The End Of The Road For My Specific Mission ?

I was given a very specific mission by our Lord some 17 years ago to share a message of the coming economic flood.  At every juncture,  it was so amazing to experience our Lord’s timely guidance and encouragement, and opening of doors.   I have witnessed the fulfillment of 3 visions.  Thanks be to God for strengthening me through the fulfillment of these 3 visions in 2001, 2008 and 2015 against incredible odds to keep me going against cynicism at best and outright hostility at worst.  (Thanks be to God also for fellow comrade pastors and ministry workers in Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar for believing in me and following up on my proposed preparation.)

Firstly I did not have any network to call upon and He had opened doors beyond my wildest imagination to share in numerous pastoral conferences across the Asian region.  Secondly,  I was tasked to write a book on this subject and amazingly, He opened the door for the book to be published by Charisma Media 5 years ago.  Thirdly, I was further tasked to galvanize church pastors and ministry workers to learn about agricultural enterprise in order to prepare to weather the impending crisis.   And then He laid the path for me to be involved with teachable pastors in the region to start such enterprise, and they are more than pleased to share the same with other pastors in their countries.

In September last year,  I sought the Lord whether I should continue to warn or to start preparing for myself and my household.  I have gone without any meaningful income for the past 17 years and have depended on the Lord for His given wisdom and provision.  I was given 2 words – “hermitic life” – and that my Phnom Penh trip in February 2020 would be the last for this specific mission.  I shared in some chat groups in jest that I would be living a hermitic life from then.  I could not understand the message as the economic flood did not seem to me to be on the horizon any time soon, though I have shared often that the next crisis will be on or before September 2022.  (http://www.jcmanifesto.org/when-will-the-global-financial-system-finally-collapse/)

(I prayed, if God so willed, that I would make the last 2 trips to Japan and India to warn the Christendom there in early January and March respectively.  Both did not materialize even though I did make it to Japan in January.  In hindsight,  it is really astonishing for me to experience the Holy Spirit God’s specific guidance.)

If the economic flood is finally here,  then it is end of the road for my given specific mission.   And now in lockdown,  it does seem to be a hermitic life for me for some time.

Scripture has prophesized that in the last days,  many professing believers will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.  2 Tim 3:1-5. And we are exhorted to avoid all such people.  Even with the impending unprecedented economic flood,  I really find many impenitent people in Christendom here.  And I will truly be living a hermitic life if I really avoid all such people as they are in the majority.   After the pandemic and economic crisis,  I believe a great part of Christendom will become even more apostate.  The birth pains will intensify.  I will await eagerly our Lord’s return but meanwhile I am sure I will continue to see the Holy Spirit God’s hand in guiding me once again into the near future, possibly to share the gospel to un-reached peoples who are poor in spirit.  Hallelujah !  Bless His holy name !

Enjoying God

Acts 14:17 NLT.

But He (God) never left them without evidence of Himself and His goodness.  For instance, He sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.

I have shared selectively in this blog the journey mercies of God for my ministry trips and testimonies of His goodness with incredibly slim odds of occurrence only to show that our good Lord never leave us without evidence of Himself and His goodness.

We can and should enjoy Him daily in our communion with Him, whether in His daily kindness, or in times of deliverance, journey mercies, chaotic times, pain and suffering. We should enjoy God in every circumstance.

I enjoy His daily kindness.  He caused the nearby stall-holders to be generous towards me.  He caused the fish and meat suppliers to go out of the way to deliver my weekly consumption without any transport charge.  He caused the car workshop owner to be honest to repair only the small defective parts without changing and charging me for the whole module or system.  And he often waived the labor charge. He caused the car park attendant to allow me the alternate use of season parking for two vehicles while paying only for one. He gave me regularly free cruises for my rest and recreation and bonding with my elderly folks. He sent brothers and sisters to bless my ministry projects financially so that I wouldn’t be burdened much. And He gave me great food and a joyful heart always.

