CHC members started a Facebook group to share their personal testimonies and encourage each other. City News reprints a few here.
I joined CHC in 1998 when I was 13. I was a rebellious youth, who came from a broken home. I hated my parents, was angry with myself, felt very insecure, and often had suicidal thoughts. I had absolutely no vision, no hope for my future. I never understood what love was.
In CHC, I experienced unconditional love from my leaders and members. I learned that nobody is too insignificant to make a difference. Through constant encouragement and love, I started to walk out from the shadows and live a purposeful life for God and for others. I believe firmly that though I do not have a complete family, I can still live with a vision, and make a difference. It was also in CHC that my character and values were shaped.
This is my 14th year in CHC. Today, I’m a cell group leader, helping youths with the same challenges I faced. I want to thank Pastor Kong and Sun, for all their sacrifices and love. Without them, CHC will never be what it is today.
CHC will always be my family. This is my church, this is my life.
Felicia Yeow: A Life Transformed
Life has been good: I’m happily married, have a good career and ministry. However, for most of my colorful growing up years, I visited police stations, A&E, prison, attended court hearings, etc. You name it, I’ve probably seen it.
I would have grown up to be a cold, bitter and selfish person if not for strong family support and City Harvest Church.
My extended family provided a roof over my head when my family had nowhere to go, supported me financially so that I could graduate with a university degree, took care of my family when I didn’t know how to. In addition, from the day I rededicated my life to God 15 years ago, my life has been transformed 360 degrees. I’ve learned to forgive, love, give, bless and take care of other people. These would not be possible if not for God, the teaching I’ve experienced in the house of God and strong family support.
Without Pastor Kong’s encouragement, I probably would not have had the courage to take the opportunity to work and live overseas for a couple of years. Many times, when I watched church services online from abroad, I could feel the love and dedication that Pastor has for God and for the church. How I wished I could jump through the computer screen and be present at service!
When my dad was terminally ill, many church leaders visited and prayed for my dad. When he passed on, the church leadership rallied around my family and provided financial and emotional support. The love and dedication that the leaders in CHC have for God and for people surpasses my understanding. I can only say that I’m forever grateful to God for bringing me to CHC under the leadership of Pastor Kong and Sun.
I will be here for the longest time!
Charles Tan: Saved By Sun’s Song
2003 was the worst year of my life. I was laid off from my former company due to poor business as a result of SARS. To make ends meet, I took up another 12-hour shift job. It was a front office job in a hotel located in Geylang’s red light district. As a result of this job switch and its odd working hours, I lost all contact with my parents, family and friends. I also mixed with the wrong company.
To make the matter worse, my marriage went through problems and ended up in divorce. This divorce left me penniless and there were many days in my life when I was only left with S$2 in my pocket. I was depressed, lonely and broke and had suicidal thoughts every day.
During that time, I did not know Pastor Kong, Sun, Pastor Tan Ye Peng or City Harvest Church. However, Channel U was screening a TV show 人生导火线 – 转捩点 and the main song was “起点” sung by Sun. The voice of Sun and the lyrics touched me and kept me going. Every time that I was down, I told myself not to give up and kept repeating to myself to look forward and “把每一天当成起点”.
Fortunately, I managed to live and in 2006, I gave my life to Christ in CHC on a Sunday after responding to an altar call by Pastor Tan. Today, I am happily remarried with two kids. I have also overcome my shyness and now work as a property agent earning more than enough for my family.
Thank you, Pastor Kong and Sun. Through your Crossover Project, you managed to save a life of someone you didn’t even know and who had never attended your church. My family and I will continue to support the Crossover Project.
It’s never easy to lose someone that you love dearly. One of the most difficult periods of my life was when my father passed away due to heart failure in 2001.
When he was hospitalized, Pastor Tan, many cell group leaders and Chinese Church members visited him to encourage him and pray for him. On the day he passed away, my family received the call from the hospital around 4am in the morning. We rushed down to the hospital and my father was already on a resuscitation machine. He passed away peacefully. I called Pastor Joseph, my zone pastor. Within an hour, he was in the hospital with Pastor Yong (Te-Chong). Both of them accompanied me to the mortuary while my mum and brother settled other administrative stuff. Many, many Chinese Church members stood by my family during the wake. Pastor Tan conducted the funeral service, which fell on his birthday. I remember him saying that my dad must be very disappointed that he did not get to see the Jurong West building as we were two months away from moving in, and he teared. That night, Pastor Kong came to the wake; my family and I were really touched that our senior pastor came and comforted us personally.
CHC is not just a church. It’s the house of God and my spiritual family. This is the place that has molded me into who I am today. This is the place I experience God tangibly. This is the place where I have friends whom I know will stand by me in good times and tough times.
My Pastors did not just teach me to love God wholeheartedly. They showed me how.
My Pastors did not just teach me to love people fervently. They showed me how.
