Kenny Gan – Shining for Jesus

Kenny Gan Eng Huat, was called home to be with the Lord on the 17th of November 2012.  We here at Bangsar Gospel Centre have had the privilege of enjoying his fellowship and blessed many times by his teaching ministry and by his life testimony.

Brothers Jeffrey Tan and Kim Seng went down to Singapore to attend Kenny’s funeral and Wake Service.  They carried with them a message of condolences from our church to Kenny’s wife and daughter, Bee Lee and Debbie, for their loss.

However, we also gave thanks and praise to God for Kenny’s amazing life that was such a “great blessing to  countless people from all across the world”.

Kenny had a very friendly and universal face which made people find him very approachable and easy to relate to even though they often are confused about his nationality or his origins.  For example, he has been thought to have been a Thai, a Spaniard, a Malay, a Mexican, a Filipino, an Eskimo and an American Red Indian.

In fact, Kenny was born in 1954 to a Chinese family in Singapore who was of Taoist/Buddhist descent.  His father was abusive, a drunkard and a member of the criminal Triads.  His mother was a gambler. He grew up in the company of drug pushers and got into drugs and alcohol himself from an early age. He started smoking at 5 and took to drugs at 13; progressing from marijuana to heroin use.   His life was out of control.  The drugs was making his life a mess and making him feel lonely but he found solace in going deeper into drugs. He would end up being arrested and imprisoned in Thailand.

But God had a plan and purpose for Kenny and he would become a great testimony of God’s love and grace.  Kenny started a new life when he gave his life to the Lord through the Hiding Placeministry in Singapore in 1977.

He started with serving full-time with a Christian halfway house two months after conversion.  He then joined  Operation Mobilisation (OM) in 1979 and served there for over 30 years of which 17 years was spent on the M.V. Doulos in various capacity (advance preparation personnel, conference coordinator, evangelism coordinator, conference speaker, ministry and training, etc).

Kenny has been married for 27 years to Bee Lee (whom he met on the Doulos in 1979) and have a daughter, Deborah, who is now 25 years old and married to Jacob Choi.

Since 1996, served as Assistant to the Director, Partnership Development Manager, as Area Representative of OM East Asia & the Pacific and main conference & seminar speaker and also responsible for special leadership training & mentoring.

Kenny discovered he had late stage cancer in 2009 but continued to serve as an itinerant speaker for OM.  He continued to travel around the world in God’s service impressing people with how he handled his illness without complaint and with steadfast faith in God.  His last sermon was in Manila, Philippines just the weekend before.

God graciously enabled Kenny to attend his daughter’s wedding in June this year.

Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”   Kenny has truly  ‘fought the good fight and finished the race.”  Now he is enjoying his rest in God which is so richly deserved.

 

View Kenny give his testimony in the following 3 videos.

Praise Song : You Alone

 

 

Last Sunday during our Worship Service, our brother Simon shared a song and gave a testimony.  The song that he shared was “You Alone” by Don Harris.  The lyrics for the song is given below.

You are the peace that guards my heart
My help in times of need
You are the hope that leads me on
And brings me to my knees
For there I find you waiting and there I find relief
So with all my heart I’ll worship
And unto you I’ll sing

For you alone deserve all glory
For you alone deserve all praise
Father we worship and adore you
Father we long to see your face
For you alone deserve all glory
For you alone deserve all praise
Father we love you and we worship you this day

Simon shared that he and his wife had just returned from a much needed short holiday, only to face an emergency with the water supply at their place of employment.  Although it was already about 4 in the evening, he and his wife would struggle to solve the problem until late into the night because they needed to have the problem solved before the working day started the next day.  However, despite their best efforts they could not solve the problem.

Simon remained anxious but could do no more.  He and his wife committed everything to God in prayer and rested in their trust in Him.  Simon testifies that God directed him in his sleep and he went in early the next morning and found the source of the problem and was able to resolve the problem within fifteen minutes and before the working day began.

God indeed is our help in times of need and able to give us a peace that is beyond understanding.

Three Went Through the Waters

We ended the month of September with a baptismal service on the 30th which saw  two brothers and a sister publicly proclaim Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord of their lives by going through the waters of baptism.