I enjoyed Him even in times when everything went wrong.  When I communed with Him,  it was really wonderful that He gave me His peace to weather the disappointment or anxiety regardless whether there was a happy ending. Once I was rushing everywhere before heading for the airport, and I misplaced my office keys.  Then I remembered leaving the keys in the toilet outside my office.  I prayed that nobody would take the keys after four hours which was quite unlikely.  There were people living illegally in the building.  By the grace of God, I recovered the keys.  When I reached the airport, I was told my visa was invalid, yet I made the flight.  And when I checked into the hotel room, my luggage left outside the room for a split second disappeared.  I recovered the contents of the bag intact in the escape staircase except that the bag was cut open at the side. I was able to claim insurance for the damaged bag.

(Luke 7:12-13…behold a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow…And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her,”Do not weep.”)

We can also take comfort and enjoy our Lord’s presence in every pain for He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  In every account I read in the gospels, He was full of compassion.  He wept and empathized with the suffering.  And He is the same compassionate Lord today.  How often I had pain and suffering and I thanked the Lord for His comforting presence and healing.  How kind is the Lord to me even in pain for His grace is sufficient for me.  Not only His presence gives me comfort, but He makes me know for sure the Hope in Him is real and coming.

God is indeed sovereign over our lives.  Both blessings and trials work together for good for those who love God.  Bless His holy name !

Journey Mercies (V)

My wife and I worshiped in a denominational church from 2001 to 2007.  We once planned a free-and-easy 4 day holiday in Ho Chi Minh City.   When some members of this denominational church came to know of our travel plan,  they wanted to join us as well.  In the end, I had to book a land package tour for 22 persons.  As the tour would start on a Sunday, the church lay leader was upset enough to curse us that God would judge us for skipping Sunday service.  We did attend the Sunday morning worship service before going to the airport.  I had booked a bus to ferry all of us from the church to the airport after the service.  I cast all my anxieties to God that morning  – the unease of bringing so many elderly folk and the unexpected curse – and also prayed for journey mercies.

On that very Sunday morning,  an elderly lady joining us for the tour received news of her brother-n-law’s death and she decided not to fly with us.  2 days later,  she had a heart attack.   If she had joined us and had the heart attack in Ho Chi Minh City,  it would prove the curse of the lay leader to be true and the entire blame would be upon me.   Given the incredibly slim odds of this incident, I knew God had delivered me yet again.

When we reached the airport, my eldest son was denied travel as his passport had validity of less than 6 months.  Again I prayed for God’s journey mercy.   After much negotiation and promising the airline staff that if my son was to be denied entry into Ho Chi Minh City,  I would return with him.  The customs officer over at Ho Chi Minh City smiled at my young son and allowed us to clear and enter.  Hallelujah !

All thanks and glory be to God our Father and Jesus our Lord for His journey mercy.

Journey Mercies (IV)

Having lived all my life in a cosmopolitan city,  I must confess that I cannot handle the rigors of life of the very poor living in harsh condition when I visit and minister to them. I often prayed and confessed my weakness, and asked for God’s protection against possible illness due to poor sanitation, food hygiene and virus or bacterial infection.  As not to embarrass the hosting village, I would try to take some of the food being served but with much fear in my heart.

Once I went to a slum in Bogor, Indonesia, with a missionary partner to give the children stationery and exercise books for the new school semester. Later the locals would serve us lunch.  I watched how they washed the rice at a canal in which they would do their laundry, bathing and even excretion.

When the trail from Yunnan province to Kachin state, Myanmar, opened a few years ago, I visited the Lisu tribe living in the border villages.  I worried much about the sanitation, food hygiene and the “exotic” meat they would serve.  I was delighted to be served a fish for both lunch and dinner.  Later I learned that a villager had caught this fish in the morning and offered to the church.  They had this custom to offer to any visiting missionary whatever they caught.  But I realized that I was the second missionary to visit since 1989. Reflecting on the incredible odds of catching a relatively large fish in a river with hardly any fish, being the second missionary to come in 27 years and the timely catch, I gave thanks to God knowing that He had answered my prayer and provided.  All glory to God in the highest !

