I would like to take this time to share about the goodness of God and His grace upon my life and also how it has driven me to serve God to the fullest. Looking back at my whole life, God has been extremely good and faithful.
Growing up was tough for me as there were many drastic changes and transitions that I had to face from as early as 8 years old.
16 years ago, my mom had to be deported out of Singapore due to some immigrations issues. When I was 8-15 years old, my dad single-handedly raised me up. However, my dad was a gambler and an alcoholic. So, he often came home drunk. We were forced to the point we had to sell our 3-room apartment and move to a family friend’s house. Let’s call him Uncle B.
One typical night, he came home in his usual drunken state and sat me down saying, “if anything happens, you gotta stay strong.” But I took that as a passing remark and went to bed anyway.
The next morning, when I woke up, my dad wasn’t at home. That was unusual because it was way too early for him to go to work. I didn’t think much and went to school.
That evening when I came back home, I was shocked to see that the windows of the house were smashed, the corridors were splashed with paint, and everything was in a mess. My dad was nowhere to be found.
When I entered the house, Uncle B, shouted with anger, “where is your dad!!?” And out of anger, and very much hatred, he chased me out of the house. I remembered, as a 15-year old, with my backpack and my luggage, I went to seek refuge at my secondary classmate’s place.
After 2 weeks of putting up at his place, it became uncomfortable for me and I told him that I’ll figure something out and just left his house. I remember it was about 8pm that night, but the fact was, I had nothing figured out. So that night, on the 3 Feb 2008, I made myself uncomfortably comfortable in an open space park at Rochor Centre and spent my night there. It was the longest and darkest time of my life, and even attempted to commit suicide. With so much hatred for my dad and life, I kept asking God, “Why is this happening to me?” I even blamed God for where He had left me.
The next day, without showering, brushing my teeth and with my school uniform on, I decided to go back to school. That day, my school councillor called me into her office told me that my uncle was looking high and low for me and that day was the first time after a painful month since the day my dad disappeared.
And so, my uncle and grandma explained to me that my dad had taken a loan from illegal creditors and without repaying, my dad just escaped the country to look for my mom in Philippines.
By the grace of God, my amazing grandma took me in and loved me unconditionally. But she passed on 2 years later, and I was forced to start working multiple part time jobs and study at the same time. Thankfully, I had the support of my cell group and my many cell group leaders along the way. Nick Chor, my first cell leader never failed to show me love. There were times when I didn’t had enough to go for Cell meetings and he would drop his work and pick me up so that I can experience the presence of God.
My next few Cell Group leaders Hong Bin, Sabrina and Carine, my Cell, E456 family, many wonderful Ministry Friends and also our dear Pastor Zhuang who were there to pray and walk with me during my growing up years as a youth.
Over the years, every Father’s Day service, Pastor will always give an altar-call for people who want to forgive their dad, and I would respond accordingly and forgive him but not entirely. However, it was one of my deepest desires to reconcile back with him.
Let’s fast forward 8 years down, during Christmas 2015, I received news that my dad was hit with a mild stroke and that prevented him from walking normally. Deep in my heart, I was very saddened and shortly decided to fly him back to Singapore to seek medical help. That would be the very first time he will step foot back to Singapore after 8 years. He came back, with tears in his eyes, saying it was good to be back here.
That same week, I invited him to our Chinese church service and by the grace of God, he accepted Christ and Pastor Joseph led him in the Sinner’s prayer, believing God for full healing upon his leg.
That same weekend, he took the step of faith to meet Uncle B. to apologize and seek forgiveness. Uncle B. with open arms, forgave him and for the first time, we had reunion dinner last year Chinese New Year and it was probably the one of the best week of my life.
This year his leg was miraculously healed this year, and he can walk normally again.
1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
Truly, Father God’s unfailing love and grace that has reached out to my family and I. I cannot imagine how life will be like without His grace and presence in my life.
The love of Jesus is truly so unconditional. He truly is the alpha and omega, the first and the last. He will never leave you nor forsake you. His grace and presence can really turn your whole life around. Emerge, let’s love God, because He first loved us.