My Pastors did not just teach me to give my best to God. They showed me how.
My Pastors did not just teach me to live my life with passion and purpose. They showed me how.
My Pastors did not just teach me to live courageously and fearlessly for the Lord. They showed me how.
For all these and more, I trust in and will stand by my spiritual family and my pastors. Always.
Aw Yao Feng: From “Market Boy” To Top Scorer
My life has been changed and impacted because of the Crossover Project, Pastor Kong, Sun and City Harvest Church. Here is my story.
I was once a “market boy”, a hooligan who often associated with gangs. I came from a broken and a single parent family. My father left my family with debts, and as a result my mother had to work doubly hard as a hawker, earning money to make ends meet, to pay off the debts.
Moreover at that time, SARS and the economy recessions hit Singapore. This affected business and my mother was in deep depression due to the pain of divorce and immense stress. I was left alone as she focused on putting bread on the table; in addition her condition disabled her from proper communication.
Our conversations often ended up in bitter and fierce arguments, so I sourced for attention and “love” in the wrong places, and picked up smoking and drinking. I was often betrayed by the ones I called my “brothers”.
Despised by friends and relatives, my heart was completely wounded. Needless to say my studies were in a mess. By the time I reached Secondary One, I was failing six out of nine subjects, and I was given a “U” grade. I felt worthless and full of hopelessness, and although I knew who Jesus was at that time I didn’t fully comprehend who He was. I knew law instead of grace, thus I was an anti-Christian.
In 2008, my classmate invited me to City Harvest Church at Singapore Expo for Easter service. The moment I stood in the room during the praise and worship I was completely taken aback. It was the most amazing feeling I ever had. The love in the atmosphere melted my hardened, bitter and broken heart. That day, I wept like never before—I had found what I was looking for: love.
From then on I decided to stay on in CHC. I found acceptance and love in my cell group. I was in a family that accepted me for who I was.
Then, I started to change for the better! Once, I remembered Pastor Kong preaching mightily on the Cultural Mandate. He said, “We are salt of the earth and light of the world.” These words hit me and God dropped a desire in my heart to do well in my studies.
From then on, with the help and encouragement from my cell group, I started to focus on my studies. I prayed that God would change me and use me as a testimony to my family and relatives.
Indeed, God is faithful: as I began to focus on His Kingdom by sowing my life, God started to take care of my house.
By the grace of God my results changed for the better: from being last in class, I topped the whole cohort in Normal stream with four distinctions out of six subjects. Subsequently, in Secondary Four, I came in first for my GCE ‘N’ level exam with 5As with 8 points! And in Secondary Five, for my GCE ‘O’ levels, I was third in the whole cohort with 11 points and I entered Singapore Polytechnic!
Moreover, I was awarded the Edusave Scholarship three times in a row and a MDIS Scholarship. I was also sent overseas by the school on fully-paid trips to Hong Kong and Vietnam because of my outstanding improvements. Praise the Lord!
Lastly, God not only healed this heart of mine but he healed my relationship with my mother, my family and our relatives. My relationships with them have been getting better and better, and I am finding favor wherever I go.
Now, I stand in awe of how much my life had changed, all because a loving and tender God who believed in me caused such earth shaking change. If not for Pastor Kong, Sun and Pastor Tan who preached words of life into my life I would be still lost today. They walk in the manner Jesus walked.
I’m now serving the Lord with my gifts as a blessing to my friends around me and a guitarist in my cell group, bringing the presence of God down to earth.
My life is blessed and changed by their ministry, which has been given by the Spirit of God. Each and every single life in CHC is a testimony for the glory of God!
I grew up in an abusive family. My Mom was the only Christian and she faced much persecution. The only reason my sister and I were allowed to attend a church kindergarten was because it was near to my father’s food stall in Chinatown.
I accepted Christ during my nursery days and my mum would bring my sister and I to the church where our school was located.
Growing up, I saw my Dad abuse my mum, physically, verbally, mentally and emotionally. I was abused too, sexually, by two members of my extended family. I grew up in that church for 16 years, before I became disillusioned. I was 20.
That year, I met a CHC member during my Polytechnic attachment. During the three months stint, he kept inviting me to visit but I never liked CHC, so I kept declining.
But God sent another CHC guy, this time through Internet chat. After several weeks of chatting, I met up with the guy. But instead of him inviting me, this time I asked to visit CHC. I learned early in my Christian walk, that if God calls you once, He will call you again. I decided to let go of whatever prejudices I had of CHC and just visit.
My first visit to CHC was on Jan 13, 2002, a week before I turned 21. Pastor Kong was preaching the first part of his “Excellence” series. I was touched by the Holy Spirit and responded to the altar call to rededicate my life.
