Bernard & Ruth Lim (Baptism)
“Delivered from the Erroneous Gospel!”
I was brought up in a family that devoutly attended the Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ. From the age of 21, I had served in the church as an active “youth officer”. I even served two years full-time in a special ministry known as “Sacrifice Ministry”, by giving up my career as Operations Manager in the Apple Distributor Company in the Philippines. Even before I started my “Sacrifice Ministry,” I was actively inviting youths in my neighbourhood to the church, and I won many converts, including my nieces and nephews. As part of this ministry, we did our evangelistic work in fish ports, markets, buses, etc. During that time, I also taught in a school run by the church. In the process, I was appointed in the church as a national officer representative and was even awarded with the “Timothy Circle Award”, and being given the leadership of a church extension in Fort Bonifacio, Makati City. However, because of the financial needs of my family, after 2 years of “Sacrifice Ministry”, I decided to come to Singapore to build up my career so that I can support my family and the church.
On the other hand, Bernard grew up in a Buddhist family as the youngest of 4 children. He did attend Christian churches occasionally but did not embrace the faith. When our paths crossed in June 2001, Bernard became more interested in Christianity. In 2002, he went to the Philippines to ask my father for my hand in marriage. We got married in March 2002. In December of the same year, our first son, Isaiah, was born. I received Singapore PR status in April 2003.
A few months later, a pastor of my church sought our assistance to open their mission in Singapore. They wanted to register the church in Singapore, and hence appointed both of us as key office bearers and official representatives of the church. During the first worship, held in our house in Ubi, Bernard was baptised and our firstborn (Isaiah) was dedicated. The church started to grow in number, and I was even appointed as an elder of the church in 2006. However, there were many worrying practices and requirements, which were contrary to the laws of Singapore. Bernard became more and more worried about the affairs within the church. In September 2017, we decided to leave the church, realising that we could no longer agree with many of the church’s decisions and actions which were not spiritual. Though it was a very troubling time, God was mercifully leading us away from the false teachings and practices of that church. “I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments” (Psalm 119:174-176).
In September 2019, exactly two years after we stopped attending the church worship, a group of Gethsemaneans, who were doing house-to-house evangelism in Ubi came by our house. They knocked on our doors and gave us the Gospel tracts and the church invitation pamphlets. Those who talked to us on that day were Bro Edwin Quek, and his daughter, Ruth. They were used by the Lord on that day to minister to our hearts. At that time, we were searching for a Pentecostal church for worship service. Our hearts were glad, when we received the invitation to Gethsemane B-P Church’s worship service. The following Sunday, Bernard and I came to the afternoon service of the Gethsemane Filipino Fellowship. We were welcomed warmly by the Filipino brethren, particularly Sis Joy, Bro Julius, and Bro Norefel. After the service, we went home with hearts filled with thanksgiving. The following Sunday, our whole family came and attended the worship service at 11am. We were blessed with the sanctity of the worship. When we heard Pastor Koshy preaching for the first time, my spirit was stirred up by the hope that is in every Christian.
As a family, we thank God for His grace and mercy that led us to Gethsemane, where the leaders are committed to fervently teach the flock with the Scriptural truths to present everyone perfect in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are inspired to see that the church leaders were very mindful of putting into practice what the Word of God teaches. The boldness of the preaching, reminding brethren of every word of God, has indeed lifted our spiritual awareness and relationship with God.
Through the Catechism classes, sermons, fellowships meetings and BW retreats, we became aware of the errors of our previous church, such as baptismal regeneration, Charismatic and apostolic claims of the leaders, etc. We renounce them as false gospel, and trust in Christ’s atoning work on the cross and His righteousness for our salvation. We praise God for being guided to draw nearer unto God through the meditation of His Word, hearing of the past sermons in YouTube, listening to Bible Witness Radio, reading of the Bible Witness magazines and other biblical resources given to us, as well as through our morning and night devotions.
We acknowledge that as parents, we need the Lord’s guidance and the Holy Spirit’s assistance in our children’s spiritual convictions and growth. Both of us need to be well-established in the faith, that we may be a good example for them. This we truly seek with the Lord’s help to faithfully serve Him. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
We thank Pastor Koshy, the elders, preachers, deacons and members in the church for their warm, welcoming and supportive spirit. Now our hearts are filled with thanksgiving unto the Lord. Despite trials, our strength is in His Word and His promises, for He is a faithful God. To God be all the glory. Amen!
Isabel Ng (Transfer)
I thank my Lord Jesus Christ and God’s longsuffering towards me for saving this unworthy soul from eternal condemnation. Despite my rather inconsistent and unfaithful walk with God in several periods of my life, He remained faithful. “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
I came to know Christ in my secondary school. Some senior schoolmates befriended me and introduced me to Singapore Youth for Christ (SYFC), a para-church body which is actively working among youths in schools. Since it is para-church body, the work they undertake is rather ecumenical in spirit. I began attending SYFC meetings regularly, but in secret. My mother was particularly opposed to me becoming a Christian; she would throw my Bible into the rubbish chute whenever she saw one in the house. My parents also would not allow me to go to church every Sunday. When there was opportunity to go, I would visit a church near Bukit Panjang, which was attended by my SYFC senior whom I had regular Bible study with during my school days.
