In this testimony, which the church heard on Sep 11 and 12, City Harvest Church member Judie Chang shares how her life was changed dramatically by the power of God.
“My name is Judie. I am an only child and though my parents doted on me, they were busy making ends meet and were never home. I started seeking love and company outside. I picked up smoking at the age of 12. By 14, I had already tried every drug that was available to me. My teachers used to be worried when they found out that I was in their class because I was such a terror.
“Seeking love, I compromised myself in my many relationships. I got into a promiscuous lifestyle. When I was 14, I was caught rioting. I also had my first abortion. During the two years of investigations before my sentencing, I continued living a promiscuous lifestyle even though I often felt dirty and unworthy.
THE LOVE OF GOD REACHES OUT
“Throughout it all, my cousin, Stanley, and his wife Jaques never stopped praying for me. On the day of sentencing at the Youth Court, when I heard that I was sentenced to the girls’ home, I felt I was deemed as a rotten egg. And if people looked at me this way, why not make it worse? I thought about how to leave the girl’s home and start a life of being a drug trafficker.
“However, my caseworker told me that I will not have any criminal record as I was a juvenile. She encouraged me to change. Stanley and Jaques never stopped writing letters to encourage me. My parents also never stopped being there for me. Then one day, I decided I really want to change. I started to attend Bible study classes at the girls’ home. A sense of peace came upon me as I attended my first Bible study class. From that day, I looked forward to learning about God. During my parole, when I was on home leave, I would join Stanley and Jaques in coming to church.
“When I got back to school, my discipline master, knowing that I used to be the biggest troublemaker in school, asked me, ‘Why did you come back? You can never make it.’ I started to doubt myself, but I thank God for my parents, cousins and people who believed the best in me. They showed me what Christlikeness is about. They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. They saw the good that God wants to work in me. By God’s grace, I managed to ace my studies and even emerged as the top student at my level that year.
“But in 2000, my dad’s business was hit by the economic crisis. He had to declare bankruptcy. I had to start working to support the family. I dropped out of school and stopped attending church. I soon went back to my promiscuous ways. I went back to clubbing and started visiting nightclubs and KTV. I would drink until the wee hours and go to work reeking of alcohol the next day. I got into one relationship after another. Thinking that I’m unworthy and yet craving to be loved, I got pregnant again. As an unwed single, I was so ashamed of myself. So, I took things in my hands and went for my second abortion. When my family got to know about it, they did their best to be there for me. I thank God for their love but I was too ashamed to come back to God. How could God still love someone like me?
JESUS, THE PROMISE-KEEPER
“Life took another turn a few years later. My dad became critically ill. Being the sole caregiver and breadwinner, I was exhausted. I felt hopeless and wanted to end my life. Just then I heard a very familiar voice, ‘My child, I am here for you.’ The gentleness behind that voice brought back the memories of the love and acceptance that I felt when I was in CHC.
‘I broke down and cried. I started to come back to Christ and realised my worthiness in Christ! For God so loved the world that He gave up His only begotten son for me! I’m loved and worthy. Things started changing. I stopped compromising myself in the search for love and turned away from my promiscuous lifestyle. I found love in God and I started to trust in God’s plan for me. I surrendered all to His will.
“I was given the opportunity to work in a charity to mentor youths and to empower them to be the change they want to see. Though I lost my dad three years ago, I thank God that he received Christ before his passing! When one is saved, the whole household is saved. Hallelujah!
“Soon after, I met my husband. Although he knew about my past, he was very supportive and loved me wholeheartedly. He loved me for who I am. I brought him to CHC service and during that service, he was so touched as he experienced the presence of God, he accepted Christ! Hallelujah! I would never have imagined that I would be able to find a man who love me, let alone find a spouse who is also a God-lover and God-chaser.
“Jesus is indeed a God of promises, He always over-delivers! We completed SOT together last year. We are now attending Stanley’s cell group, W189 and are serving in the cell group as connect group connectors, in the mission field, and in every way that we can. When there’s an unmet need, we would raise our hands to meet it! God does not need golden vessels but willing vessels. I believe it was the 18 years of continuous prayers of my parents, my cousin, Stanley, and the entire cell group W189 that kept me protected all this while. I really thank Jesus that He loved me, didn’t let me go, and was always there for me.”