Katherine Wong

I went to a Christian school and used to attend church services with my mother secretly as my father opposed to Christianity. Mom was greatly persecuted for her faith but she persisted in going to church despite violent objections from Dad. It was very traumatic for me during those times and I did not have a happy childhood. Subsequently, when I was 13 years old, my parents were divorced and I lived with my grandmother and three siblings. Through this time of separation from my mother, I stopped attending church.  Before Mom passed away from cancer when I was 22 years old, she pleaded with me to go back to church and I remember agreeing to do so.

However, after Mom passed away, I drifted away and had no direction in my life. I chose to drown my sorrows in the pleasures of the world, partying and enjoying myself aimlessly. After leaving school, I worked and relied on my own strength to climb up the corporate ladder. I was doing very well in my job.  I did not feel the need to have God in my life. Along the way, I met Christian colleagues who tried to share with me about how wonderful it is to be a Christian, but I was skeptical and critical as I thought that Christians should behave a certain way. I had no desire to return to church and turned my back to Christianity, continuing in my own way.

In 2005, I joined an English bank and my employment there was marked by many setbacks and disappointments over and over again. The three years I spent there were the darkest days of my life. Nothing seemed to work for me. I had to handle the toughest cases, team leaders, bankers and even my colleagues. I worked more than twelve hours daily and even during the weekends in order to complete my work. I had to deal with tight schedules, heavy workloads and many deadlines. As such, I tried to take control of everything in my life. I believed I was capable enough to do it all on my own. There were times when I was desperate, lonely and in despair. Often, I cried about the problems I faced. Deep in my heart, I knew that there was a God. However,  having depended on myself for so long, I did not see a need to pray or talk to someone I could not see or hear. I planned, organised and orchestrated my way around.

At the beginning of every year, I would buy many Feng Shui books to read about my Chinese horoscope and I would follow it monthly. I even went to Feng Shui shops to buy charms to ward off my unlucky spell. Not only did I buy them for myself, I even bought them for my entire family. I also altered my Chinese name for better luck. I was also very interested in astrology and what it held for me. God did not exist during those three years. I was a quick-tempered person. I will blow off my top if something small irritated me.

My job was full of struggles and I never felt happy. I tried cheering myself up by buying things that I liked but those happiness never lasted for more than 2 days. In fact, there were many times where I broke down and cried to myself and soon, my health was compromised. There was no one I could speak to or share my sorrows with. Everyone  working in the bank was full of themselves and in desperation, I cried out to God. My prayers were usually uttered during times when I had needs. Quite often, I prayed for strength and wisdom to see me through important work projects and meetings. However, when those prayers were not answered, I stopped praying.

In March 2008, I was approached by an executive search company. At that time, I did not take it seriously and was not keen to pursue it because of my tight and crazy schedule. However, after much persuasion by my husband, I decided to give it a shot. All the five interviews went smoothly and successfully and the offer letter was signed in September, just 1 week before the collapse of the Lehman Brothers, which was a crucial episode in the financial industry!

When I started working in my new and now current job, the first 6 months was a struggle for me too. I did not realise that I had a very difficult colleague I had to work with. Those months were a nightmare for me! I thought I was jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

One day, one of my colleagues invited me for lunch and she asked me why I joined their bank. I did not have the answer to her question. I got to know more and more Christian colleagues and was invited to attend the internal Christian fellowship.  During that time, I was very encouraged by another of my colleagues, who is now my cell leader. She encouraged and prayed for me when I faced difficulties in my work. I was looking for a church to attend and she shared with me and asked me to consider her church, FCBC. Ever since I started going to FCBC from July 2009, the Holy Spirit has never failed to touch me each and every time. I have never left the church without teary eyes. I enjoy the sermons and soon, I brought my husband and my son along too.

We have been attending services regularly and have also been in a cell group since then. Our cell group has grown larger and now we have two cell groups, one group under the care and guidance of Jeffrey and Karen Heng while the other group under the care of Sunny and Liz Lee. They are not only wonderful leaders but God-fearing children.

Accepting Jesus into my life again has been the most important and right decision I had ever made. In the past, I used to depend on my own strength and ability to overcome any difficulties or challenges and it was always a struggle and a mess. Now, I turn to Jesus for everything, knowing that He loves me and He will never abandon nor forsake me.

In my job, I enjoy blessings from the Lord. I was able to handle difficult people around me with God’s strength and I received favour from the bankers who chose me from among the three other product specialists in my division. I was also able to excel in my job and through that, gained recognition from my bosses and colleagues. Praise God for this.

Before making my decision to be baptised, I was afraid to take that step forward because I felt that I was not completely ready and I would never be fully ready. I have been standing at the edge of the water, dipping my toes in for the longest time, never daring enough to take that plunge. I finally decided that it was time to make a stand for God and publicly declare my faith because I have experienced Him in such a powerful way over the last three years. Since knowing Him, I have traded my tears for His showers of blessings. I have also traded discouragement for encouragement through the many people he has sent my way.  I am where I am today because of His provision and His faithfulness in my life.

God’s assurance for me is from Joshua 1:5, which says, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you”.

Most importantly, I know I will never be alone no matter what I have to face – whether it is difficult people, difficult situations or challenging work. I have experienced God being there for me in every situation.

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