In this testimony, which the church heard on Feb 19 and 20, Sherly Loo shares how CHC’s Youth Tuition Programme changed her for the better.
“I was very close to my father when I was young. However, my father was a gambler and drug addict. Eventually, he got himself into serious trouble with the law. Once, the police came to my house to take my father away. I was at home with my brother and the police asked us to go inside our bedroom so that we won’t see the arrest. However, through the sliding bedroom door, I could see what was happening. I remember crying and feeling so scared that I would never see my dad again.
“Growing up, my father was mostly absent, because he was in and out of prison often. His gambling habit got so bad that we had to downsize our home three times. Eventually, we had to move into a rental flat because we could no longer afford a house on our own.
“My mother is a foreigner. She faced many challenges at work. She was very stressed and had to work very hard to raise us up single-handedly.
“As I grew older, I found myself resenting my dad because deep down inside, I felt that he was responsible for all our hardships. Because of his irresponsible actions, all of us—especially my mother—had to suffer. I was angry with him.
“With all that anger inside me, I lost the motivation to study. I didn’t pay attention in school. I spent my time playing and hanging out with the kids in my neighbourhood. We were latchkey kids, left unsupervised after school since our parents were either working or away. I became wayward and often got into trouble. As a result, I had to attend counselling sessions and I had a social worker attached to me.
ENCOUNTERING THE GRACE OF GOD
“Six years ago, my social worker introduced to me a group of new friends. They were very friendly, and I began to open up to them. I soon realised that they were Christians. One day, I decided to join them in City Harvest Church—I attended my first Emerge service. I felt the love of God pouring into my heart and at the end of the service, I responded to the altar call. I received Jesus into my heart to be my Lord and Saviour.
“After that, I joined a cell group led by Grace. She was so patient with me and helped me a lot. Grace also gave me Bible study. Over time, I began to change the way I saw myself, my challenges, my life and my future.
“I learned to trust that God is a good God. I learned that there is a purpose for everything—even my painful past. God can use the bad things that had happened to me and turn them around for my good! I learned to let go of my anger and disappointment with my father and forgave him.
“I started serving in the cell group as a visual designer and I led games in cell group meetings. I also reached out to others with similar struggles at home–those disappointed with their family, feeling abandoned and angry with parents. I told them that they can overcome their frustrations and resentment. I also became an usher in church and I took up guitar lessons to play the guitar in the cell group.
“Last year was a very challenging year for me because of my O Level examinations. I had struggled with most of the subjects all year round. During the prelims, I scored an L1R4 of 23. I was very discouraged, stressed and overwhelmed. I was very lost and thought of giving up on my studies.
“Just then, Grace signed me up for the Church Without Walls tuition classes. This was exactly what I needed because my family can’t afford tuition. The CWW tutors like Teacher Angela, Teacher Ranje and Teacher Shilin were very patient and caring. They kept encouraging me, they told that I could make it, and that gave me hope. They always prayed for us before or after each lesson. They took time to answer our questions and tailored the lessons according to our learning needs.
“Praise the Lord! I just collected my O Level results in January, and I am so thankful that I scored an L1R4 of 11 points! From 23 points to 11 points in a few weeks! Praise the Lord! I now can enrol into my first-choice course, which is optometry at Ngee Ann Polytechnic!
“I am so thankful to Pastor Yi Lun and her team for organising the CWW Tuition Ministry. If for no one else, this came just in time for me! God knew what I needed, and He rescued me just in time.
“I am so grateful to Grace, my wonderful cell group leader, and all my cell group friends who were always there for me, encouraging me, believing in me and praying for me. Their love gave me the faith to believe that God has wonderful things in store for my life! Praise the Lord!”