At the Young Adults service held on 31 March, three City Harvest Church members shared their testimonies on how God blessed them when they chose to turn to Him.
Priscilla Claudia Tamara has been in CHC for nine years and serves in the cell group ministry in the pastoral zone under executive pastor of City Harvest Church, Aries Zulkarnain. Professionally, she is a management consultant in an accounting firm.
“I grew up in an Asian household where work ethics and achievements were praised and encouraged,” Priscilla shared. “My mother told me that we are ‘A-sians’, not ‘B-sians’, so nothing below A for my school results was considered good enough. Due to my upbringing, I have very high expectations for myself and when I entered the workforce, I would always strive to excel despite having tough bosses and colleagues. It was also very challenging to juggle my time for work, ministry and other aspects of life. This resulted in me feeling physically and emotionally drained.”
She went on to relate an incident where she saw God’s hand helping her navigate through difficult moments. “I was a junior staff member back then and I was feeling quite lost having to handle big projects without much experience and very little guidance. I recall a time when I was managing a project on a very tight timeline. I ended up in a bad conflict with my direct manager due to some miscommunication. When my boss got to know about it, he told me, ‘All these don’t matter to me, make sure you complete your project.’ I felt angry and dismissed as no one cared enough to understand what really went wrong. That same night, when I was at my cell group meeting, the Lord ministered to me. He reminded me that just as He has forgiven me, I should also release forgiveness to my bosses. Since that incident, I decided to find ways to work more collaboratively with my direct manager. Eventually, God turned things around and we became close colleagues,” she said.
Last year, Priscilla was facing uncertainties at her workplace but once again, God came through for her and granted her the desire of her heart. “I was in a tech firm last year and felt very anxious about its uncertain outlook,” she admitted. “I was gripped with a lot of fears thinking that I would be one of those to be retrenched. However, at the same time, I was also stirred in my spirit to sign up for SOT (School of Theology) 2023 so that I can set aside time to grow deeper in my walk with God. I decided to stand firm on His promises and trust God to provide the best for me. I started searching for a new job and three job offers came with a minimum of a 15 percent pay increment. However, I declined these three offers as I really wanted a job that would allow me to study in SOT.
“Shortly after that, I received a fourth job offer from one of the big four accounting firms, and they allowed me to study at SOT while working. To many people, it seemed like a bad and foolish decision as this new job was only offering me the same remuneration as my previous job. Other people felt that I should have taken the job which offered me the 15 percent increase in pay. But I have no regrets at all because I know going to SOT this year is what God wants me to do and I am enjoying every moment of it now.”
GOD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MY CAREER
Michelle Gay has been in CHC for 10 years and serves in Harvest Kidz. She works as a Director of Innovation at a research and tech company.
“When I started out in the marketplace, I would often find myself trapped, not knowing how to respond to ‘adult’ conversations around topics like sexual matters, abortions or trying out soft drugs. Should I be unafraid to voice out my stand based on the Biblical principles I hold on to? How should I respond such that people would feel I am still relevant in society, yet still able to talk about the love of Christ? I found such moments difficult to navigate, but I am thankful to the Holy Spirit for leading and guiding me each time,” she said.
“One of the common topics among many of my friends is one-night stands. I remember there was this time when a friend told me that she was swiping for a hook-up on an app. I knew at that moment that I needed to reach out to her and help her. I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me. I then called her and checked in with her, and I shared with her my stand on why I do not believe in one-night stands and the risks involved. I did this while assuring her that I still love and accept her as my friend. On that night, she decided to stay at home instead. Thank God for His guidance! Now, whenever this friend is thinking about hooking up or embarking on questionable relationships, she still comes to me. I see it as a good start.”
Michelle chose to set aside time to attend SOT this year even though she is currently at the peak of her career. “I am now in my 10th year as a Christian and I realised that when everything I do becomes too routine, I can become too comfortable in my walk with God. So, I knew it was time to challenge myself so that comfort does not become an idol in my life. I want to set aside six months of my life to study God’s Word and to know Him deeply.
“After praying and contemplating for three months, I was reminded by the Lord in Psalm 37:5, ‘Commit everything you do to the Lord, trust Him, and He will help you’. When I told my boss and colleagues that I was going to Bible school, most of them gave me a weird look and asked why not pursue my Master’s instead. My boss also offered to relocate me to Boston. Being in the US meant that I would have more face time with my boss and clients, more opportunities to expand my career, and a 25 percent pay increment. That was when the SOT prep course just started so it was very tempting to quit SOT. But I had already committed this period of time to God, and His love assured me that I didn’t need any of these external validations such as titles and promotions in the marketplace for me to become the person He had called me to be. When I chose to set my eyes on eternal things, I realised that I wasn’t living a life just to work, but work was simply a part of the life I was living.
“I know I can pursue the things of God and excel in the marketplace at the same time. I feel this is a very necessary conviction a young adult who’s starting out in their career should have!”
GOD IS THE SOLUTION TO MY PROBLEMS
Moses Chua has been in CHC for 19 years, and currently serves in the cell group ministry. He started his own art school after graduation. “When I first stepped out to start an art school, it was a steep learning curve and everything had to be built from scratch on my own, including learning the basics of how to run a business in the art industry, how to market the business, source for teachers, and secure a place to conduct the lessons.
“Being an impatient and reckless young entrepreneur, I wanted to grow my art school as fast as possible. Hence, I did many workshops and took up projects which were unsustainable. I was working 12 hours a day and on weekends with hardly any break. This became exhausting and took a toll on my entire well-being—physically, mentally, and spiritually.
“Despite all my efforts, the business started to decline exponentially, and I was left with only three students. For many months, I had zero income and was losing money due to the monthly rent.
“I realised I needed to slow down to seek God instead of doing things on my own ability. As I slowed down and spent time with God, He gave me a fresh vision that changed the direction of my business. He taught me how to modify my business and to focus on teaching adults instead of children. With that, I managed to secure major workshops, and long-term partnerships with clients including Ogilvy, UOB and other companies, and the business started to accelerate. God also brought church friends to come alongside me to help me further rebrand the business. I was also recently certified as a SkillsFuture provider where I can conduct highly subsidised art classes for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Praise God for opening this door because giving back to the community has always been my heart’s desire!”