When I entered junior college, my ties with SYFC ceased, and I slipped into a 2-year period of spiritual dryness. But God did not forsake me. By God’s providence, He led me to Fundamental Christian Ministry (FCM) in the university I was studying, and I joined an evening Bible study under Rev Ronny Khoo. It was through FCM that I got to know about B-P churches, the first being Calvary Pandan BPC. In the early 2000, I started to worship at Calvary Pandan for a while. As I grew into young adulthood, the opposition from my parents got lesser. I shared the Gospel with my two younger sisters and brought them to Calvary Pandan for worship. We were not able to do it regularly as my parents were still against us wanting to be Christians.
Despite the good spiritual feeding in Calvary Pandan, I felt the church was too big and I left to worship at Calvary Jurong BPC (then under Rev James Chan). In 2003, I was baptized and served in the church. I did what an obedient Christian would do – being regular in Tuesday’s prayer meeting, attended the YAF fellowship meetings, sang in the choir and volunteered time in AWANA (a children’s ministry). But I stumbled when it came to matters of the heart as a young adult. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). My own wilfulness in not waiting on God’s timing and rebelling against His good counsel concerning relationship, led me to walk away from His goodness and protection.
For the next 12 years, I lived but had no peace with God. Nevertheless, “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression” (Numbers 14:18a). Despite those “lost years”, God’s providence directed me to confess and repent of all my sins. By His mercies, I came to Gethsemane B-P Church to seek Christ with my children and walk right with God again. I thank God for the faithful preaching and godly examples evident in the church leadership. Through Pastor Koshy’s tirelessly teaching, I see clearly and desire to do what God demands in His Word – with respect to godly submission at home and being a joyful mother at God’s appointed place for me. As a homemaker, I seek to nurture my children in the ways of the Lord. May God keep me faithful henceforth till He calls me home.
Mickey Lee (Transfer)
I thank God for His love and mercy that He did not forget me when I kept away from Him. I was a teenager when I attended Bethel Assembly of God Church, a charismatic church. I was faithful in attending Sunday services, visitations and Bible study during my youth. But when I started working, I kept away from church and busily devoted my time to work and other activities. I was “in the wilderness” for many years.
My life was in a mess but the good Lord was gracious in bringing me back to His fold. I have two daughters; the elder one and her husband (my son-in-law) accepted the Lord as their personal Saviour in Melbourne, where they have settled down. My wife and I visited them quite often, during which time they brought me to church. I was surprised and touched that the church they are attending was also known as “Bethel”. I strongly believe the Lord was telling me that He still loves me and has not forgotten me, and was prompting me to return to His fold. Well, the Lord in His providence opened the door for me.
By His grace, my daughter arranged for me and my wife to attend a Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry meeting (held at Punggol) some 3 years ago. We were accompanied by Sis. Patricia (from Bethel B-P Church in Melbourne), who had come to Singapore to visit her family at that time. From then on, we have been attending Gethsemane B-P Church. Since my return to the Lord, I have repented and asked the Lord for His forgiveness. I have found peace and joy in the gracious and merciful Lord. He has sustained me all these years.
Ruben Skariah (Reaffirmation of Faith)
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14).
I thank God for the marvellous grace He has shown me in my life. I thank God that I was born in a Christian family to godly parents, who would rebuke and correct me when I erred. From a young age, I got the opportunity to attend various fellowship meetings, church camps, seminars, missionary conferences and Bible Witness retreats in Gethsemane B-P Church.
Praise God for Gethsemane Children’s Ministry, where I have learnt many precious truths from God’s Word through the children’s programme every Saturday, Children’s Bible Study (CBS), and the children’s choir. Through the Saturday lessons by Pr Kelvin, I have learnt much from the Bible and have made friends with other children around my age. Through the CBS, I learnt the Shorter Catechism which has taught me Christian doctrines in a summarised manner. Through the children’s choir, I got the opportunity to glorify the Lord through singing. Truly, I’ve learnt and memorised many songs, which I still remember.
Praise the Lord also for Gethsemane Youth Fellowship, which has helped me to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word through the bimonthly meetings conducted by Pastor Koshy and Pr Cornelius, and the yearly youth retreats. Having opportunity to fellowship with older youths has encouraged me to press on for Him even when I face difficulties in school. I am also glad to be part of the Youth Choir, serving the Lord through singing.
The more I know of God through Pastor’s faithful preaching every Sunday, the more I have grown to love Him. I understood that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). At the same time, I am reminded through the promises of our loving heavenly Father that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). I believe in the truths of the Bible and have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour.
I pray that I would continue to love the Lord and submit myself to His will. I pray that I would grow more and more in the knowledge of Christ and follow Him all my life. “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Jesimiel Lim (Reaffirmation of Faith)
Growing up in the church and having known the Gospel since young is not an entitlement, but a privilege which I’m thankful to God for. I acknowledge that I am a sinner, and that I am helpless without God – for only He can forgive my sins and save me from “the miry clay”. I thank God for guiding me through all these years, as well as the countless blessings He has bestowed upon me, including the words of assurance from the Bible which greatly comfort me, like Psalm 46:1-2, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea”. This is one of the many Scriptures in song that has given me strength in the Lord during adversities, knowing that God is all powerful and will aid me in my time of need. I desire to walk closer to God every day, and keep my mind on God always so that I will not be spiritually lacking, and I won’t be a lacklustre Christian.