Some of you have seen me through my darkest moments, when I rejected the Light, thinking I could carve out my own destiny. Temptation haunted me, causing my life to spiral out of control. But I now know the true path, and I trust in my Shepherd to guide me through the Valley of Darkness.
To the dear friends I’ve invited to witness my baptism: If you’re concerned about SARS, you don’t have to attend the service this Sunday. I will understand. One old friend is unable to do so precisely because she works in a hospital handling SARS patients.
And it’s time I made my testimony. I’ve decided to place it online, which you can read here.
I did not choose to become a Christian because of a bus, although it certainly helped me realise there really was some One out there. I was pretty much a bench-warmer at church for the last few years. My paternal grandmother would take me to St. George’s every Sunday to keep her company.
I sang the hymns. I even joined the choir last year for a short while, and volunteered to design the church website. I read the Bible front to back when I was a child and I dare say I knew more about the characters than some Christian classmates of mine. But that didn’t mean a thing, because I didn’t understand the Word.
About a year ago at a sermon, the message preached was, ‘No prayer is too small for God to answer’. I thought to myself, okay, I’m going to pray for something I think is trivial. Not exactly to test God, but to try something I hadn’t dared to do before.
So my prayer went something like this:
God, I know this is a small thing and it is largely my fault for not getting up early enough, but when you see me walking towards the bus stop, and if the 174 (the bus I used to take to work) is coming round the corner, could you please warn me in advance so I have enough time to run and catch it?
You see, the 174 is most erratic in the morning, sometimes taking up to 45 minutes to arrive, while at other times three of its kind pull up at the bus stop together. Missing it makes me extremely late for work. So catching it meant a lot to me.
The next day, as I was strolling to the bus stop, I heard, or felt, a sense of great urgency in my head. ‘Run! run! run!’ I had never felt this urging before, and if I hadn’t remembered my prayer the day before, I’d think I was crazy. But I asked for it, and I got it. I ran. I couldn’t see it from afar, but the bus was at the bus stop and I caught it.
Several months later, I was still catching the bus on time, that voice / strong nagging feeling in my head never failing to alert me on days that the bus was approaching: Run, run, run!
I never doubted who it was that was talking to me. But this was the icing on the cake:
One morning I was SO late for work, that I knew I had to run to the stop, urgings or not. Then the feeling / voice spoke. This time it was overwhelmingly powerful, and it said: STOP RUNNING. WALK LIKE YOU NORMALLY DO. BEFORE YOU REACH THE BUS STOP, SOMEBODY WILL COME TO YOU, WHO NEEDS YOUR HELP.
At once I stopped running, and made my way casually towards the bus stop. I didn’t even stare at passers-by in case they approached me, I simply behaved like normal. I had a small nagging worry that helping this person would make me miss my bus, but I knew that I had been charged with a new task that was obviously more important than that.
The voice in my head continued. DO NOT WORRY THAT YOU WILL MISS THE BUS. THE MOMENT AFTER YOU HELP THIS PERSON, YOUR BUS WILL ARRIVE.
So I walked on…
And several paces away from the bus stop, a young Chinese national approached me. He was a tall, fair boy, possibly in his mid teens, and he spoke decent English (which helps because I suck at giving directions in Mandarin). He wore spectacles, had a schoolbag on his back, and looked every bit like a student. And I could feel this strong sense of spiritual peace in him, despite his tone of slight urgency.
“Excuse me. Could you please show me how to get to the Chinese Embassy?”
I gladly pointed the way to him, my back facing the bus stop. He smiled, thanked me and walked on.
I turned back to the bus stop – and my bus pulled over.
I didn’t have time to stare or look amazed, so I hopped on and sat on the bus, contemplating what had just happened to me.
The bus incident wasn’t the only factor. In fact it wasn’t until Alpha and the haunting incident at my house later on, that I decided once and for all to get baptised. I felt I was finally ready for it.
Three nights ago, the voice spoke to me again. You see, every night I play loud Christian music in my room, and pray aloud for protection and blessings for my family, because my overactive imagination makes me think that tall dark shroud-like spirit that my maternal grandma saw, or the little black goblins that Gareth (a church leader) and a professional Catholic ‘house blesser’ saw on seperate occasions, are going to appear again as we sleep.
It was a voice of love, tinged with amusement. “You don’t need the music,” I felt it say in my head. “I AM ALREADY HERE.”
I felt so much warmth in my body, and an infinite kindness which welled up inside. The message rang in my head: I AM ALREADY HERE. Jesus was here. He was going to protect us.
At once, I felt no fear. Which says a LOT for me because I have been nervous every night since December, when I first heard the sounds moving along the corridor. This was the first time I heard such a message.
My prayers have thus been modified accordingly: ‘Dear Lord, Thank you for being here with us. Continue to guide, bless, protect and strengthen us, and watch over us as we sleep.’
So I am full of praise, and this is my testimony. I have not become a saint because of it, but I have become a believer.