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From Hong Kong to Singapore
by Louise Lee
5/19/2009 / Testimonies
"But who stands firm to the end will be saved." In the midst of persecutions, God gave me this promise. Six years later, this promise was fulfilled but in an unexpected way.
After my rededication to the Lord in 1986,my peaceful home suddenly turned into a warfare zone. My family members have turned against me because of my faith. It was a difficult moment for me. I was torn between the love of my family and the love of God. They were so incompatible that I had to take a stand. As I read the Bible, I found my way out.
In Matthew 10:34-39, Jesus said," do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to earth. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter-in-law, against her mother-in-law, a man's enemy will be the member of his household. A man who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his sons or daughters more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is unworthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
I came to the realization that I should not expect peace. I should take up my cross and follow Jesus. My wish of leaving home grew stronger since I had no freedom to worship God at home. As I sought the Lord on this matter, He asked me to be remained with them and to learn to love them. Whenever they abused me verbally, I replied gently with words seasoned with salt. At any time when situation allowed I would tell them the reasons of my hope and my faith.
Only by loving them I was saved from being hurt and my faith was strengthened. Because of Jesus, I was ill-treated and misunderstood. It was unbearable but with God's grace and love, I was able to withstand and stand firm in faith. Gradually my heart was won over by God. Out of appreciation, I told God I would follow Him to anywhere at any time as He wills.
It was then six years later, one night while I was sobbing because of my father's indifference towards me, God asked me a difficult question,
"Would you leave your father and your family to follow Me?"
Silent for a while, dried up my tears, I answered Him assuredly,
"Yes, Lord. Wherever You lead me, I will go."
My response had changed my life's direction totally.
At the end of 1991,God asked me to quit the job. Without having any job on hand, I obeyed as the Spirit prompted me. As usual, I prayed for God's direction and as usual I prayed for a job believing that God had a job prepared for me. However, unusually, God showed me something very different.
I was reminded of the trip to Singapore three months before. Instead of relaxation and sightseeing, my 7-day trip was occupied by my friend's sharing. Among the things she shared, her job-hunting experience stood out. As soon as I caught the idea, God told me Singapore was the place He wanted me to go to, and there He had a job for me. This idea drew my full attention and I was drawn into a deep consideration. Neglecting the fact that Singapore was unknown to me, the conviction grew stronger and stronger. It left to me that I could either obey or disobey. After one thoughtful and sleepless night, I made up my mind to go. In responding to my obedience, God smoothed out everything for me, I just had to walk on the open way.
On the 1st of January, 1992, I was on the plane heading towards Singapore, having no idea of what lied ahead. By faith, I stepped into the territory of Singapore and started my job-hunting. I felt I was hung by a thread for I had nothing and nobody to rely on but God alone. I believed He did not just bring me out from Hong Kong; He would also bring me in Singapore at the right time.
JOB HUNTING IN SINGAPORE
Holding on to this trust in God, I decided not to return until I got the job He had for me. As a test of my faith, God made the situation difficult for me. I attempted every possible chance based on my experience and qualifications, but I got only a stack of rejection letters. I praised God for every rejection and pressed on.
However, the situation did not allow me to feel encouraged, it kept telling me the impossibilities. To drive away doubts and negative thoughts, I kept my mind full of God's Word. Copying the Scripture, meditating God's Word and reading Christian books became my daily exercise.
Like the dew in the morning, my first 14-day visit pass was due. However, I haven't found any job. Not being threatened by the situation, I determined to extend the visit pass for another 14 days. In time of crisis, I was afraid I would take the first available job but it might not be the one God had for me. To prevent this, I prayed for an overwhelming peace for the assurance. On the other hand, I concentrated on hearing from God what kind of job He had for me about the terms and conditions... etc. I wrote down all the details that God showed me.
As I moved on from there, I discovered it wasn't easy at all. The difficulties are like mountains. But I put them into prayers. I prayed for the solutions. Though there were negative thoughts in my mind that I might not be able to find a job successfully, I believe God would make a way where there seemed to be no way.
Guidance At Critical Moment
In Romans 13:1, "Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authorities except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." And verse 4, " for he is God's servant to do you good." God quickened these verses to me and it brought light into my situation. By rules, foreign worker once employed had to be at his home country while applying for the work permit. I determined not to overstay and submit to this rule. However, before I left, I needed somebody who had the faith to employ me and submit all the documents for me. In particular, I prayed to meet the person.
Back to the situation, the second 14 days of my visit pass was soon to due. My friend anxiously suggested me to consider going back because it was not easy to extend the visit pass for another time. Even though I believed God could give me the job in due time, I still needed His affirmation of His will and His leading.
One day, I was waiting for a bus for quite a while. I talked to myself, "Why does it take so long? Am I at the right stop?" Unexpectedly, God answered me, "you are at the right place waiting for the right bus." After that, the bus came. Through this He assured me that I was at the right place doing the right thing and I would soon find a job.
I believed and waited for the time to come peacefully. One night, I turned to the Book of Matthew; the parable of the workers and vineyard caught my eyes. As I read it carefully, I felt the Lord was asking me,
" Why have you been standing here doing nothing?"
Same as it was written, I answered,
" Because no one hired me."
He replied me, " you also go and work in my vineyard."
The next morning I woke up, I had an urge from God. He asked me to go to the Christian Bookshop I had visited many times within the month. This time was not for books but for working opportunities. Since I had no experience along that line, I never thought of finding a job there. But anyway, I just obeyed God's guidance. I went to the Christian Bookshop first thing in the morning.
Before I was introduced to the manager, he approached me and offered his help. When I told him I was looking for job, he thought that I was joking. I reaffirmed him I was not kidding and went on telling him what God had told me. He believed even though he said I might have misinterpreted God's message. Straightaway, he decided to employ me and brought me to the Labor Department. On the way, he shared how the bookshop was started and what I was about to do. The job met exactly what God had told me. I felt an overwhelming peace and a definite assurance. I believed I found the right person and that was the right job. It was right before the Chinese New Year and it was just few days before the due day of my visit pass.
Return To My First Love
Following the rule, I went back to Hong Kong. I had learned to quit my effort and really followed Him but not running ahead of Him. Knowing that He was in charge of everything, I left everything in His hand. I didn't attempt to disobey God by looking for other full-time job even money was running out. Two months had past, no news from Singapore was heard. I asked God the question again,
"Why does it take so long? What's wrong?"
Instead of giving me the reasons, He reminded me of the first love I had for Him. It has been diminished after I was being hurt and discouraged. I was not that close to Him than before because I had allowed some other things to come in between God and I. I should return to the first love and set my priorities right. Only after this, I received the call from Singapore informing me that my work permit was approved. In 1992 March, I started working and serving in the Christian Bookshop.
For further confirmation of my stay, I asked God what identity he wanted me to have in the years to come. He gave me the reply one year later. The government granted me the Permanent Residence after six months of work. I was issued the identity card another four months later.
In the midst of all these changes and the uncertainties, God had secured my heart and reminded me of the promise that He had given me. The Spirit pointed to the situation I was in was the fulfillment of the promise. He showed me further that even I was faithless, He will still be faithful to His promise and His plan He had for me. Amen.
(My first illustrated book Psalm 23 for Kids is now available at amazon.com)
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