ALIVE COMMUNITY CHURCH 30TH ANNIVERSARY
"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved," Ephesians 2:4-5
ACC30 and beyond....
I first visited Alive Community Church in Oriental Plaza in 2005 at Paul’s invitation. I was awed by the friendliness of several church members. They always made me feel welcomed. Church for me was a refuge from the conflicts at home.
I continued visiting church also to learn more about Christianity and the Bible. I wanted to be like my uncle who was knowledgeable. Paul was my mentor in church for many years and is still my close friend today.
I was sceptical about the reality of God’s love at first. But the bible studies and sermons changed my views. Jesus also reached out to me and I started to study his word and pray.
Love was not a familiar concept as I hardly experienced it at home. It took me a few years to accept love and show love to my close ones. This would not have been possible if Jesus had not reached out to me in love.
Furthermore, the concept of God’s love would not have been so relatable without the warmth of my good friends at ACC. I am also thankful that Jesus has blessed me with a caring wife, Jerena. He has also blessed me with a beautiful daughter, Riley. We hope to nurture her in His love.
I have been part of the ACC family since 2014, together with my husband, Paul and my children, Ryan and Gracelyn.
I was diagnosed with a rare cancer when Ryan was just 5 months old. I had an aggressive tumour growing on my right collarbone and it was apparently caused by pregnancy hormones going haywire. I am one of the few people you can truly say “you’re one in a million” to because that was how rare my cancer was. I went through a 10 hour surgery to remove the 9cm by 4cm tumour, along with my right collarbone, pectoral major chest muscle, parts of my 1st to 3rd ribs, some veins and blood vessels. Unfortunately, I had to go through a month of intensive radiotherapy and it caused even more damage to my body. Basically my right chest wall is empty except for a cement mesh that’s holding it together. My strength and mobility were compromised – I couldn’t even do daily tasks without feeling pain – tasks as simple as brushing my teeth, tying my hair and even putting on clothes.
They were dark dark times but I am certain it was God who pulled me through. Even before I received Christ, He was there. Even before I came to church, some of you were already praying for me. The ‘I’ in ‘ALIVE’ stands for “Interceding fervently” and I think that is the most beautiful thing about ACC. I am thankful for the prayer warriors who prayed for me even though they didn’t know me and I am grateful for my sister and Jeremy who sowed the seeds and saved my family.
During one Impartation retreat in KL, I was very touched by the sermon and decided to respond to the altar call, something I was always hesitant about as I thought someone else who was more ill needed Cui the healing more than me. Pastor Suarez encouraged us to step forward and receive our healing and I really did. I was full of faith and determined to receive my miracle. As Pastor Suarez, pastor Bobby and brother Dyron prayed for me, I felt my right arm getting warmer and it started shaking uncontrollably. I was still caught in the moment when the worship team started singing “I lift my hands” and that was exactly what I did, I lifted my right arm like never before and worshipped God.
My husband, Paul stood next to me and witnessed the miracle healing in awe. He told me God must be real and finally accepted Christ and got baptized. My son decided to get baptized a year after too. But God did not stop there, he gave us an even bigger gift, a second child, the child my oncologists said we shouldn’t have. I was strongly discouraged to have another baby because the tumour is aggravated by pregnancy hormones. Even without pregnancy, the rate of recurrence was already 30-70%, so the doctors were worried that the tumour will return with another pregnancy.
Paul and I struggled with this cruel fact for many years until we both accepted Christ and for the first time, felt peace and courage to try for a baby. We were praying and fasting separately but both received the same message from God – that I have been healed and I should not look back in fear. So after 7 years, we took a leap of faith and we had Gracelyn. Truly by the Grace of God, my cancer did not return. My body is free of cancer and even my doctors were amazed. My God is bigger than any diagnosis or prognosis and we praise Him for His power and faithfulness.
My walk with God was not just about healing and miracles. In October 2017, my father passed away suddenly – he had flu but the virus attacked his heart and we lost him overnight. I didn’t get to say goodbye and he had not received Christ. I was devastated, I thought God didn’t answer my prayer this time and He didn’t give me another miracle which I thought He would.
A Buddhist funeral was held, something we couldn’t reconcile with. I prayed to God to take my father to Heaven. I believed that he had a seed of faith in his heart, because when he witnessed my miracle healing and the birth of his precious granddaughter, he said to me “your Jesus is so good”. When I was sharing my eulogy, the hall next door suddenly started playing the song “Still”. The lyrics were ”When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will Soar with You above the storm, father You are king over the flood, I will be still know You are God.” I interpreted it as God telling me to be still, that He is in control and my dad is in Heaven with Him
Today, I would also like to remember sister Hwee Choo who went home to be with the Lord in June 2018. Hwee Choo and I were colleagues and we shared a special bond because we both fought cancer. One day, God but a burden in my heart to check on her and she told me it was so timely because she just found out that her cancer had relapsed. I shared with her about God and she replied that “God had it all planned.” Indeed, He did.
