Testimony shared by Lau Yen Chau and Audrey Toh in City Harvest Church
I gave my heart to Jesus when I first came to City Harvest Church in 2001. On the second week Pastor Kong taught about tithing. From that month, I decided to give 10 per cent of my income regularly. I was in the National Service at that time. Pastor challenged us to test God in the area of tithing, and true enough, God started to open the windows of heaven and pour out abundant blessings over my life.
It started when I was released from NS in 2002. I was accepted into the university. Because my family had financial constraints, I decided to stop taking an allowance from my parents. I felt that as a grown-up, I should take responsibility of my life, and be a blessing to the family rather than a burden.
Together with two other friends, we started a swimming school at Marina South Super Bowl Country Club, conducting swimming lessons. I kick-started my first lesson with a class of nine students. It was during our Arise and Build Campaign and I pledged S$3,000 to God. Even though I do not have the physical cash, I felt the prompting of God and pledged in faith. True enough, when God gave me the vision He also gave me the provision. My swimming class grew from nine to 30 students within half a year and I received a regular monthly salary of S$1,800 for just coaching two hours a week.
I grew up in a good family, with parents who love me very much. In school, my grades are always above average and I had many friends around me. But underneath my strong exterior, I had a lot of insecurities about myself. I’ve always felt empty and so I went around looking for love to fill it.
One year, my family got into a crisis. Due to a bad investment decision, my family got into a financial crisis of more than S$50,000. It completely depleted my parents’ savings and I had no choice but to fund my own university tuition fees as well as my daily subsistence.
Secondly, to make matters worse, I got into a very bad car accident — the repairs amounted to S$14,000.
Lastly, my then-boyfriend broke up with me abruptly after he came back from an overseas trip. All these happened at the same time! That was the lowest point in my life.
God must have seen my pain. That following week, my friend Alan Chew from university invited me to City Harvest Church’s Hotdog Weekend. That became the turning point in my life. After I accepted Christ, I was greatly impacted by Pastor Kong’s message on tithing and having visions and dreams. I began to envision my family getting out of debt, and decided to mix my faith with action by tithing what little income I had from teaching tuition. True enough, God began to lead me to right counsel and He gave my family the wisdom to get out of financial trouble. I convinced my parents to sell off the bad investments to clear our debt, and we even managed to make a small profit of $5,000 from the deal.
During the 2006 Arise and Build, I was challenged to give an amount of S$2,500. I felt that this is the opportunity for me go up another level in my career. Again, God is faithful. That year my salary increased by 48 per cent. This is more than the amount I gave to the Building Fund. In 2007, the Lord challenged me to increase my giving to S$3,000. I was hesitant at first. But as I gave in faith, I was promoted to a Senior Executive, and my salary for the year increased another 20 per cent in total. I was also given a S$13,500 bonus, was was more than four times the amount I gave to the Building Fund.
The blessings didn’t end here. Just this year, I received another 17 per cent increment in my salary. God is indeed true to His word, we can never out give Him! Praise the Lord.
We soon realized that the way God prospers us is to give first to Him and not to hoard for ourselves. Every Building Fund becomes an opportunity for me to go up another level.
Last year after graduating from university, I was accepted into a local bank as a Management Trainee Bank Officer. Again, by faith, I felt led to pledge S$4,000 to the Building Fund. Pastor Kong’s teaching on the Culture Mandate — to be the light and salt of the world — challenged and inspired me to become a person of influence who could impact the marketplace. As I applied the teachings in my workplace, I started to find favor in the sight of my superiors. Within three and a half years, I was promoted four times from an Officer to an Assistant Vice President. In 2007, I also brought in record sales and was among the top three performers in my team. As a result, by the grace of God, I consistently earned a five-figure monthly commission for the entire year of 2007.
At the same time, I had always desired to go into direct management rather than just doing portfolio sales. In beginning of this year, I took a step of faith to switch to another bank. Even though many banks and financial institutions were retrenching or freezing their head counts, due to the credit crunch, God opened the door for me and I successfully moved into a managerial role as a Branch Manager. I’m now leading a branch of 25 staff members, and my base salary has increased by 43 per cent! Praise the Lord!
Having witnessed God’s faithfulness in giving me a stable career, I was ready to embark on a new relationship, and greatly desired a godly partner with whom I could share my life. Indeed, God knows our deepest desires. In April 2006 — on the final month of the Arise and Build, I met Yen Chau. With Christ right in the center of our relationship, we fell in love with each other. We are now happily engaged and our wedding is coming up next May.
It was during the Arise & Build in December 2006 that we took a step of faith and balloted for our home at The Premiere — the first Design-Build-Sell Scheme (DBSS) launched at Tampines. Despite the flat being over-subscribed 10 times over (6,000 people balloted for 600 units), and the combined income ceiling restriction, God did a miracle for us and we managed to get an excellent unit on our very first attempt! As of now, our unit has already appreciated 30 per cent. We are indeed thankful that God has worked everything out so smoothly for us. In fact, we are getting our keys next month, all ready to move in after our wedding next May!
Even as a young couple starting out on our careers, uncertain about the future, we trusted God. In total, we have given S$34,000 to the Arise and Build campaigns. Even though our wedding is just round the corner, we are excited to give to the Lord once again in the upcoming Arise & Build. The more we need His provision, the more we cannot afford not to give to Him! For we know once again, this is the time when God will open the windows of heaven and pour out such blessings for us that there will not be room enough to receive it.
We want to thank Sun and Pastor Kong for all the things they have taught us. We know that without God, we can’t do it by ourselves. Thank you City Harvest and church, let’s continue to Arise & Build! Praise the Lord!