[13/03/05 at St George's Church, at around 10.35am. This was an abbreviated version of my actual written testimony, which you can still find here.]
Good morning everyone ...
An interesting thing happened to me three years ago. At that time I hadn't committed myself to Christ yet - I was a 'bench-warmer', who'd listen to the sermon every Sunday then go home.
One day, one of the messages of the sermon was that you don't have to ask God only for big things - you could ask Him for small things, too.
Hmm, that was new to me! At the time I did believe in a God, and I sort of acknowledged that Jesus did exist ... God to me was a powerful, all-seing being and you don't disturb him for small things.
I thought, I'll give it a try! So I prayed.
I said, "Lord, I know this is a very trivial thing, and it's partly my fault for not getting up early in the morning, but the next time you see me walking to the bus stop, and you see my bus coming round the corner, tell me to run!"
(slight chuckles among the congregation)
You see, every morning I'd take the 174 at the Tanglin Police Station - and let me tell you I am NOT a morning person! - so I'd be walking up the pavement, fuzzy-headed. And sometimes I'd miss the bus by seconds and I'd be late for work.
So that was my prayer. The next morning, as I was walking to the bus stop, I had this urge to run! (more amused sounds from the congregation)
And I ran. And caught the bus just in time!
The next few months the same thing kept on happening to me ... and I kept on catching the bus on time. It got to the point where I became blase - I'd get the urgings to run, and I'd say [holding up my hand], 'Thanks Lord, but I'm too tired to run today ... I'll catch the next one!'
[more serious tone] All this while, I never doubted who it was who was helping me. But almost as if to confirm it, another thing happened.
One morning I woke up SO late, that Holy Spirit or not, I RAN. And those of you who know me well, will know what I'm like when I'm in a hurry. I have this scowl on my face, and I bet anybody walking on the street that day would have avoided me. (slight chuckles)
But as I was halfway to the bus stop, a voice - the Lord - spoke to me. It was loud and clear and in my head.
"Don't run. Walk.
"Because, before you reach the bus stop, somebody will come to you, who needs your help."
That was how I remember it was phrased ... and it was so clear, I stopped running immediately. I started walking. I even told myself not to behave out of the ordinary, looking around at people as if they needed my help - just in case I spoilt God's plan!
Then as I walked further on to the bus stop, I thought, "OK, I have to help someone, but what if I miss my bus?" (chuckles)
Yeah, my kiasu mentality. The Holy Spirit spoke to me again!
"Don't worry that you will miss the bus. After you help this person, your bus will arrive."
Wow. That was TWO [holds up two fingers] clear messages, all in the space of 2 minutes.
And sure enough, just before I reached the bus stop, another bus arrived and a China-Chinese boy got out. He was in his mid-teens, tall, fair, with spectacles and a backpack. And he was in a hurry.
The first person he saw was me. He asked, (in urgent tones) "Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the Chinese Embassy?"
And I was glad he spoke English because my Chinese really sucked! Immediately I turned away from the bus stop, and walked down a few paces with him ... "Walk straight down, cross the road, and you see that white building? That's the British High Commission... the one after that is the Chinese Embassy."
He said thank you, waved goodbye to me and went off. I waved goodbye to him, turned back to the bus stop ...
And the 174 arrived ... and stopped right in front of me.
I thought, wow... The Lord not only answered my own prayers but He could have answered the boy's prayers too! For all you know, something could have happened to his family and he was sitting in the bus, praying, "If there's a God, help me find the way to my embassy" and God was listening! I don't know. But it felt really good that God used me to help someone else!
But you see, a relationship with God isn't just a one-off miracle - we certainly don't face miracles every day of our lives. Instead, it's an ongoing thing. And despite what happened to me there were still many other issues I didn't agree with about Christianity. In fact it was still pretty topsy-turvey for me.
Until a church friend of mine said, Why not try Alpha?
Now I had been sitting in church for two years listening to people talking about Alpha and I'd refuse to give it a try. I didn't know anybody there!
But this time I thought, why not give it a shot. At least I can say I tried attending the first session!
So I did. I actually enjoyed myself, and my group was very lively and we talked past the 10 o'clock mark! The bell was ringing and we'd still be talking (OK as I type this, I can't remember if it happened in the first session but in subsequent ones I do recall we had loads to say!)
So I decided to go for the second session! And then the third ... and then ... I attended all the sessions (chuckle) and they gave me an attendance award for doing that (louder chuckle).
It was a pack of M&M's or something (small chuckle).
Then a few more things happened to me - too many to explain here - (this was when I got spiritually disturbed in my bedroom and I didn't want to confuse the listeners with too many stories) but it re-affirmed my faith in Christ. In the end, I gave my life to Jesus and got baptised. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Alpha.
Thank the Lord.
(I step down from the podium.)