Hwee Choo came to ACC with her family on the 4th of March for the first time. I remember during altar call, I was concerned that she may be overwhelmed. I whispered to her that it was alright if she did not wish to go in front, but she looked at me with conviction and said she wanted to – and off she went. She was so hungry for God and as I witnessed her faith growing stronger every day, it inspired me in many ways too. She got herself a study bible quickly, she meditated on God’s words and started attending bible study with Pastor too.
I remember the last Sunday service she attended before she was admitted into hospital – she looked frail, I teared as I watched her try to keep her balance during praise and worship. I actually asked her to sit down if she felt weak, but she just reassured me with a smile and said she wanted to stand and worship God. Hwee Choo asked to be baptized in the hospital – and even though she could barely sit up, she was singing and praising God to the very end.
I was very depressed when Hwee Choo passed away. I felt that I had let her down because I brought her to church telling her that God would heal her with so much conviction. But someone shared with me that maybe her healing came in a different form, for God’s ways are higher than ours.
Then during one service, I looked down at the row of people standing in front of me – the whole row was filled with Hwee Choo’s family members, her husband Reagan, their two boys, her brother and wife, her sister and her 4 kids, her brother in law, wife and son. That moment, it finally struck me – THAT was the healing God had intended for, that was His plan for her family’s salvation – a result of Hwee Choo’s faith in God.
I would like to share a bible verse that Hwee Choo really liked from Mark chapter 5 verse 36 – “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”
Happy 30th anniversary ACC. May we always believe in the good work God has called us to do and continue making everyone alive in Christ.
Technically, I joined ACC twice. The first being in 2008 and the second in 2015. God has made me a better person. He really used the church, and the people inside it to reshape my life, and rehabilitate me. This place is home. That was why, after years of backsliding and eventually exiting the church, I made the decision in 2015 to come back here.
One memorable experience I’d like to share was when I finally got the gift of tongues. It hadn’t been an easy gift to receive- in fact, it had taken many, many years of a difficult spiritual journey, after my return in 2015, before I finally spoke in tongues. That was when I knew that I was giving my life back to God. ACC is the reason why I’ve managed to turn my life back around, and become a better human being in general.
As written in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.” ACC is the place that became my home because it’s where I truly and finally believed in Him, learnt to let myself go, and let God.
Writing this from Sydney now makes me feel all the more homesick. You guys are the family I always look forward to seeing when I’m back. Stay healthy, and I miss everyone.
I visited Jesus Youth Fellowship (JYF) when I was 17 in my first year at junior college. We met in a house at Jalan Naga Sari near National JC. I thought it was so odd (and cool at the same time) that the fellowship was just a gathering of students with no adult or pastoral supervision. I was a one-year old Christian then. I was feeling lost after having left secondary school, and I had prayed that God would bring me to a church to belong. I was saying silly things like: “If they sang songs I liked or knew, I would stay!” I wasn’t sure if I liked or knew all the songs but everyone worshipped God with all their hearts singing at the top of their voices that day (including Paul Teo) and the vibrant worship spoke to me. I knew I was at the right place. I continued to attend JYF because the amazing worship was matched by awe-inspiring bible studies. This was a group of people as hungry as I was to learn God’s word and to know Him. We were there every Saturday debating and discussing the bible gathering in such an atmosphere of faith! I vividly recall the prayer sessions that were so passionate. It was out of this world; Hoe Wansin prayed with such vigor it looked like she was going to burst a blood vessel. Even as a gathering of students and young adults, we shared visions, words of prophecy and prayed for healing. Coming from a more conservative background, I was so wowed by the supernatural move of God in our midst.
JYF, which has been renamed ACC, has come a long way since then. I am immensely grateful to the Lord who led me to this church. I have walked through some trying times in during young adulthood, and I am thankful for my pastor and friends who continually supported me.
God has been so faithful! I’m now a mother of two boys and I’m still in the race to cross the finishing line. The visions and dreams received then contributed to my foundation.
Remember, redeeming our days, living out our lives to serve the Lord and loving Him with all of our hearts is what counts for eternity.
About three and a half years ago, I was having depression. My boss and friend, Raula, introduced me to Yen. She is a prayer warrior. I remember I cried so hard when Yen prayed for me. I gradually received my healing. I’m not averse to being prayed for now.
Raula continued to invite me yearly to the ACC Family & Friends’ Appreciation Night. I made many more friends at these events. The support I received from my new friends is so helpful during this season as I just went through a divorce.
I’m thankful that Jesus never gives up on me. In my dreams, He shows me a light. My son, Javier, also started attending children’s ministry in a church on Saturday and enjoys the worship and teaching of God’s word. I’m enjoying kid’s church with him too.
This year, God provided a way for me and my son to rent a whole apartment. I was then able to attend Wai Keong’s bible study on Sunday. I read about how Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and was convicted to obey and follow Him.
I was water baptized one Sunday in May and Javier witnessed it. After my baptism, the load on my shoulder lifted. God also began to open doors and heal broken relationships – things I had given up hope on. I got reunited with my mum and my brother when I thought I would never see them again after having being deserted by them. I truly believe God has a plan for all of us. I learn to completely open up myself to Jesus and trust Him in everything I do.