We now warmly welcome our brothers, Daniel Hong Aan Lee, Kenny Teh and our sister, Ivy Chong Wan Chuin into God’s family and into the fellowship at Bangsar Gospel Centre.  Our prayer is that they may walk close to the Lord and grow spiritually, exercising their gifts for the building of the Body of Christ, the church, and for the blessing of those around them.

Below is Brother Daniel’s testimony which he shared at the baptismal service;

Good evening Brothers & Sisters-In-Christ, I’m indeed so glad and excited to share my personal testimony with each and everyone of you on this very special night. Before knowing Christ, I always feel that there’s no one I could talk to; not even my closest friends & parents could I trust to share my thoughts and my sadness with. I know that they being human beings, won’t be able to know and understand my problems & intentions like how our God does. For as human beings, we are all guilty of making flawed judgements and each of us have our own mental blocks & misguided interpretations, which makes it difficult for people like me at the time, to find a satisfying answer or to find someone who hears my pleas & sadness without having an opinion to judge my feelings.

After I knew Christ and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Saviour, I felt a warmth in my heart (a joy like no other), a feeling of ease and then I knew, that there is someone who truly understands me. One who is on call 24/7 and ready to hear me when I need Him. One who won’t judge me for the sins of my past, present & future, for He has already taken it all upon Himself when He died on the cross. To be reconciled with God is a gift like no other, something which no other human being can give. And knowing that God has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell inside me is assurance enough that I have nothing to fear because if God is for us, who can be against us?

I stand before you now Brothers & Sisters-In-Christ to joyfully proclaim that I am a Christian – a child of the Most High God and member of this wonderful household, where each of us are Brothers & Sisters and Christ is the Head of this household. All praise be given to Jesus Christ, our Lord, forever and ever. Amen.

Bedside Report

Sister Chew Peng got onto a bike,
She had wanted to go for a ride,
But when she tried to stop,
She swerved into a flower pot,
The pot was fine but she had a bad fall,
But God’s hand was on her through it all.

One of the things that will stand out for many of us from our recent church camp at Bagan Lalang was our sister Chew Peng unsuccessful attempt at riding a bicycle.  She had a bad fall and her condition was a cause of great concern; especially the weakness on one side, slurred speech and unresponsiveness.  Church members reacted  quickly to send her to hospital while other brothers and sisters gathered in small groups to pray for God’s  grace and protection for Chew Peng.   While they were still praying for her, her condition improved substantially and most of the worrying symptoms began to disappear about 15 minutes into her journey to the hospital to the great relief of those accompanying her.  We must acknowledge that God in His goodness and love had His protective and healing hand over Chew Peng and we have to praise Him and  thank Him for this miracle.

Since then, many have been to visit her both at hospital and later at home.  The doctors were surprised that her injuries while not minor, have not turned out to be as severe as they had initially feared and certainly they found nothing that would explain Chew Peng’s earlier condition.  Anyway, Chew Peng has been told to lie flat as much as possible, wear a medical equivalent of a corset for back support and daily physiotherapy which they cheerfully call “gym”.   So how is our patient?  Recovering well but bored, bored and bored!  Despite being told not to worry about the church newsletter, Chew Peng still managed to push people for articles and contributions (with Chui Thean’s help) and personally typed up the newsletter within that first week of “lying flat”.

Here is her own account and reflection of the Big Bagan Lalang Bike Blunder written from her bedside ;

WHAT IS GOD TELLING ME? I texted Yoke Kuan when she asked how I was after my fall from the bicycle Day 2 at camp. Since then, I’ve had loads of time to reflect on this. The thought of falling must have passed my mind when I decided against taking my phone with me to rent bicycles from Hotel Seri Malaysia with Mei Ling and Esther (I didn’t want to drop my phone!). I changed into my shorts, put RM10 in my pocket, relishing the thought of cycling to the beach and stopping by for a cuppa.

My cycling comeback saw a rude and undignified end after a 2 minute practice run in front of the hotel when I used my legs to stop my cycling, then remembered braking should be done using the hand pedals by which time I had swerved into the big flower pot and landed on my back.

