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....

Chng Lee Ming

Encountering God

The seeds were first planted when I met Sandra in India. I was working in India then and so was she. I followed her to attend a church service. I noticed Sandra was so different – so cheerful and I wondered what was her secret.

I relocated to Singapore a year later after I accepted a job in Singapore. I was not doing well at work at first; I was demoted from being nurse educator to senior staff nurse. 

I began to doubt my abilities. What have I achieved after so many years in healthcare service? I lost confident in every way possible – my clinical skills, knowledge and outlook.

What turned me around was when I went on a mission trip to Batam in 2016. God began to open my eyes to His provision and protection. 

I told myself I must go to church. I went and felt the touch of God for the first time. I cried so much as I felt I had been ignoring Him even though He was waiting for me to accept Him in my life. 

Even though I encountered God in church I went back to work doubting the next day. But God sent a patient to reach out to me. An old lady in room 4618 asked if I were a Christian. My answer was “maybe”. She prayed for me and gave a word of knowledge; she somehow knew I went through a lot and didn’t have an easy life. 

I met her again on the day she was discharged. She said she would like to pray for me and asked me to record what she said. She also told me to seek help from a pastor or a church friend. 

This was her prayer: “Dear daughter, I knew you since you were born. You thought you were alone in your childhood suffering and pain. But I was with you. Today you encountered Me. You wanted to give or do something for Me. But do not worry yourself with that. I just want you to talk to Me everyday as a child speaks to her father. I want you to know I will always love you.”

I was shocked she knew what I went through. Three things are known to me and God but not others:

  1. I don’t want to go to church to take. I want to give.
  2. My father had an affair. My mom was under stress. I was the Cinderella in my household even though I am the youngest in my family, the 4th child.
  3. I didn’t know how to pray and thought I had to pray to a divine being very far removed from us. I didn’t know I can talk to him like a child to her father. 

I was told it was a word of knowledge. God spoke to me through a person. I was assured at that point of God’s love. I want to be a child of God. 

Receiving the blessing of God

I decided to get water baptized after I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The decision was not easy as I was fearful that my future husband would reject me because I am a Christian. But I decided to trust God to provide me with a man after God’s heart. 

I became new. My career path also started to change. The team I was leading in the hospital won the first prize for an innovation project. It has never happened to me. My organisation started to recognize my contributions. I was put on a fast-track career path. 

My outlook has changed. I began to forgive my siblings, pray for them and ask God to bless them. Last year, I was promoted to Assistant Nurse Clinician. After six months, I was put in charge of a whole unit. I also won Singapore’s yearly Humanity Award 2020. 

This CNY, the doctors found fibroid growth in my uterus. I thank God it was at an early stage and could be removed. During the operation, I heard God’s voice voice comforting me. The operation was a success even though I had difficulty breathing. I was taken care of by great nurses. I realized the room that I stayed in was 4618, where God spoke to me through a lady. 

I thank God for my healing, not just physically but emotionally. I believe and trust that He will provide. In His timing, He will send me the Adam of my life.

Kevin Tay

“If they are willing to go so far, it must be something very real to them,” I thought when I saw my Christian section mates in BMT going beyond what was convenient to love people around them.

It was also around this time that I started attending ACC. Since then, God has sent people into my life and revealed himself to me in a personal and impactful way.

I grew up in a non-Christian family. Before coming to church, I led a relatively privileged,
smooth-sailing life and was happy. I never truly saw a need for God. But as school work and activities intensified, I became more stressed.

I envied some of my close Christian friends for they seemed to be at peace no matter what problems they faced.

One of them is Marcus. We were in the choir executive committee. Despite facing conflicts in the committee and stress from the choir master to perform to a high standard, he always had a positive attitude. I knew he was a devout Christian, so I thought: “Could this be because of his faith?”

Even though I was unsure I even believed in God, I found myself praying to Jesus whenever I was confronted by difficulties. I’m grateful my prayers were always answered. I was sure it was more than just a coincidence. I became curious about Christianity and attended ACC more regularly.

God continued to draw me close to Him throughout national service.

When I enlisted in January of 2016, I was in a section where 75% of the guys were Christian. They were probably the nicest, most devout people I have ever met. No matter how tired they were, the band of brothers took care of me and put my interest over their own.

Their devotion made an impression on me. They used every pocket of rest time they had to study and scribble notes in their Bible. If reveille was at 5.30am, they would be up by 5am to do devotion.

They would also fill up everyone’s water bottle. I thought they were crazy. But witnessing how much they pushed themselves for God and for others inspired me. How could they love me like a brother even though we barely knew each other? If they were willing to go so far, perhaps God really is real.

I started to ask more questions and my buddy gave me a Bible three weeks into our BMT. I started reading more of God’s word, and my faith grew stronger. I was touched by the story of the Gospel and how Jesus died on the cross for our sins.

In Isaiah 53:3-5, I read that “We despised Him and rejected him; He endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at Him —we ignored Him as if He were nothing. But He endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that His suffering was punishment sent by God. But because of our sins He was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment He suffered, made whole by the blows He received.”

How could anybody bring himself to suffer such a painful death for people who do not love Him at all? I thought. But Jesus loved us so much. He bore our sins on the cross and redeemed us once and for all. His ultimate act of love touched me deeply, and I felt a sense of release.

