A TESTIMONY FROM KENNETH CHUA– written in February 2006
(Founder of G to G Enterprise)
I have, over the last few months or so, been asked by many people to put in writing how Jesus came into my life. In fact, I have been trying to do this on many occasions. But each time I sat down, my mind went blank and nothing gets written. Finally I have got something down on paper and I hope that this testimony will inspire some of you to believe in God and give Him a chance to work and walk with you in life.
I was brought up as a Taoist/Buddhist in Penang. At an early age of eight, I recalled following my grandaunt to the Buddhist temple at Burma Lane at least once a week. As I visited the temple and listened to my grandaunt, my belief in Buddhism grew as time went on. I learnt many of the prayers and recited them every night until the age of 15.
As I was about to develop myself further in this area, my dad decided to send me to a boarding school in London in 1973. In the Anglican-based school, I was “forced” to study Scripture and attend church three times a week. Failure to attend church would automatically get one into detention class. I felt really miserable and started to hate Christianity as a result of this coercion.
Time went by and I completed my Economics and Management degrees in London. It was during my stint in London that I met my wife, Julie. She was 20 and I was 22 years of age when we got married in 1980. Julie comes from a Catholic family but she herself was, at that point in time, still not baptized. Upon our return to Malaysia in 1982, I joined HSBC (then known as HongkongBank) as an Executive Trainee and received an attractive 4-figure monthly remuneration package.
Julie and I had our first child, Clarence, in 1984. Dean, my second son, was born in 1987 followed by Nicole in 1990.
When we started our family, I totally forgot about my past feelings towards Christianity. Frankly, I was also quite indifferent towards Buddhism as well and did not really put its teachings into practice. The situation changed, however, when my wife, after consultation with her family members, secretly enrolled Clarence for Kindergarten classes at a Christian church.
When I found out about this later, I became extremely mad and began hating Jesus as a result of this. I blamed Jesus for “dragging” my son and wife away from me, and my relationship with my wife reached boiling point when she began to put up images of Jesus and crucifixes (some of which had been given by my in-laws) all over the house. Years went by and my relationship with my wife did not proceed the way I envisaged a perfect marriage should be. And although I love Clarence very much, I could not bring myself to tell him how hurt I was when I found out that he had joined the Christian society in school without my approval. I had huge arguments with my wife and distinctly remembered even telling her that I did not wish to be buried with her when I die.
Bearing in mind that I had already been quite successful in the Bank, my ego and pride also developed in parallel with this success. Moreover, I was already a manager in the HR department responsible for hiring and firing staff. The “power” that I had been enjoying all this while in HSBC became totally insignificant when it came to dealing with domestic issues and problems. I felt so awful and powerless against my wife and son. Matters were made worse when my wife placed a picture of the Sacred Heart by my bedside. I recalled, with a purpose, brushing this picture on to the floor on many occasions so that I can “accidentally” step on it. Many times I would spit at the picture and told Jesus that I would not want Him in my life. Recalcitrance was clearly evident in my behavior towards my family and to Jesus.
All this changed, however, in 1998. It was one night in July that year when I woke up at 3 am. Feeling a sense of tightness in my chest and stomach, I went to the toilet and as I looked at myself in the mirror, my legs started to give way. This numbness and paralysis slowly crept up my body until I could not even move my hands. My eyes were also closing slowly despite my lame effort to keep them opened. Finally when my eyes were completely shut and with total darkness setting in, I experienced a sharp fall (just like falling out from a plane at night except that you cannot see anything below, not even the dimmest light). It was a really frightening experience. I was so fearful and called out “God help me!”. Nothing happened and I was still falling, now even faster than before. It was then that I shouted for God again. Again, nothing happened. And when I became desperate and knew that something really bad was happenng to me. I screamed “GOD HELP ME!”.
Suddenly, appeared in front of me, was the face of the Sacred Heart. I really did not expect to see Jesus and was absolutely shocked. In fact, Jesus was the last person I would expect to see. By just looking at me and without saying anything to me, the Sacred Heart immediately made me realise that Jesus is God. Somehow or rather, I knew that I was dying. I was not prepared to go, at least not in this manner, especially when there are still so many things I need to do in my life. With a sinful heart and heavy mind, I pleaded to Jesus for forgiveness and promised Him that I would do anything for Him if I was given another chance.
I asked Him desperately to let me live so that I can at least see my children grow up. Since I knew how to recite the Our Father (from my school days in London), I quickly started the prayer. And after completing the prayer for the third time, the Sacred Heart moved away from my immediate vision. And in place of the Sacred Heart appeared a plain cross against a red blood-like background in front of me. I continued with the Our Father until I regained consciousness. As I opened my eyes, I saw another cross in front of me; this time the background was bright silvery white (as if a fluorescent lamp was placed behind it). I followed the cross, continuously reciting the Our Father until I finally collapsed on to my bed. Each time I started the Our Father, my tongue would roll and I would slur, sometimes into some strange language. I could not remember how many times I said the Our Father until I fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning, my body was cold like ice.
Obviously, I could not go to work and was given three days medical leave. The doctor told me I had vertigo and needed to rest. Three days later, the same symptoms reappeared at around 3 pm. I had difficulty breathing; there was tightness in my chest and I was feeling abnormally weak. Realising that it may not be vertigo, the doctor suggested that I should go to the hospital for a full medical check up.
After the hospital doctor was through with me, I was immediately wheeled into the ICU. I did not know what was happening. All I wanted was to go home but was told to relax. Little did I know then that I had suffered two heart attacks in three days. The cardiologist even told my wife that my chances were quite slim. I recalled tears streaming down the faces of my wife and children as they visited me in the ICU. It was as if I had already died!