I recall lying on the tarmac, unable to get up after hearing/feeling something on my back. I didn’t realise how pucat I had turned, how immobile I was, how my left hand had weakened and how profusely I was sweating, according to Siew Choo, Mei Ling and the others who had come to my rescue. They decided I should be admitted and, like magic, Sung Wah and his Esteema, appeared and I, like royalty on my rattan throne, was carried into my carriage for that long ride to Serdang Hospital.

Never did I think I was not going back to camp – wouldn’t I be treated, bandaged and be able to rejoin camp?

How was I to know I had fractured my Lumbar 3, bruised my left kidney and possibly suffered a stroke (although the brain scans showed no signs)? How could a short cycling spree cause so much damage? An ex-colleague, however, reminded me we’re no spring chickens. I told Min Fook not to challenge the over 50s to get out of our comfort zones!

I’m still kind of dazed. God had the humor to let me dream a few nights later of a cycling trip where I was on a tandem bike, except that the 2 bikes were side by side, not one behind the other. Some way down the slope, the 2 bikes separated and I, on the smaller bike, went downhill but landed safe and sound! Maybe that was God’s way of reassuring me it’s ok, He’ll keep me safe.

So, what has God been telling me? – Kam Weng had said in Jeremiah 1:8 that God will rescue (yes, there will be trouble but He will rescue). And He did!  God is showing me the depth and width of His love through the glorious body of believers. I’m spoilt for all the care and attention I’m getting – from BGC, my friends, neighbors, family and yes, even strangers.

I’m more sympathetic of my mum’s condition. Now I know what it is like to be immobile, not to want to drink too much water to save the hassle of going to the toilet, worry when the bowels don’t move, worry about the nausea that comes when I’ve been lying flat in bed too long… I’m reminded of Jesus who became man so that He could identify with and understand our human frailties.

I’ve always found it challenging to sing the song “And I thank you Lord for the trials that come my way” and “God is good all the time”. I think it’s gotten just a wee bit easier as I think of the love He’s showing and the assurance that He is God – our sovereign, loving God who knows and is in control of all.

But I won’t be cycling no more. So, Mei Ling, you go look for younger folks, ok?

Tony and Ashley Low’s Testimony

Last Sunday, after the worship service, there was a special meeting at the church during which Tony and Ashley Low shared their testimonies and those of us who were there were truly blessed and encouraged to declare that “our God is an Awesome God” (which ties in so nicely with our last post).

Tony and Ashley both come from well known families in Malaysia.  Tony obtained his MBA in England and went on to be involved in property development, manufacturing and hotel business.   Ashley studied civil engineering in England and then went on to do her MBA and has a career in banking.  Together, they have a 14 year old son.

However, about 14 years ago, Tony was diagnosed with stage four or final stage cancer.  Both were from Taoist backgrounds and Ashley’s mother especially encouraged them to seek the help of a famous Taoist medium from Penang.

Ashley spoke of how they tried everything that the medium told them to do which ranged from drinking the ashes of burnt magical writings, to drinking scorpion fortified wines and when the cancer still persisted recommended the ultimate treatment ………to get struck by lightning!  They were so desperate they tried it all!

However, the cancer got so bad and Tony was in so much pain, they finally went back to western medicine.  But by then the cancer was so advanced and had spread so far through the body that most of the doctors just told him that he had about 3 months to live and that he should go home to wait his fate.

However, one doctor was willing to attack the cancer aggressively with chemotherapy and thus started a twelve year journey consisting of a cycle of weakening chemotherapy, joy of remission and followed by the despair of discovering the cancer had returned.  During this time, Tony and Ashley went deeper into Buddhism, making many visits to India.

Ashley shared of her spiritual journey during this time but finally she came to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour and started to attend St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Kuala Lumpur.  Her fellow believers then began to support both Ashley and Tony in their prayers.

The fourth time that the cancer came back it had returned with a vengence in the form of a tumour the size of an avocado in the right frontal lobe of Tony’s brain.  The doctors decided that an operation was necessary to remove the tumour even though the chance of dying during surgery was very high.

