His dilemma could have ended either way
By Ang Swee Meng as told to Tek & Goldie Chong
‘’I enjoyed going to church because the people there were friendly and welcoming, so for seven years Mr & Mrs Lee came to my house to take me to church. I was a regular church-goer but I had no intention of becoming a christian. I would never give up my loyalty to the Goddess of Mercy who has blessed me so much,” recalled 84-year old Mr Ang Swee Meng
We were sitting around the breakfast table in our chalet at the Kingsway Methodist Church camp in Orchard Glory Farm sharing testimonies and stories. The usually quiet Mr Ang told us his remarkable story.
“When we were living in Singapore, one morning as I was taking my daughter to school, on the way we walked past a showground where many activities were being held to celebrate the Chinese Seventh Month Religious Festival. Amidst all the colourful decorations, I was struck by an exquisitely carved statue of Kwan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy on the platform.
The image, exuding charm and serenity in her flowing white robe, was displayed in a beautifully decorated glass case. It was to be auctioned by the end of the week-long festival. I desired very much to have that statue so my wife and I attended the auction. When the bidding started, the prices very quickly went past the limit of my budget. I could only afford to spend $200 but the statue was sold to someone bidding $800. Disappointed, I was about to leave when the auctioneer announced that the successful bidder had re-donated the statue for auction again. The prices mounted up again but to my surprise it stopped at $190. I tentatively put up two fingers to indicate $200 and immediately the auctioneer noticed me and shouted for further bids. But none came. So in a most surprising turnaround I joyfully took possession of this goddess.
I took it to the temple to be blessed and when I brought it back home after seven days I ordered a wooden altar table for her to stand on. I prayed to her for Lotto numbers and to my delight I won $500, enough and more to pay for the statue, the altar and other expenses.
Our flat was built on a former graveyard. One night in my dream I saw Kwan Yin come into my room with a swat to sweep off all the dark sinister creatures out of my window, cleansing my room. I was grateful for her blessings and protection for my family.’’
When Mr Ang migrated to Perth he left the goddess in his house which was taken over by his younger daughter. But the goddess’ influence followed him to his new home.
Suffering from breathlessness one day, a cardiologist inserted a stent to open a blood vessel. He recounted, ‘’In my post operation management I was given a blood thinning medication. I did not realize that this caused me to bleed in my stomach. After three days, in the middle of the night I collapsed in the toilet. My eldest daughter who slept upstairs, somehow came downstairs on that cold winter night and was shocked to discover me lying on the floor. Rushed to the hospital my life was saved after a transfusion of four pints of blood.’’
Ang smiled slyly, “Although I continued to go to church, I stubbornly refused to become a christian, reasoning how can I give up Kwan Yin when she has been so good to me. My christian friends continued to take me to church and must have continued to pray for me. My wife became a christian and they knew God would get me one day.
‘’My wife signed up to attend the church’s baptism class. I didn’t want to but the teacher Mrs Elizabeth Chiew the pastor’s wife urged me to just sit in and listen. So I did and sat in two lessons. In the class there was an Indonesian gentleman who asked, ‘’there are so many people who have not heard of Jesus, what will happen to them?’’
Mrs Chiew replied, ‘’When the time comes Jesus will have the discretion to deal with them fairly but for those who know about Jesus and don’t believe him, they will be judged severely.’’ Her words scared me because I have heard about Jesus all these years and yet I didn’t believe. During that week for three consecutive nights I was sleepless and developed a high fever. Then on Saturday night, tossing and turning in my bed, in my distress, somehow an old hymn that I had heard long ago came flooding into my mind. I remembered my high school classmate had taken me to church where I heard christian songs…
Trust in the Lord and don’t despair,
He is a friend so true.
No matter what your troubles are,
Jesus will see you through.
Will Jesus will see me through….?
There ensued a terrific struggle in my mind. Should I accept Jesus? Should I remain loyal to Kwan Yin? The fierce tug-of war continued…. Kwan yin or Jesus Christ ?
Then another song from years ago came into my mind. I recalled the words…
… ‘’Into my heart, into my heart.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
Come in today, come in to stay.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.’’
There and then I decided to do what the song said. I invited Jesus into my heart. Instantly my body relaxed and a great sense of peace came over me. My fever subsided. My fear left.
For the first time I felt the assurance of God’s presence.
I became calm and I was not afraid anymore
“The next day was Sunday. In the third and last baptism class Mrs Chiew asked if there were any questions or comments from the students. Nobody said anything. In the ensuing silence I was again in a dilemma. Should I tell them about what happened last night? If I didn’t, nobody would know and I could still back out. But if I did, it would be a public confession and there would be no turning back.
‘’Overcoming my quandary I gingerly lifted one finger. Mrs Chiew immediately noticed me, smiled and asked, ‘’Mr Ang, what do you want to say?’’
Starting to tear, I confessed, ‘Last night I accepted the Lord as my Saviour.’ Then my tears came in torrents as I related what happened the night before. With this public confession on Easter Day, 20 April, 2003 I was baptized.’’
After we heard Ang’s amazing testimony we pointed out that the reason why it took him so long to surrender and receive Jesus Christ as his Saviour was because Kwan Yin who had him in her grip prevented him from transferring his loyalty from her to Jesus by enticing him with her ‘blessings’. A battle in the spiritual realm was being fought for his soul between the enemy and his christian friends who persistently cared and prayed for him. Because of their perseverance Mr Ang now belongs not to Kwan Yin but to Jesus Christ.