As I was recuperating in the ICU, I asked my wife to bring me the picture of the Sacred Heart. Feeling very surprised, she asked me why, to which I replied: “I will tell you one day.” I just could not tell Julie that I saw her God and not mine. It would be humiliating for me! Eventually, swallowing some of the pride in me, I decided to tell her. Each time when I was alone in the ICU, I would take the picture of the Sacred Heart and place it against my heart. When someone came in to see me (my wife included), I would quickly put the picture back on to my bedside table. That was how proud I felt even after Jesus had already revealed His divinity to me.
I spent around 6 days in the ICU and later stayed in the hospital for another 10 days or so. After that I was given 3 months medical leave until I finally decided to leave the Bank in December 1998. Whilst I was recuperating at home, there was not even a minute that I did not think about Jesus. Often I would cry, sometimes up to 20 times a day. I recalled thanking Him throughout the day, admiring His mighty power and wondering why He came to help me. I was such an undeserving case; so disobedient, so proud and often so hopeless. I would speak to the Sacred Heart and carry the picture wherever I went in the house. It was almost insane to believe that this Jesus who I insulted and criticized for so long has decided to come and save me.
When I finally recovered, my attitude changed for the worse. Questions and doubts about Jesus’ existence clouded my brain to the extent that I was made to believe that I was plain lucky, and Jesus was just someone in my head, that’s all. My wife persuaded me to enrol for the RCIA. I was not sure at first and did not want to hurt my mother’s feelings as she was a Buddhist. My procrastination eventually drove my wife and children to the RCIA in June 2000 without me.
It took me a few months after that to reach a decision to become a Christian. Even then, I tried to bluff my way out by going to see Father Paul Dass to tell him that I wanted to be baptised immediately. I added that I need not go through the dreaded 9-month course as I was already proficient in Scripture (which I was obviously not). Father Paul was, rightly unconvinced by my lame story and said that I could skip the first few lessons but would still need to complete the bulk of the course.
I was clearly disappointed and was even contemplating to join a non-Catholic church just to get away from the RCIA. Somehow or rather my conscience prevented me from doing just that. I knew from the depth of my heart that the Sacred Heart can only mean one thing. By itself, it must mean Catholic and only Catholic.
Sometime in September 2000, I had a dream. In that dream, a man came to me introducing himself as “the messenger”. His form was almost like silver or white. I honestly thought that this man was just a postman since I had no idea then as to the term”messenger” in the context of the Bible. He said the following to me which I can recall very clearly: “They asked me when you will be baptized and I have told them April 10. Is this OK with you?”
The first thing on the next day I asked my wife (who had already started the RCIA) when the baptism date was. She did not know as no dates had been given to her as yet. It was about three weeks after that when she passed me a handout from the RCIA team which had the following in print:
First part of Baptism – anointing by the priest: 10 April
I was absolutely lost for words when I saw this and reluctantly joined the RCIA towards the end of September. Nothing dramatic happened during the RCIA until I attended the Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS). At the LSS, I did not realize that a picture of the Divine Mercy was just about 12 feet away from where I was sitting.
In fact when my godpa, George, asked me to attend the LSS , my intention was just to attend the first day and give some form of excuse not to come for the second day. This was not to be, however.
On the first day, all I heard from the speakers was a barrage of criticisms on the other religions and inside me, I was fuming mad since I truly believed that Christianity (in the Catholic form at least) was all about love and tolerance. Moreover, it did not really amplify the goodness of Jesus. And as I was steaming inside, a very loud and commanding voice spoke to me as follows: “WHAT ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT?” When I heard this, I continued to complain about having to hear what I really did not want to hear from the speakers and having to wake up so early in the morning to attend the LSS. It was then that a second message came along as follows: “WHY ARE YOU STILL COMPLAINING?” I then realized that this message came from Jesus. And as I was about to speak again, a third message came: “DON’T YOU KNOW I SAVED YOU?” When I heard this, a gush of guilt suddenly came down hard on me and I started to cry. Out of deep remorse, I asked the Lord to let me go and to let me die. I repeatedly asked Him why He came to save me and that I was not worthy enough to be given another chance. I asked the Lord to save the other 200 people in the room; those who deserved more help and healing from Him.
After a while, I heard another message (but this time, in a softer and compassionate voice): “I chose you and I love you!” When I heard this, a strange language came out from my mouth which was also all twisted. I felt very uncomfortable as I had (for only the second time in my life) again lost control of my body. I began to say to myself, “shut up, shut up, you are making a fool of yourself.” As I said this, and with tears streaming down my eyes, my voice became even louder and what was most embarrassing was the fact that the other participants were reasonably quiet. I was not speaking English then. It sounded like Arabic although I could not be certain what language it was. However, I recalled that I was thanking and praising Him continuously when a white light descended upon me. My arms were then forcefully stretched out and I felt a very strong electric sensation all over my body from head to toe. I then collapsed on the floor with a loud thud.
It was during then that I heard the Lord telling me the following:
NOW YOU KNOW THAT I AM THE HOLY ONE;
NOW YOU KNOW THAT I AM THE ONLY ONE;
NOW YOU KNOW THAT I AM THE IMMORTAL ONE;
NOW YOU KNOW YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING WITHOUT ME.
I did not know how long I slept on the floor for. However, one thing I knew for sure was that many participants who stood near to me when all this happened decided to relocate themselves further away after the tea break. Needless to say, I came back to the LSS on the second day.
From then on, my life completely changed. It was the first time when I had to eat my own words, humble myself and finally declare, hands down, that Jesus is truly the Living God and that I will always put my trust in Him. My wife, children and I were finally baptized as a family in April 2001. All praise, honour and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.