Journey Mercies (VI)

Some years ago, when I was driving home in the wee hours of one morning, I got a prompting from the Spirit God to stop at the traffic lights even though the traffic light was already flashing green for some time and there was hardly any vehicular traffic at that time. I obeyed and stopped. A truck sped past the red light on my right. I would have been hit if I had not stopped.

About ten days ago, I thanked the Lord yet again that I slowed down my car at a particular stretch along a main road upon His prompting. All these years in using this main road, I felt that there was no necessity to slow down my car to watch out for cars coming out of the small lanes. That was basic highway code. One reckless car driver sped out of a small lane and crossed the main road into the opposite small lane in a split second before me. I was sure that the driver did not even look left and right before doing such a car stunt. Such reckless driving is only seen in movies. I was again thinking of the odds for such an occurrence.

All thanks to the Lord for His protection.

Testimony (24)

In testimony (16), I shared that my youngest son’s eczema condition was largely contained and confined to the knees and elbows.  In October 2020, his eczema condition worsened and 80 to 90% of his body was inflamed.  Parts of his fingers and sole of his feet were oozing.

At the same time, I had contact dermatitis for the very first time all of a sudden after wearing the mask for some 6 months.  It started with 3 inflamed spots on my chin and then the inflammation spread rapidly down my neck to my chest, and also my arms and legs as well.  My chin and my neck were also oozing with fluid.  Medical consultation at the polyclinic did not help much and we booked appointment for specialist consultation.

Meanwhile, we prayed for God’s healing hand to be upon us.  We prayed for wisdom to know the pathway of healing.  We went ahead to change our beds and made our rooms less cluttered. And by the first few days after applying topical cream, healing started rapidly.  We have largely contained the inflammation since and our skin have more or less resolved, though not completely for very mild inflammation still flared up in some small area of our bodies. Any severe eczema sufferer will fully appreciate such recovery. We are grateful for God’s grace in this crisis.  Hallelujah !   Praise His holy name !

Testimony (23)

Ever since I received the first vision from the Lord and decided to give up my career to seek the meaning of the vision in 2003, I only kept a small passive business so that I could continue to have an office to embark on my new evangelistic ministry, JC’s Manifesto. 

By the grace and provision from the Lord, I could have a small passive income to pay for the office rental and telecommunication, transport and utilities bills for the past 18 years.  Finally I have to give up the office on 30 June 2021.  (Earlier, I was about to give up the office in Sep 2017 but I got acquainted with a brother who helped to share the office expenses by moving in to share the office. Due to the current pandemic which encourage working from home, it is prudent for him to cut such expense.)

For the past few years,  I was trying to dispose of the chemicals, laboratory equipment and cleaning equipment left over the years but to no avail. It would be very costly to get professional companies to dispose of them and yet hardly any company was interested.  I prayed for God’s help as I only had three months’ notice to move out.  One month before handing over the office, one brother and two companies came to take all three things respectively. It was just too slim a coincidental chance for such an occurrence and I thanked the Lord for answering my prayer.  Hallelujah !

I have much to thank the Lord.  Not only I did not have any stress from giving up the office over the last 3 months’ termination notice after I prayed for His blessing of peace and joy, I had another pleasant gift from the Lord. A brother offered me a room in his office for me to continue the ministry.

Testimony (22)

One of the main missions that God had given me was to galvanize the churches in the region to prepare for the coming hard economic times.  As such, though I was appointed as the missionary pastor of Alfa Omega Ministries, Indonesia, I was unable to preach regularly on Sunday in Batam.

Only in 2015 was I able to commit for a year to preach at some 4 services on one weekend each month.   I would arrive in Batam on Saturday afternoon in time to preach at the evening youth service.  The next day, I would attend the service in the main congregation in Baloi Centre, Batam at about 7 am before leaving at about 9.30am to preach at an affiliated congregation in Batu Haji, Batam.  After lunch, I would take the fast boat service to Tanjong Uban to preach there at 2 pm.  After which, I would catch the last ferry at 5 pm to head back to Batam for the evening service at another congregation near the jetty.

On one particular Sunday,  while waiting for the last boat service at 5 pm at the ferry terminal cafe,  I was assured that the custom officers or the boat operator would announce or call for us when the boat was about to depart.   But the last service went off without us.  I prayed for a miraculous option, despite the terrible slim odds, to take us back to Batam in time for the evening service. Without any particular reason, the last boat turned back for us fifteen minutes later.  I was still loitering around the jetty thinking of options and praying.  Had I just left immediately to look for a hotel to stay overnight in Tanjong Uban, I would miss the boat returning for us.   What a relief and heartfelt gratitude to our Lord for an answered prayer.  Hallelujah !   Praise the Lord !

Testimony (21)

On the day I was about to bring my two younger children to Gold Coast Australia in November 2016,  I went to my office to clear some paperwork first in the afternoon.   I left my office keys in the public toilet on a careless moment after leaving the office.  By the time I remembered the incident, it was already 3 hours past and I rushed back to the office.  I prayed along the way and by the grace of God, the keys were still in the same place.  If not, I would have to spend time replacing the keys which would be so tedious and time consuming and I might not have the time to do so as we were catching the flight later in the evening. I prayed for a calm spirit, given the vexed situation, and a safe and hassle free trip as well.

At the check in counter at the airport, I was informed that my Australian passport visa was not valid. And thanks be to God, it could be processed immediately at another counter to my relief.

We checked into the hotel immediately upon arriving at Gold Coast in the morning. We went straight up to the hotel room on the 17th floor after collecting the keys. While I was bringing in two pieces of luggage into the room and turning around to pick up the third just outside the room, it was gone.  Someone had stolen it so fast.  I rushed straight down to the lobby to inform the hotel security.  Unfortunately the hotel did not have CCTV security.  I informed all the counter staff and guests at the lobby to look out for my black luggage bag before I went back up to the 17th floor.  This was to prevent the thief from using the escape staircase to sneak out of the lobby.  Then I went down the escape staircase from the 17th floor.  After going down 2 flight of stairs, I saw my black luggage.  It was slit open at the side but I lost nothing.

Though there was nothing valuable in the luggage It contained my son’s special eczema creams and many sets of clothing to last the trip which he would need to change frequently.  If the bag was not recovered, it would greatly inconvenience us for the whole holiday trip.

I was really grateful that God had answered my prayer yet again in spite of so many inconveniences and possibly not making the holiday as well.  All thanks and glory to His name.

My “Cornelius” Encounter

In the early days of my missionary foray into the neighboring countries,  I was led by the Spirit of God to a place which was hostile to our faith.  Just as I had a “Damascus” moment like St Paul,  I had this “Cornelius” encounter like St Peter also.

A local missionary, who eventually acted as my translator, informed me that there was this patriarch who was very keen to know the meaning of the parable of the sower.  I jumped at the chance and went to his home.  His family was already seated down waiting for my arrival.  Given the hostility towards the gospel in this place,  the incident convinced me that God would draw these people who sought Him to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus, despite the definite persecution if their eventual new faith come to light in their community.

This was my first mission to share the gospel in this nation.  Subsequently I went to a few villages to share the gospel with his friends.  In one particular village, one religious leader warned me about “stirring the water and making it muddy”.    I understood his warning.  Later, he believed in Christ and because of his intellect, he was able to share the gospel effectively in these villages.  And soon,  there was 105 baptized members in the fellowship led by these patriarchs of their families.   I took upon myself to teach these leaders regularly in the city near their villages.  All thanks and praise to the Lord for this phase of training in my faith journey.

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. (See my Whatsapp message to one chat group in November 2019 below.)  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 !