Testimony shared by Kenneth & Eileen in City Harvest Church
My wife, Eileen, and I both grew up in this church since the beginning days in Hollywood Theater. After we got married in 1996, we were just starting out in our careers. Like many couples, we had a housing loan of more than S$100,000. We also struggled with living expenses, trying to make ends meet. Hearing many testimonies on how God blessed other members of the church financially, we’d often pray to God asking when will be our turn to be blessed.
Since we stepped into church, we have been faithful tithers and have always participated in every Arise and Build campaign. Instead of waiting for blessings to come, we felt challenged to take faith actions in our lives. Our breakthrough came when we heard Kong Hee’s message on the importance of having a family budget, and that God would promote us when we are faithful with the money He has entrusted to us. This became a rhema, a revelation for us. We understood that not only must we be faithful in giving the tithes and offerings, God expects us to be good stewards of the salaries we earn each month. We felt the faith of God to immediately spring into action and downloaded the City Harvest family budget template from the church website and started using it to plan for our finances.
This helped us to put our monthly expenses into perspective. Usually within two weeks of receiving our salaries, it will all be depleted and we would not know where our money had gone. However, with careful budgeting, we managed to save 20 per cent of our salary each month above and beyond our CPF contribution. We also converted part of our savings into endowment plans and bonds. In the midst of this, through Arise and Build campaigns, Eileen and I have been blessed with promotions in our careers and our salaries have increased more than six times.
God indeed was faithful to His word. By the 3rd year of budgeting our finances, we managed to clear our entire housing loan. I am now 41 years old, and our net worth is more than S$500,000. Our story of saving and planning was even featured in 2006 by Channel NewsAsia in their program “Cents and Sensibilities,” about how a salaried couple can achieve financial freedom in their lives. I give all glory to God for that.
Sometime in October 2007, I was faced with a crossroad in my career. I was offered the position of Chief Financial Officer of a conglomerate in offshore marine engineering in Kazakhstan. The offer was very attractive with a five-figure salary. However, the only problem was that I would be relocated without my family. It was a big sacrifice as I would miss my family and the church.
After praying and seeking the counsel of various loved ones, including Marie, our cell group leader, I decided to reject the offer. Again, this happened during the building fund pledge season. As I was filling up the pledge card, I prayed to God that while one door closed, He would open another door for me. We both gave a total of S$14,000 to the building fund.
Almost immediately, in that same month, I got a job as a Senior Internal Audit Manager in an aircraft leasing company. I was given a salary that was 40 per cent more than my previous pay and miraculously, the monthly salary was exactly what I pledged for the entire building fund. Ironically, this is an aircraft company that does not require me to travel overseas. Thus, I can be with my family, church and friends. I thanked God that as I trusted and gave to Him, He came through for me.
To us, Arise and Build is really about building lives rather than just a building. We wanted so much to have children ever since we got married. But after many years of trying and consulting the doctors, all our attempts were futile. We were devastated when our gynae told us that we will not be able to have babies. But we trusted in God’s faithfulness and kept trying. After a year, God blessed us with our first son, Kendrick. And not only did this miracle happened once, two years later, I managed to conceive again and gave birth to our daughter, Karis. This miracle was even featured in a local book, “Little Miracles,” comprising testimonies of Christian couples who had difficulty in conception. And it was again featured in the Channel 8 infotainment program, “Hey Baby.”
Today our children are exceling in their schools. Kendrick was voted as the role model student in his school and is now a class monitor in primary school. Karis, who is in Kindergarden One right now, has been chosen by her principal to be part of her post graduate research on early childhood development due to her creative skills in story telling.
Like what Kong always says, ordinary people can do extraordinary things for God and experience His blessings and miracles. We want to thank Kong and Sun for challenging us in their examples of sacrificial giving, being the salt and light in our world. Indeed, it is not about building a concrete structure but it is about building a life of faith, commitment and obedience!