As a passionate young Christian, Kah Kong Hou chose to follow Jesus despite his father’s objections. What ensued was a 13-year cold war—but God restored the relationship between father and son.
I was saved when I was 15. I became a fanatic for God.
That same year—1992—I insisted on getting water baptized in spite of violent objections from my father. In my uncontrolled youthful zeal, I blatantly went ahead. Thereafter, I had a major argument with my father—that was one of the most traumatic events in my life, it marked the last time that my father would speak to me for the next 13 years.
Though we lived in the same house, my father would talk to my mother and my brother, but not to me. It would have been better if he had reprimanded me instead of giving me the cold shoulder. There were nights I would cry in my sleep thinking about his rejection.
When I was commissioned at the Officer Cadet School during national service, my mother and brother came to attend my commissioning parade and celebrated my achievement over dinner, but my father did not show up. When I graduated from university, my mother and brother came for the ceremony, but not my father. During all of these significant moments, I longed for my father to be around, to be proud of me, but for 13 years, not once was he present. Once, my mother even said that when I got married, my father would probably not be present either.
Thankfully, God turned things around for us. In City Harvest Church, Pastor Kong preaches about forgiveness from time to time. Each time he did, I would make a choice to forgive my father. Whenever there was a deliverance session or the church taught on inner healing, I would go forward to receive ministry. By and by, the pain of my father’s rejection lessened. I am thankful to God that I finally came to a place where I felt no hatred towards my father. However, I did not have enough faith to believe in reconciliation.
God is good, and He didn’t leave things the way they were. In this spiritual family that is CHC, various ones encouraged me to step out in faith and try to reconnect with my father. I tried. I would come home from work and greet my father; but there would be no response. I told my friends, I tried, but it didn’t work. Still, they encouraged me to just keep trying, to keep on keeping on.
Eventually, my father retired and started spending more time at home. One day, when my brother was overseas, he had no one to ask for help regarding an issue with his computer, so he asked me.
Just like that, a miracle happened. After 13 years of silence, we started talking again. God is so faithful to His promise of reconciliation. Today, my family meets weekly for meals and everyone talks to everyone. We have even gone overseas on a family trip to visit relatives. The Bible says that “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!” (Jas 5:16, NKJV); prayer is indeed powerful!
You don’t get to choose your natural family; you are born into it. You don’t get to choose your parents or your siblings. I treat my church family in the same way. I do not choose my cell group members, but I seek to work things out in the cell group I am in. I’ve been in City Harvest for quite a while and I have learned that not everyone gets along all the time. There will be misunderstandings and difficulties in any relationship, but it can all be worked out eventually if we commit the matter to God and seek forgiveness and reconciliation. That is part of what being a family is all about—Christ being the head of us all.
My personal belief is this: as long as we maintain some level of contact and do not cut people out of our life, there is always a chance of reconciliation. In my relationship with my father, reconciliation would not have been possible if I had moved out of the house 20 years ago or if I had migrated to another country.
My father recently decided to build a fishing pond in his house and I’ve been driving him to buy cement—over 100 kilograms of cement! But that’s something we do now. Twenty years ago, this would not have been possible; unfathomable, even. This is nothing short of a miracle.
Rom 12:1-2 (NIV): “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”