This really looked like the end of the road and Tony was trying to ready himself for death in accordance to his Buddhist beliefs.  When Ashley’s pastor came to pray for him before the surgery, he chased the pastor away saying that he did not know this Christian god and would only believe if he could see and speak to God directly and not through a mere messenger.

The operation did not go well and Tony was in a coma.  After 4 days, Tony was being kept alive by a respirator machine and his kidney functions were failing.  Basically, his body was shutting down and doctors urged Ashley to give permission for them to take him off the life-support and let him die.

But Ashley received words of encouragement from God through a couple of verses in the Bible and decided not to give that permission.  Both her family and his thought that she was being unrealistic in carrying on.

Then to everyone’s surprise (except maybe Ashley’s), Tony came out of the coma on the 7th day and his body began functioning again.  Even more amazing, he had been given a vision of God during his coma and woke with a conviction that God had prolonged his life to testify about God to other people.

So Tony went into the operation as a Buddhist and after the coma, came out as a Christian!

The awesomeness continues.  Despite being surprised that Tony was still alive, the doctors then went on to tell them that during the operation, they had to remove about a quarter of Tony’s brain and he was going to be paralysed from the neck down.

Well, Tony is alive today, more than two years on, and is totally healed.  He has no paralysis.  God healed him completely of cancer too.  Tony is now taking a long break from business and has started studies in theology at Presbyterian Bible College in Melbourne. Enjoying the fruits of the spirit God has granted him.

What has happened to Tony has no medical explanation!  As a result, two of his doctors has since found faith in the Lord Jesus!  Praise be to God!

Despite the length of this post,  much has been left out about the amazing details of how God dealt with Tony and Ashley with such grace and love during their long journey with cancer and listening to their actual testimonies is still highly recommended.

A recording of their sharing was made and copies are being made on CDs.  If you would like to have a copy to listen to the testimonies or to share it with others, please leave a request in the comment section (to leave a comment, click on the white word balloon on the top right of this post).

Church Prayer (June 2012)

In accordance to our practice to have a combined prayer meeting on the last Wednesday of every month, there were no pastoral meetings this last week.  Instead 27 church members met together at the church to offer praise and thanksgiving to God and to pray.  It has been encouraging to see some new faces and numbers just below 30 for the last couple of prayer meetings.  This indicates that more are seeing the importance of meeting together for prayer.  However, we would love to see even more of the church to come to what is possibly one of the most important meetings of the church – where we pray and meet with God.

Our four elders led the service; Min Fook led us in worship singing songs of praise and thanksgiving including two songs in Bahasa Malaysia; Francis shared with us items of thanksgiving; Calvin Tan helped us focus on people, issues and items to bring to God in prayer and Tee Fatt gave the closing prayer.

We were encouraged through the reading of these two passages;

 
  
2 Chronicles 20: 15-17
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouragedbecause of this vast army. For the battle  is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
 
Psalm 29
Ascribe to the Lord,you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his  holiness.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glorythunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
 

The passage from 2 Chronicles 20 reminds us that it is God that wins the victory.  It is He who fights the battle.  We are to obey and be ready to take our positions as directed by Him and to stand firm in our faith and He will bring things to pass according to His will.  It will not be achieved because of our efforts, our talents or our abilities.  Instead, it is God that we can rely on.  At the same time, Psalm 29 reminds us how powerful is God and how powerful is His words.  He speaks and it is so.  Together, the verses encourage us to ask for God to perform miracles and to grant things which are beyond our mortal control.

Some items for Thanksgiving:-

  • Thanks for everyone’s prayer support; the meeting on Tuesday related to possible land for a new church building went very well and the discussions are progressing to the next level.  This is a great example of something that is beyond the scope of our abilities but God is the one who works things out beyond our expectations.
  • Children’s Corner is continuing to grow.  Give thanks also for the new security door which will greatly enhance the sense of safety and security for teachers, kids and parents.
  • Youth Fellowship continues to see new people coming and their numbers are being added to each week.

Some items for Prayer:-

  • The meeting focus was to pray for evangelical and mission work.
    • Various Chinese work.
    • Ruby and those in her fellowship group.
    • NTM training program.
  • NTM programs and financial support.
  • Stuart Briscoe, one of our camp speakers, has a hectic schedule involving sharing in churches in Penang, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur in about 6 days in November
  • Continue to pray for church building/land to be available.

