Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (La 3:22-23)
My former family church of 16 years closed down and returned back to her mother church. Then, for the last past 8 years, my family & I went to a community church in the north of Singapore, which was quite far away from my home at Toh Tuck Road. In this church, we served through community penetration by doing door-to-door visitations to the nearby neighborhood. We were indeed very blessed & fruitful to see many come to church and be saved through God’s grace and leading.
But my very one concern is that my own old parents who have heard the Gospel many times though, did not come to receive the Lord. It’s always more difficult to reach out to our own people. My constant prayers & desires are for them to accept God when they are still healthy and not at their death bed so that they can experience and enjoy God’s love & peace in their life time. I cannot imagine how this could happen but just have to continue praying and believing in the Word of God.
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household. (Ac 16:31)
In 2011, this church decided to close all the cell groups in preparation for a new structure of the church. That was the time when many of us included myself went visiting other churches. I was then also able to spend more time with my parents by visiting them every Saturday instead of going to church.
At that same time, suddenly I became very interested in reading & listening to the Chinese bible from my iphone. Audio Chinese Bible really helps me to get to know more and to pronounce those difficult Chinese words.
I was unaware that the Lord has used this to prepare me for my father’s salvation on 3 March 2012, when my sister Sally brought Pastor Andrew and some church members to share and pray for him to accept the Lord that day, follow-up class on 12 May 2012, confirmation on 26 May 2012 and finally baptism on 27 May 2012.
Pastor Andrew has requested for my father’s testimony for his baptism and I took up the courage to pen it for him in Chinese. The Lord has provided the right tools for me to use the hanyupinyin and word file without proper Chinese Language writing software. I wrote the testimony based on my observation of my father’s daily life, habits and many conversations I have had with him even though he could not hear very well. All these would not be possible if I’ve not spent those Saturdays with him. Thank God for His special leading and guidance for me to do this task.
Sometime back in March 2012, I read the book of Revelation 2:2-6 and especially in Chinese – very close to my heart and felt the direct impact on me.
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
The Lord reprimanded me for I’ve lost the love and care for other Christians as many have stumbled me in the past. I just could not accept those powerful yet irresponsible Christians and could not get out of this discouragement. But God is always just and gentle in spirit. He has allowed me time and space. I could only rely on the bible for His guidance and peace. I was then reminded of what Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke when His disciples were able to cast out demons and His greatest commandment, love.
However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. (Lk 10:20)
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (Jn 13:34-35).
I was delighted and encouraged by Pastor Andrew’s and his church members’ visiting and praying for my father, not 1 time but 3 times from March to May 2012 and ultimately arranged for his baptism on 27 May 2012. I saw the love and warmth of Pastor Andrew and church members, giving much attention and honor to a 90 years old man who cannot contribute anything to the church but only receive blessings and well wishes from them. My father was really honored to have them taking photos together with his own family members in CHURCH for the very first time, which I couldn’t imagine how this could happen to him, but to thank God for making everything possible. (By the way, my father was wearing a T-shirt with wordings “Everything is Possible” on the day when he accepted the Lord Jesus).
With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God. (Mk 10:27)
In June 2012, I read the book of Revelation Chapter 2 again and this time then I saw verse 7 . . .
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Wow… I realized that the Lord has kept this verse for me only after my father’s baptism. My father was indeed the fruit of the Tree of Life Christian Church. I thank God for answering my prayers and that I’ve learned to obey His Word, hence I did not miss out His blessings altogether.
Thereafter, Pastor Andrew and church members often visited my parents to pray with them, encourage and help them to strengthen their faith.
On 24 September 2013, my father Lie Eap due to old age was called home to be with the Lord. He was then 91 years old. We are sad & grief to see him going but were comforted to know that he is with God now in heaven and we shall me again in heaven some day. In John 14:1-3,
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. My Father’s house has plenty of room; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; (Jn 11:25)
Once again, my family and I experienced God’s love through TOLCC members’ love and concern and support shown during the time of bereavement.
I’m thankful to Sister Bao Li for all her warmth and encouraging SMS though I just get to know her for a short while; The Evergreen Group for showing much love and care to my parents by their frequent visits and prayers that finally led my mother’s coming to church in Oct 2013; Pastor Andrew, for his compassion and love for the lost and his sheep and all the encouraging TOLCC members.
It’s been a year and half since I first came to TOLCC (@Spire 1st Service on 24 June 2012). I’ve learned a lot from Pastor Andrew’s messages and the power pulpit ministry and attending Sunday school lessons. Coming to TOLCC is just like going back to my 1st church at my younger days; carolling with church friends, attending Sunday school, bible studies and fellowship meetings and most of all, being able to sit at the feet of The Lord Jesus to learn and enjoying His presence and love again.
I want to thank the Lord Jesus, my Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit for leading me to TOLCC, to continue my Christian Journey here.