C R Y S T A L
I've been to Sunday school since young and heard of God's love. The verse that we first learnt was John 3:16. Life was smooth going during my childhood days and my parents provided all that we needed.
When I was 11 years old, I was shot by robbers and it was a miracle that I survived. I thought I would die because the gun was fired accidentally at me, and the bullet went through my right arm and through my rib(between the liver and lung) and came out one inch away from my spinal cord.(didn't damage any of my vital organs). I thought I was dying and I remember my sister was crying to God, not to let me die as I was bleeding tremendous amount of blood. On my way to the hospital, I looked up at the night sky and saw the stars and told God that I didn't want to die, but if I did, please take me to heaven. I could hardly breathe and every breath I took was painful. Literally grasping for air. I got to the hospital just in time.
While in the hospital, and recovering , I slept well. I remember that one of those nights, I sense the presence of the angels?, by the corners of my bed. That was just a sensing but not seeing them. As I think back, God was there all the time, though I did not know him much at that young age. The following year, I was baptized in a Chinese church but I still didn't know much about Jesus and God. I only knew that he died for my sins and I have salvation. That was it. So, I still live my life as before, know nothing about being renewed in my mind and went to church but without really understanding much because it was in a Chinese dialect and also in Mandarin. I'm not Chinese educated though I do speak a little of the language. I can understand better in English.
Anyways, life went on. I didn't have problems with peer groups or my friends and never got into drugs, sex or anything of that sort. My dad was very protective and he has been a good father. My mom and dad never quarreled in front of his children, and I thought my parents were 'perfect'. I began to understand more when I reached 16 years old. One night I heard my mom crying and my dad, in his anger punch his hands into the door. That was so much that I can remember.
As I'm older now, I understood the problems they went through. My mom had been suspicious of my dad, but actually nothing happened. My dad suffered and was wrongly accused. And my mom couldn't just yet forgive him. She's too suspicious. Until recently when I visited my parents, I was just sharing with my mom about a person who had NDE. Jesus said something about harboring unforgiviness in our hearts and the bitterness that will destroy us if not repented. I told my mom that we need to learn to forgive.(She had some resentment towards some people, but I don't know the detail). She has problems forgiving people. I'm very sad that she made excuses about it. I shared to her that I also learnt to forgive my ex-boyfriend who was a Christian for dumping me. The sudden rejection I had to deal with and the hatred that I had towards him. Actually it was not as bad, because physically, I didn't commit sex and I was so glad that I didn't fall into that, though there were temptations. (I was still a virgin until I got married at 31. Now I'm 39, and have 2 kids.)
During my 3 months of struggle to overcome my hatred and bitterness towards the guy, the Lord is merciful, for He helped me to see myself. I had a lot of self-righteousness, and I had to deal with my pride, and learning to forgive and let go. I had suicidal thoughts and at one time, it was quite intense but in my heart, I knew it was wrong to end my life just because of this silly relationship. I could hear the demons laughing at me and telling me to jump down from the high building.(though I didn't see them). It was eerie. I quickly knelt down and cried to Jesus to stop me from doing what was wrong. He gave me the strength to say "No", to what was wrong. I was immature, and wanting to get even. If I commit suicide, it's because I wanted to put the blame on my ex-boyfriend for causing my death. I had all those wicked thoughts and imaginations on how to take revenge. I didn't do anything outwardly but the struggles were all in my mind and heart.. My church leader did help me and some Christian sisters too.
I thank God that I didn't let my hatred turned into hurting another person physically. God has truly been my strength and help. The most painful time was the time I learn to depend on God and cried out to Him.. But to compare to those who suffer more than I do, my trials was nothing compared to what others went through. e.g. child abused, raped, .divorce, etc. Others had gone through much more pain than I did.
One of my church leaders told me that, I have never suffered in life since my childhood was smooth-going, and that was why I couldn't even take small rejections like that in a relationship that didn't work out. I realized that was true.
When I was sixteen, I went to Canada to further my studies. I did pray that God would lead me and my sister to Christians, and good friends. So, He did. I was glad to meet those who love God, and they had been an example, and an encouragement, and most of all, saw their heart for the Lord. It was then during my years in Canada(5years) that I learn much about God, and Jesus). The life that he has called us to, and what it means to be a Christian, and to love God. When I returned to Malaysia, my health was failing. I was then diagnosed as a diabetic on insulin at the age of 22. Much to my sadness and discouragement, and as if my whole world had caved in. I had to learn to live as a diabetic and depending on insulin to live. Again, my heart ran towards God, and I need to learn to trust God, and commit my life to Him.
Two years later, I re-baptized. Why did I do that? Was my 1st baptism not valid? Did I not know what I was doing? My conscience was bugging me. I thought and prayed about it, and the leaders 'interviewed' me, concerning my regeneration. I decided to re-baptize, and wrote down and read out my vow to God before the church. Thus, consciously knowing what I'm doing , and taking this step to begin the Christian walk with God, and commit my life to Him. I wasn't able to completely commit myself to God or trust Him prior to this.
At this point, there's no turning back on God, and from that day forth, I continue till today. Many of my church friends; had gone to full-time service for the Lord, and now serving in China, Indonesia and Malaysia itself. Some in Thailand. They all came from the same church. My previous pastor gives full-time training and he started this in his church, and have. now trained to the 9th team. The numbers in the group differs. It could be from 6 members to 20. And I knew most of those in the teams, at least their name and face. Unfortunately, I knew 20 who had left serving the Lord in this church. We have churches in HK, Australia, England, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Canada. It's reaching out to the Chinese, both English and Chinese speaking). Those who left were not all wrong, they had their reason in doing so and with much prayer. Because you see, it is like ONE man that controls the church. I do not know the things that happened between them and the senior pastor but their departure was a painful decision, after serving in the church for many years. They were very hurt by the pastor. They said it was the hypocrisy and pride of one man that causes a lot of pain for the entire Gospel church (the name of these churches).
I don't know why I'm sharing this to you to this extend, about my previous church. Thought you might be able to see the background I'm from.
Since I got married, I've moved to live in this rural area, where the folks here are mostly Muslims, and a few Chinese who are Buddhist and Taoist, and Indians who are Hindu. We are the only Christians here. I've been praying since I moved here 8 years ago, that my life in this village will not be in vain. (having moved from the city to rural place). I'm making friends with my neighbors and to get to know them better, so that I can share the gospel with them. I have shared with them, and their respond is that, "I don't want to have too many gods to worship, and we are following the traditions of our parents." "We feel bad to 'disobey what our forefathers, that is, to have an altar in remembrance of them", sort of pray to them". For this time, I continue to be their friends and pray for them.
The capital town of Kelantan State is Kota Baru, an hour's drive from here. Other towns are just 20-30 min drive. There's no bus service in this village, just taxis. It isn't that inconvenient as we have cars. Just that this is a quiet place, and most folks here are farmers, and rubber tappers, and shop owners. This state is an 'Islamic' state. Muslims women are required to wear head covering, but not for the non-Muslims. So far the village people are friendly and nice. This place is my husband's hometown. He has his own business in concrete industries.
We attend a Chinese Presbyterian church in another town, some 19km away, on every Tuesday night. The pastor has to travel from Kota Baru (where the mother church is) to our church, and other nights to another town. We have 2 pastors to take turns to come and preach. It has been like that since the church started more than a decade ago. Not growing very much and about 26-30 regular members.
This is so much I can think of to share.
But I know, most important of all is our walk with God, and our relationship with Him, and the lives we live.
May God bless your ministry.
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