My Journey of Knowing Christ
By Aw Soon Beng
I came to know the Lord when I was in secondary four in 1978 through the ministry of the Singapore Youth for Christ (SYFC).
I can still remember my scout master chiding those of us in his scout troop who had converted to Christianity for choosing to “play with fire” during the critical year when we had to take our ‘O’ Levels. His disapproval was not without basis as my mother too was not particularly elated when I became the first member in my family to accept Christ.
I resolved to be a good testimony to my parents to assure them that it was not a wayward decision to be a Christian. Finally on one Sunday morning, my mum roused me awake from my sleep with the words “Wake up. Aren’t you supposed to go to church?” (in Cantonese of course).
Out of consideration towards my parents’ feelings, I delayed taking the step of baptism till I got married at 29. I was baptised at the Bethesda Bedok Mission Church (BBMC), the brethren church that I attended and grew up in as a believer since 1978. BBMH was later renamed Bethesda Pasir Ris Mission Church (BPMC) when it moved to the then relatively new Pasir Ris HDB estate.
Looking back on my 44 years walk with the Lord, I realise how much I owe it to the Lord to steer me through my growing up years, my service, my career path and my family life. The Word of the Lord has been and continues to be a relevant and wise guiding beacon throughout my life.
I was not that physically fit when I enrolled for NS so every morning run was a prayer item. I kept a pack of Bible memory verses and went through them each morning to be ready. Isaiah 40:31 was the anchor verse:
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
On the eve of the IPPT run the result of which was critical for Officer Cadet School (OCS) selection, I cut my toe during a swimming session in camp and could not do the run the next day.
I was utterly devastated when I was unceremoniously asked to go back to the bunk while queuing in my smart uniform to attend the OCS interview. It turned out that the army bureaucracy had simply deemed one unsuitable for officer training, because of missing a run on a particular day!
That was when Psalm 23:1 came to mind: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
A flood of relief and peace came over me as I submitted to the Lord’s will over this “injustice”. I had worked hard for what I wanted but the Lord would provide as He saw fit. I just had to work harder!
I supposed my faith was “rewarded” when I was eventually admitted to OCS upon appeal by my commander.
When I was in NUS, it was very tempting to just keep to my studies and try to do well in order to get a good job upon graduation. But I was motivated to serve in the Varsity Christian Fellowship (VCF) by Philippians 2:4 :
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Joining Grace BP Church
It was some 13 years ago that Jermaine and I started to attend Grace BP Church. We were attracted to the Bible-based sermons and traditional worship services in Grace BPC and started attending regularly shortly after.
We found warmth and care in the church’s fellowship and I was particularly touched when my Grace Bible Class members turned up for my mother’s wake not long after we joined the class. Throughout our time in Grace BPC, Pastor Tan Eng Boo and various church leaders and members have also ministered much to our needs and we are thankful to the Lord for leading us to Grace BPC.
I feel it is time that I transfer my church membership to Grace BP Church and look forward to being able to fellowship and contribute to the church in the days ahead.