead of laying aside their sinful habits. Certain others rather work on Sundays, instead of worshipping the Lord. May the Lord touch their hearts to return to His fold.
Praise the Lord for bringing back Sis Cecile on vacation. She attended the worship service and prayer meeting here, and had fellowship together with the brethren. The husband of Sis Margie is also here on vacation from Taiwan. Thank God for granting them the opportunity to visit their homes and share God’s Word.