I accepted Jesus at the age of 12. Growing up in a Christian home naturally geared me toward church life. However, as I grew older, I became more rebellious and Christian life was just a show. On the surface, I was merely bearing the label “Christian”. But deep down, I was a teenager seeking for love and approval. And going against my parents was top of my list. But things changed when Christ’s redemption became real in my life.
I found myself relating to the vastness of Christ’s borderless love. I found His redemptive grace for me, as well as for those who deserve a second chance. As I discovered who God really is, my life took a 180 degree turn. And all this happened at the age of 18, when I ended up in an exchange program to Bangkok.
During my time in Bangkok, I lived among the university students, submerging myself into their culture and lives. Every day, I would walk 1 to 2 km to university. And every time I took the walk, I felt a heavy burden in my heart. I would cry profusely that my friend walking beside me became worried that something might have happened to me. As I couldn’t control my strange emotion, a leader who was a spiritually mature Christian told me to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show me why I was feeling that way. And when I did, I was led to the Scripture in 1 Peter 1:1-10: which says that when we suffer grief because of trials, this is so through our faith we may experience even greater joy when Christ is revealed.
From that day onward, I rededicated my life to God. And through His Word, I walked the same path, still with tears and a burden in my heart, but now knowing that I’ve been called to do something. I started to pray as I walked—I would pray for the salvation and the opportunity to engage with the people who walked past me. And as the days went by, a sense of peace and joy filled me. I now know for sure that the calling of my salvation is REAL.
While in Bangkok, I learned that many people had a heart for God. I once saw students running around the field under the hot sun and thought they were training for a sports event. But my friend told me that they weren’t doing any training. Instead, they were running 7 times around the field every day in order to get good grades. When I heard that, I felt a nudge from God. There are so many people out there pursuing God in a wrong way because they have yet to know the REAL and living God.
2 Peter 1:11 reminds me that salvation comes from faith. It is a response to God’s calling to share the gospel—to not keep this eternal gift to myself but to share it with those who have yet to encounter His everlasting love. I believe that each of us are raised to respond to the needs of His people.
Since that encounter with God, I am clear that God is calling me into full time ministry in community work—walking with the poor, disabled, and marginalized. Honestly, I struggled during my initial years. I questioned God—wondering “why” were there people with disabilities, “why” were parents undergoing years of suffering having to take care of their special children, and “why are you (Lord) not doing anything? The worst experience was when I visited a disabled home in Batu Gajah and saw some of the people in cage-like cubicles. Immediately, my heart sank and grieved for them. I saw a child banging her head on the wall, a child crying profusely while rolling on the floor, a young man bedridden full of bed sores, people tied up and locked in cages with poor sanitation, and the hopelessness and worry in the faces of the parents I encountered. These were not what I expected when I said “yes” to the calling. But God truly opened the eyes of my heart through the lives of the people I serve.
Truthfully, there were many low moments where I doubted the existence of God. Once, a mother of an autistic child appeared at the office doorstep looking helpless, with tears rolling down her cheeks. I sat with her and listened to her heart. Her story tempted me to quit ministry. But I chose to be still and know that He is God. So when the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray for her, I did and asked God what else I could do for her. It was then that I heard Him say, “Just be my hands and feet, my child.”
Through it all, the past years have been an amazing journey. I have truly seen how God transformed the lives around me through His redeeming power of His grace and mercy. He has awed me with what He can do and not what I can do with my own strength and understanding. All that I am is His hands and feet for the lame, the blind, the poor, and the needy. Jesus is always seen amongst the unexpected and the unwanted, meeting the needs and associating with them, and I aim to follow in His footsteps.
I hope that my story encourages you to not just live a mediocre life. Start praying and seeking God’s calling in your lives. His arms are open to those who seek after Him. Truly, my life is fulfilled just to be a part of God’s great plan!
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