Journey Mercies (III)

In late July 2018,  I received news from my ministry partners in Olongapo, Philippines that their city was flooded without much warning and a state of calamity was declared for the whole week.  I was preparing to fly there in 4 days’ time and the weather was forecasted to continue to have rain for the rest of the week.  On the day I arrived,  the waters had subsided and sunshine returned after weeks of absence.  When I checked into the hotel,  I was told by the security guard that the water level was about 3 feet flooding the ground floor of the hotel and he showed me the water mark on the wall.   All thanks to our Lord for His journey mercy.  The rain had stopped, and on the day I flew back after 4 to 5 days’ stay,  the rain returned.

In August 2018,  when I flew into Phnom Penh, the provinces surrounding Phnom Penh were terribly flooded as shown in the pictures that I took from the air.  The rain had stopped when I arrived.

One day in October 2018 when I was supposed to fly back to Singapore in the late afternoon,  I decided to visit an exhibition at the opening time of 10 am and then rushed back to check out the hotel by noon.   I stayed in Kowloon and the exhibition was on Hong Kong Island.  Never did I expect the highly efficient Hong Kong MTR train system to break down.  I knew that I would not only be late to check out of hotel but also late to catch the airport bus to the airport.  I did not buy travel insurance at all.  I prayed and asked the Lord for help to allay my anxiety.  Even on normal days, the human traffic during peak hours is terribly heavy and with the massive break-down,  it was chaotic.  Thanks be to our Lord when things seemed so impossible, it was possible with Him.  I managed to get home eventually that day.

In April 2019,  I sponsored several ministry partners to come for a conference held at Alfa Omega Ministries, Batam, to share of their experience in agricultural enterprise. And we also visited the farm managed by Alfa Omega Ministries in another island.  It was pouring cats and dogs the day we took the ferry to this island.  There was no shelter walkway from the ferry terminal to the ferry docked at the quay some 150 meters away.  I had no change of new set of clothes so I was anxious not to get drenched.  In my anxiety, I prayed for the rain to stop.  But we were told to dash for the ferry as it was about to depart.  I decided to run last with the faint hope that God would still answer my prayer.  Strangely as I ran,  the rain subsided very quickly.   When I got into the ferry,  my ministry partners were surprised that I was not drenched like them.  Despite my lack of faith, God was faithful to answer my prayer.  All thanks and glory to Him !

Flooding in Olongapo

Flooding in areas neighboring Phnom Penh

Flooding in areas neighboring Phnom Penh

Journey Mercies (II)

After my mother-in-law passed away in 2001,  I decided to bring my father-in-law to church with us and we searched for a church with a Hakka dialect congregation.  We settled down in one particular church.

We had good bonding with the elderly folk in the church.  One day, when we informed them that we would be going for a short 4 day holiday to Ho Chi Minh City from Sunday to Wednesday.  We were surprised that 20 of them would like to join us.  I ended up planning a tour package for all of us.  The church leaders were upset that some 22 of us would be absent from attending the Sunday worship service.  I told them I could hire a bus to bring us to the airport from church on that day.  But the lay leader was still unhappy and warned that God would punish us.  I prayed against such curse.  On that very Sunday before we left for the airport,  one elderly lady received news that her brother-in-law had passed away and she could not join us to Ho Chi Minh City after all.  2 days later, she suffered a heart attack.  Had she joined us, the lay leader would pounce on such bad news to justify that God had indeed punished us.

Another such incident happened recently.  I was supposed to leave on a ministry trip on a Friday to a third world country together with a brother.  Just 2 days before departure,  he suffered a mild stroke.  Had he joined us, good medical care might not be available there.   Thanks be to God for all such journey mercies.  Hallelujah !

Following The Footsteps Of Saint Paul

The turning point of my life occurred on the eleventh of September, 2001 when God gave me an encounter which I often related it as a “Damascus” encounter.  Though it was not similar as the direct encounter St Paul had with our Lord Jesus,  it was the direct intervention of our Lord in our lives which I found so similar  – an intervention which otherwise we could never leave our old worldly way of life.  I recounted this encounter in my book, The Coming Economic Flood, and my faith journey from 2003 till recent years.  In these 16 years since 2003 through God’s divine guidance, I planted or nurtured a few small churches, spent an inordinate amount of time strengthening the disciples in several countries, wrote and shared widely against false teaching and galvanizing the churches in the region to prepare for the coming hard times to be self sustaining as well as being able to help the poor in the churches.