I spent another six months visiting the church and joining cell group meetings, making sure that the doctrine was sound. During this period of visiting, I slipped into depression. It was the cell group members from CHC who stood by me. Two members kept a close watch on me as I was suicidal.
After my bout of depression, I decided to commit to CHC. I faced objections from my Mom and sister. But I insisted. Shortly after, I met my last boyfriend, whom I eventually married.
I am now 31 years old. I am a mother of two, and I’m expecting my third baby. This church was started by Pastor Kong, but it was never about him. This church is about the God we love and serve. This church personified Christ in my life, when I was disillusioned and suicidal.
Paul Foo Chay Yeow: From Critic To Christian
I was once a member of the press, who joined in the defamation and emotional persecution of Pastor Kong two years ago. But here I am now, totally surrendered to the love of God, and to Pastor’s beliefs and directions for our church. I wanted to share my testimony in the hope that in these tumultuous times marked by extreme media pressure, my story will offer some consolation and encouragement.
Since my school days in Raffles Institution, I believed that CHC was nothing more than a moneygrubbing organization, committed to brainwashing the minds of youths and adults alike into the belief of warped Christian faith, and the church’s vision of evangelism nothing more than a pretense, with the eventual goal of encroaching and monopolizing the entire Christian market.
At that point in my life, I was much too arrogant and absorbed in my own prejudice to make any sense of what God was doing in this church. I became increasingly superficial in my belief and worship of what we knew to be God in my religion, and felt I only needed to depend on myself to succeed in society.
I joined a news website in June 2010 as a freelance content producer, around the time the CHC saga broke out. As a freelancer, I was not tasked with drafting the articles that directly attacked Pastor Kong, Sun and the church, but nevertheless, I helped upload all the negative reports on CHC onto the online news portal with unprecedented diligence. As if I felt that I wasn’t “contributing” enough to this persecution, I went out to convince my friends who were believers that it was now time for them to leave and never return.
But just like the apostle Paul, God struck me down, so that He could reach out into my heart and cleanse it. In September 2010, I got into a major argument with a permanent staff member at the website and left the organization on pretty bad terms. Following that, my obsession with soccer betting grew into a horrible addiction, and I lost S$10,000 in just a couple of months when I had less than S$1,000 in my bank account to begin with. I turned to many of my friends for loans, and many friendships were lost in the process. My parents were on the brink of divorce and that hit me pretty hard emotionally.
But God does not simply leave one in the darkness without showing him a path of light to follow. I had the opportunity to interact with some of my tuition student’s friends, all from CHC. I was overcome by the warmth they offered, and began keeping in touch with many of them. One of them, in particular, touched me with her overwhelming sincerity. Her willingness to share her dark past with me surprised me, as did her account of how she managed to walk out of it. I was touched by her life story, and even though I could discern sincerity in a person easily, I saw not even the slightest trace of hypocrisy or of a brainwashed soul in her. I pondered that maybe there was indeed something about this church that was worth exploring.
I decided to give CHC a chance. It sounds condescending now, but that was my mentality back then. Pastor Tan spoke at that first service I attended. His sermon deeply moved me, but I refused to be convinced. In my heart, I told God that if He wanted to convince me, I wanted to listen next to Pastor Kong himself. And the following week’s sermon was indeed given by Pastor Kong! His message, too, tugged at my heartstrings. I told God that if the subsequent week was going to be Phil Pringle preaching, I will concede that this is by no means a mere coincidence, but a divine arrangement. True enough, the following week was Pastor Phil’s service, but I absented myself from it, being totally caught off guard at this “beyond ordinary” coincidence. I began to struggle with my previous beliefs regarding the church as well as my religion.
I finally returned to service on November 13, 2010 and responded to the altar call. It dawned upon me that I knew this to be the decision I had wanted to make for a while now.
My parents’ divorce, which seemed almost inevitable, suddenly made a sharp U-turn and my family is now in full reconciliation. God has blessed me with a woman whom I truly love. My grandpa, who was diagnosed with cancer last year but refused to undergo any operation, miraculously agreed to finally go for the operation, and now his cancer is gone completely. When my debt repayment came to a standstill with half of the amount still owed, God blessed me with seven new tuition students, bringing my monthly income up from a meager S$300 a month up to S$2,300. Praise the Lord!
I relate my life thus far to that of Paul the Apostle, and therefore was baptized with the Christian name Paul, in the hope that I can surrender my life to God and commit myself to fulfilling the destiny God has created me for, just as Paul did. I want very much to muster up the courage to apologize to Pastor Kong for what I did, and to encourage him to keep pushing on for God; even his enemies are beginning to fall in his favor as he focuses on nothing but God and God alone. I hope my story offers him some consolation and comfort, in that God has really changed the lives of many through him, friends and enemies alike.
Ariel Zhang Yuxia: Reconciled After Being Divorced 10 Years
Joseph Jam: A Witness Of The Crossover In Taiwan