God continued to show His grace and mercy through my struggles. I’m thankful that I’m saved in the name of Jesus. Jesus has changed my life and perspectives. I’m excited to have Him alongside me on my life’s journey.

Chia Wen

A classmate brought me to ACC when I was 15-years-old. She was always joyful and it was infectious. I wanted the same joy and followed her to church to find the source of her joy.

ACC has provided me with support through its community of caring people. I remember that during my teenage years I was struggling with depression. But God has delivered me from depression. God has also put Godly leaders in my life. They invested time to counsel and pray for me. I am grateful to them.

Many of them have been serving faithfully for decades. They were great inspiration. Their service humbled me. When I was discouraged, someone would always pray over and speak encouraging words to me – like they knew what I was going through. God moves in mysterious ways.

Meicheng

I first visited ACC in the 1990s when it was a youth fellowship at Jalan Naga Sari. 

A bunch of youngsters believing in something divine intrigued me. But soon I became one of them. My first supernatural counter was receiving the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in new tongues. 

I literally grew up in ACC. God healed me of trauma from a troubled childhood. I was strengthened by His word and was delivered from my past by exercising forgiveness. 

For instance, I used to hate my dad for his violent temper and felt justified about it. But the scriptures taught me to forgive my dad just as Jesus had forgiven me. I’m not aware of any similar teachings. 

I have also been changed by God’s love. While I was yet a sinner, He died for me. I’m not aware of any God like Jesus. 

I’m thankful to have good friends supporting me throughout adulthood and during the times I was sick. God’s love is revealed through His community of caring people. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 are verses that I held onto throughout my journey, even in the darkest valleys:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

Amos

I came to know about ACC through a friend who is still in church today. Everyone received me with kindness and love. I was drawn by this and decided to come to church more often.

I’m very grateful that pastor is able to preach simple messages that are relatable. I learnt a lot. The leaders in ACC also made bible studies come alive.

ACC is like my second home. I’m thankful to have brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage and pray for me. I also found my lifelong partner in Christ, my wife, in church.

John

I started to visit ACC when I was in Primary 6. I was a Buddhist then. I couldn’t accept Christianity but I liked to attend church as the members were very hospitable.

When I was in Secondary 1 however things changed. I attended a Good News service in school and was moved by the sharing. I gave my life to Jesus.

I remembered the hospitality and care I was showered with at ACC. And so ACC became my first choice to learn more about Jesus.

God has been very good and consistent. He has never failed to send people to encourage me and help me through the “valley” moments in my life.

I think one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in ACC was at the recent youth camp. I felt that God was distant. I didn’t really think that I could keep up with the whole “being Christian” thing – until I had an encounter with God on the second night while praying. I slowly picked myself up and drew closer to God, with the support of many adult leaders from ACC.

Raula

I came to this church in early 2013. I wasn’t baptized yet. All along I had believed in one true God. But it was only after coming to ACC that I realised His name is Jesus.

Initially, I only participated in the worship and the sermon. I did not talk to anybody. But two sisters in church kept looking out for me and prayed with me. They made me feel welcomed.

Looking back, I’m grateful they did what they did. I slowly opened up.

All these years, God has shown Himself sovereign and real in my life. When I was down, He sent different people to minister to me. I’ve learnt to rely more on Him and to pray regularly. I’ve realised that growing in my faith requires more than being a “Sunday Christian”.

I appreciate the togetherness in a small church such as ACC. I’m also thankful for the many willing laborers in His Kingdom and the wonderful people in my cell group. They supported me in my walk with God and surrounded me with prayers.

Faith

Deuteronomy 7:9

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

I came to ACC when I was 14. Now you have to switch the numbers around. God’s faithfulness has always been evident in my life all these years.

God was with me during my O-levels and A-levels and throughout university. There were times I did well and times I didn’t.

But God has always made a way when I seek His direction. To the school going folks amongst us: your grades don’t define you. Your identity is in Christ!

God opened the door to my first job. Today, I’m still in the same job and I’m doing well. There were times when things didn’t look so good. However, God has always provided for me financially above and beyond my needs. It is impossible to outgive God.

I didn’t find the love of my life here in ACC but he must have prayed hard and found me here. Together we have a son although the doctors said it would be difficult to have a child.

If you have received an unfavourable diagnosis from the doctors, trust that God is able to turn that around. I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. Today, I’m cancer free.

During my treatment journey, God blessed me with great doctors. I’m not the only cancer survivor in my family. God has also healed my mum and uncle of cancer.

A word for those praying for your family’s salvation: Don’t give up knocking on heaven’s door. My journey started with just my sister and I. Today, more than 20 of my family members are here worshipping with me every week.

Thank you ACC for always providing the environment for me to enter into the presence of God every week. Thank you for the opportunity to grow my faith and my understanding of the word of God. Thank you for creating a safe and nurturing environment for my family.

May our lives be a testament of God’s faithfulness so we can be the salt and light we are called to be. To God be the Glory!

Kelvin

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.

Meiru

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.


Suraj

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.

Joyce

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.

Mavis

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.

Contribute your reflection, lessons learnt & testimonies from your time at ACC to form the ACC Narrative project.