When God first called me, I had no idea of the training and missions He would give and lead me.  In hindsight and with pleasant surprise, I found much similarity with the ministry of St Paul :

  • Evangelizing and planting churches (Acts 14:21)
  • Strengthening the disciples (Acts 14:22; 15:41; 18:22-23)
  • Overseeing the churches against false teachers (Acts 20:30-31)
  • Helping the poor in the churches (Gal 2:9-10, 1 Cor 16:1-3, 2 Cor 8:13-14; 9:12-14)

During these past 16 years and 10 years prior, I learned to live in lack and in plenty just like St Paul as well. Similarly seeking no financial assistance from churches like St Paul, my own hands supply my needs. Acts 20:34.  Saint Paul did not go right away into ministry after his encounter with the Lord.  He spent some time in Arabia.  Gal 1:17-18.  Many scholars believe he was having a personal retreat to understand the significance of His encounter and calling.  Likewise from 2003 to 2007, I spent day and night reading up the Bible and books on essential doctrines before I went on my first missionary trip to China. Though I encountered much danger in the missions, weaknesses, insults, and even calamities,  God delivered me without much suffering, unlike St Paul who was given 39 lashes 5 times, encountered shipwreck 3 times, and faced hunger, thirst, cold, exposure, and sleepless nights.

Hope in the coming Millennium and beyond is so real to me, by the grace of God, that I am so eager to invest in the treasure above while I count everything here as rubbish to the surpassing worth of knowing our Lord.  On that glorious day, we will be vindicated for turning our back to the world in this life and always looking forward to the city built by God.

St Paul was right to say that if there is no coming Resurrection,  then our faith is in vain and we should just eat, drink and merry.  But if Hope is real and coming, our Lord’s exhortation to be the wise virgin, the faithful servant of investing for the gain of the Kingdom of God, or the sheep in caring for God’s people cannot be taken lightly but should be resolutely obeyed.

Testimony (20)

I usually do not pray to God and ask for help concerning trivial things or inconveniences I face, though I am well aware that God encourages us to bring all our anxieties to Him.

That is because I often share that we should not come to a relationship with our Lord for all the wrong reasons.  And our spirituality should not be reduced to just finding a parking lot.

3 weeks ago,  I misplaced my sunglasses in a hawker centre after coffee fellowship with a brother.  I went back the next day to find out whether the stall-holders and the cleaners would have noticed it and kept it for safekeeping.  The cleaning supervisor said she saw it but did not keep it.

Feeling vexed in my spirit, I prayed quietly for God’s help in recovering this pair of sunglasses.  For it took me much pain to find this suitable pair of sunglasses that finally fit my slightly large head and this particular design is no longer in production.

I made an online police report for the misappropriation of property.  And surprisingly, the case was assigned an investigating officer (IO) the following week and he took the trouble to bring the report to my office for my signature.

Hallelujah !  Bless the Lord !  It took the IO just one week to find my sunglasses. Too grateful to him to return it to my office, I went down to his office instead.  It was excellent police work. The police had gone out of the way above reasonable community service just to help me to find a pair of sunglasses.

All thanks and glory to our Lord Jesus !

Testimony (19)

My son and I traveled to Indianapolis via New York on 13 November 2018.  It was snowing that day when we arrived and we missed the connecting flight.  We arrived into Indianapolis late by a couple of hours.

When we returned from Indianapolis to New York Manhattan on 15 November, we were caught in a sudden snowstorm across the whole of the Northeast of America.   We were stranded in transit at Detroit Airport.  Most of the connecting flights were cancelled.  The snowstorm was unexpected in November and was the worst in 136 years with some 6.5 inches of snow fall.

I knew the incredibly slim odds of ever making back to New York from Detroit.  Let me try to explain the odds.

What is the probability of winning the first prize of the four digit lottery ?   It is one chance in 10,000.   For each digit, the chance of a particular number is 10.  So for 4 digits,  it will be 10 times 10 times 10 times 10 and that equal to 10,000.