The Legacy She Left Behind

What legacy will I leave behind?  What will my daughter, my husband (although he’s convinced he will go before me!), my siblings and my friends remember me by?

I’ve probably got, by the grace of God, some years to catch up but for sure it’ll be nothing remotely close to the legacy my headmistress, Miss Elena M Cooke has left behind.

We feared but did not hate her.  She had a look that pierced your conscience and a rebuke so sharp you’d think twice before fouling up again – but it was those same eyes and tongue that showed and spoke compassion.

She could smell out the defiant, the troubled and the poor and she opened her heart and home to them and, in turn, got them to open their hearts, mend and dare dream dreams.

She taught us to strive for excellence in the most mundane and lowly of chores (like cleaning the school toilets).  She sharpened our eyes to look out for and straighten lopsided pictures on walls.  Chairs have 4 legs and all 4 legs are to be on the ground. Litter belongs to litter bins.

She taught us pronunciation (I remember being corrected when I told her the “photo-GRAPHER had come”; she said “Girl, it’s pho-TOH –grapher”!).  She drummed into us the art of articulation (that’s why every BBGS girl will proudly tell you we were the BEST in choral-speaking!).

So many more lessons and values BBGS and Miss Cooke instilled in us.  Never mind that some labelled us as “squares”.  We learnt to stand our ground as “loyal women with our race”, as our school song says.

Most of all, she introduced Jesus Christ to the thousands of girls who had the privilege of studying under her.  This must be the richest inheritance our dear Miss Cooke left to generations of girls who walked the corridors of the Bukit Bintang Girls’ School.

by Kiang Chew Peng

NOTE: BBGS School Song & Interviews with Miss Elena Cooke taken from “BBGS GOLDEN HERITAGE”

Nicholas Liew: Experiencing the Power of Prayer

BY TIMOTHY LIEW & PIK CHIN

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7

Nic: “What? Me Worry?”

Imagine being told that you have a crooked spine and that surgery needs to be done to straighten it by placing screws in your vertebrae (backbone) and metal rods to hold them straight (these things remain in your body for the rest of your life).

Or, for a parent, worst still, imagine being told that your young son has to go through that! Well, that’s exactly what happened to us in August last year when we discovered Nic had a 50 degree curve in the thorax region of his spine.

And, at 5.45 pm on the 14th of May this year, Nic was wheeled into the operating theaters in University Hospital, after almost 9 months of trying physiotherapy, spinal correction exercises, chiropractic, genetic tests, X-rays, MRI’s and a whole load of other things – but to no avail – surgery was imminent (his spine had continued to deteriorate to 70 degrees during that time).

Four hours later, at 9.45 pm, he was wheeled out to the recovery room and slowly awoken from his induced slumber. The doctors tested his reflexes and proclaimed that he was OK and there was no damage to his spinal cord.

The surgeon was, however, a little disappointed and broke the news to us that Nic’s spine was stiffer than expected and they couldn’t correct his curve as much as they would have liked – he would probably still have a 50 degree curve.

The next day, the surgeon came by and got Nic out of bed and examined him before sending him to the radiographer for an X-ray – imagine, only 16 hours from the surgery and he could, with some difficulty, walk around.

More amazing still, the X-ray showed that the correction was better than the surgeon had expected – he had corrected his curve to 30 degrees! Better still, he has also gained 4cm in height.

Nic’s “Bionic” Enhancements! And by God’s Grace, Nic’s Spinal Curve Reduced from 70 to 30 Degrees.

By Thursday, less than 3 days after surgery, Nic was back home and able to shower, walk about, get on the computer, etc – he is discovering new areas of his body which can experience pain but it’s all bearable. Next Monday, he goes to see the surgeon to have his bandages removed and discuss plans for the future.

The one thing that stood out from all of this?

GOD’s peace which guarded our hearts – it was almost as if someone took away all worries and anxieties.

Why?

So many of you prayed with us every step of the way – before the surgery, during the surgery, after the surgery.

Thank you all.

ALL PRAISE AND GLORY TO OUR GOD.

Pik Chin & Tim