I have to face 4 to 5 situation and clear all hurdles altogether in order to make it back to New York.  And you can imagine the incredibly slim odds far more slimmer than winning the 4D lottery.

  1. I managed to get into the plane ready to take off but twice I was de-planed as Newark airport refused to allow incoming flights.  Finally my flight was cancelled and also many other connecting flights.  What was the chance of me getting onto the last flight in the evening ?   What was the chance of even re-booking on flights the day after and subsequent days ?  The capacity of most domestic planes is only 80 persons at most and I have noticed the load for each flight was around 90%.
  2. It was the worst snowstorm in 136 years. The taxi ways were so jammed because not only planes departing were required to de-ice and so there were many other vehicles on the taxi ways, but also they were full of snow and impassable unless they were removed.  What was the chance that New York airport would re-open for the very last flight ?
  3. After prayer, I decided to go on standby for the last flight in the evening. We were 5 and 6 in the queue.  And the boarding was not closed till 5 minutes before departure time.  What was the chance of us getting on board ?   Even when we got on board,  would the flight be cancelled while waiting for clearance from Newark Airport ?   Would the flight flying half way be diverted to another airport should the snowstorm get worse before landing ?
  4. The ground mass transportation systems were shut down. Only taxis were operating and most roads were impassable because of the snowfall.  It was unexpected total chaos.  What was the chance that I could get ground transportation to take me to my hotel ?
  5. Since we boarded the plane in the last minute, what was the chance that our luggage would follow ?   My son suffered from severe eczema and it would be a disaster for him without his medicine and creams.

It became clear to me that the odds of clearing all the above hurdles was way much much slimmer than winning the first prize of the 4D lottery.

I pleaded for God’s deliverance.  I have never been more helpless in such situation before.  God answered my prayer for every hurdle on the way.

  1.  We managed to get on board the last flight even though we were no 5 and 6 in the standby queue.  We were the last passengers to make it on board the plane.  I could feel the helplessness of some 20 people on standby who did not make it on board, as they were quarreling at the gate over the queue.
  2.  We arrived safely but we should not expect our luggage to follow for the plane departed from the gate as soon as we got on board.  We were so surprised to see our luggage at the Newark Airport.  The luggage came in on an earlier flight in the morning.  That was against aviation regulation as far as I know.  Anyway we were so thankful for this “mistake”.
  3. When we called for transportation, we were told we would not have any driver till 8 or 9 am the next day.  To our amazement, I received an SMS informing me that our transport would be picking us up in 4 minutes !

How grateful I was for God’s deliverance !   We managed to get to our warm hotel just 2 hours after midnight.

Immediately upon our return on 20 November 2018,  the temperatures in Northeast America hit Siberian temperatures.  We would be ill prepared for such temperatures as we never expect such cold temperatures in November.

Our God is sovereign and He cares !    All thanks and glory to Him forever !

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-22/coldest-thanksgiving-100-years-northeast-braces-siberia-temperatures

 

My First Praise CD Album

At times during my appointment with God our Father, I thought I would break out praising Him in tongues but instead, I broke out singing praises in new melodies.   As I have no formal music training,  I thanked God for His gift of downloading the melodies in my mind.  It is another testimony of God’s finger on my faith journey.  One of the most exciting moments for me was when I sang the whole Psalms 23 in English Standard Version without missing any word.

I give thanks to God for availing a brother in the Philippines to arrange and produce my first praise CD album with a limited budget to whom I owed a huge debt.

The title of the songs are :

  1.  God is so good to me.
  2. The Lord is my Shepherd.   (Psalms 23).
  3. Blessed be His Holy Name.   (Psalms 34:1-3).
  4. Clap your hands, all you peoples.  (Psalms 47:1-2,6).
  5. 我们的主,我们的神 (Rev 4:11).
  6. 为耶路撒冷来求平安.   (Psalms 122:6,9).

All thanks and glory to God our Father and Jesus our Lord.

(I chose this group picture for the CD album cover because our joy is genuine and our hearts were full of gratitude for God’s amazing grace.  We gathered that day in the farm to celebrate His goodness.)