K C Wong
Testimony given during Sunday Service, Oct. 12, 2013, at Hope Center.
Good morning to everyone. My name is K C Wong. I was born in Malaysia and came to the U.S. in late 1997.
Before I became a Christian, my life was a mess…
1. I was given away when I was born (I have buried the feeling of abandonment deep inside me for as long as I can remember).
2. I have a gambling problem that resulted in bankruptcy in my country. I betted on sports and lottery games in New York for many years.
3. Two years ago, I lost my loved one to cancer whom I lived together with for more than 10 years.
4. I lost hope and felt that there was no way out.
5. I began drinking to forget the pain.
My life changed almost instantaneously the moment I consented and accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. Spiritually, I felt liberated and found so much peace in my life.
Here is my story:
I would like to begin with Psalm 139:16. It says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
My story brings me back to my birth to my parents who were now with 2 girls and 3 boys, in the outskirts of the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
I didn’t know I was adopted by my mum who is the younger sister of my birth mum. I often wondered, “Did my parents feel joy or heart wrenching and excruciating pain when I was born? Was there any pain of letting me go? What goes on in their minds…how do they feel?”
In my growing years I came to the knowledge of my true origin.
Ah God, how I kept in me the feelings that enveloped my heart.
We were a family of ancestral worship and the goddess of mercy. (“Filial piety” the Confucius…way). I learned the stories of Moses and the Ten Commandments and medieval world’s of past in movies ever since my kindergarten years in a Christian church. Somehow I was attracted to history of the world…The ancient medieval times…Story of Ben Hur…King Arthur …Greek warriors…A form of fantasy or escape.
As a kid, when dinner was ready, my mom would call me to get my dad from the nearby mahjong and coffee shop. But I would stay and watch the games till they ended. I quickly became a gambling veteran at a tender age of eight.
As I was growing up, I learned and yearned for the excitement of gambling in mahjong and card games. I did not know then that it had developed into a form of release for me.
After high school, I felt that I should go into the working field so that I could repay my adopted parents’ kindness and the hard work they go through to feed and clothe us.
But oh Lord! What an unwise decision.
I worked in a few places and took part-time classes in preparation for other professional courses.
But by my mid twenties, my life changed profoundly and I plunged into a world of money, power and vice…
In those days, the construction and development business was booming and I was introduced to what money can achieve…
Drinking and reveling til the early hours of the mornings became a norm..
I conformed to the man’s worldly pursuits of “happiness.” Ah Lord, how low I fell..
Then the economy fell and I thank God I could further my studies in London for a communications and marketing diploma. For two years, I worked, studied and graduated. I found work in a food chain of bar and restaurant. But here again, I began to indulge in the casino and handled my finances unwisely for another two years.
In the year of 1990-91, war broke out between Iran and Iraq, which also caused a downturn in business in the UK. So I packed up, left London, and went back to Malaysia. There I started working for an advertising firm but then eventually, I branched out on my own.
The first few years, I was humble and did well when money came in. Then economy turned bad again in the late 90s. Oh Lord, I found myself trying to seek money in other ways in stocks and shares and gambling.
What a foolish notion and i paid dearly for it.
The debt keep rising, I tried to cope with housing loans, car loans and living expenses..until I could not hold on…Knowing that I may have to go into bankruptcy, I fled my country in a daze and came to New York.
Ah God …you blessed me again with a way out..but I did not know then that I abandoned my parents and my families for many years henceforth …
Ahhhh! How i never learned.
The temptations of gambling again crept into my life ..now in the form of lotteries and sports betting.
For many years I did not have a companion until I met Jennifer in my former work place. We started dating and soon moved in together. But soon we started indulging in sports betting and mahjong games more frequently.
After living together for many years without a sense of direction and good foundation, things started to fall apart almost like a domino ..
We gave excuses to not get legally married …I fell and broke my ankle in the snow storm, unable to work for 6 months with Jennifer taking care of my household needs …but then in the following year, she was diagnosed with colon cancer ….Oh God, why not punish me instead?
She came out of surgery and was doing OK …until Oct 2012… on a least expected Sunday when I arrived home and found her in the bathroom in a coma. During the short time I was in the hospital awaiting her departure, so many of her friends came to console me and pay tribute. I was deeply moved. She was much loved in her work place. A minister came by and prayed for her soul.What a contradiction!
She was thus taken away…her sisters came and following her father’s wishes we sought monks to help her get cremated and fly her ashes to be placed near her parents home. Rest in peace …my love.
I’m not sure I understand or even care how it all went but in those moments I only have sadness and tears. A sense of lost. I plunge myself into self pity…guilt and unforgiving .angry…drinking myself to sleep to ease the pain and trying to oppress it further …
I allow the accuser *Satan to dictate and accused me of dishonesty, not filial to my parents, not grateful, all my fault, being hateful, being a lost cause ….I accepted what the Satan said and acted like what he said I was…
Ah God why ?
I listened to a beautiful song titled Jesus take the wheel. (By Carrie Underwood)
And I cried out for help. Lord ….Who am I? What am I? Why? Where am I? How am I to move forward?
I started developing a routine of showering in the early mornings and having conversations with our Lord. I would ask God to please give me strength, health and wisdom…to someday take me home and reunite me with my families without shame and without feeling like the black sheep of the family.
Then I remember that a colleague, a believer, gave me a Holy Bible many years ago and shared with me the glory of our Heavenly Father .
I read …
If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wandered away, will he not leave the ninety nine on the hills and go look for the one that wandered off ?And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about the one sheep than about the ninety nine that did not wander off.
Such comfort those verses gave me…Oh such a caring God.
Soon I opened up to having daily conversation with God …I felt less painful in my daily existence .
Also during that time, whenever I did laundry, the owner (who is a believer) would talk to me and encourage me many times but I always rejected the Lord. One day, she even offered to introduce me to a nice girl. My heart yearned for it but my fear was greater…I told her I wasn’t ready.
But a year passed and Michelle (the owner of the laundromat) tried again.
That was how Esther came into my life. Esther practically dragged me to church and introduced me to her little group of believers where soon I opened up all my sins in our daily chats.
One Tuesday evening, she introduced me to a pastor after the sermon and asked for his help.We prayed.
He asked, “Are you a sinner? Are you a gambler?”
I replied, “Yes!!”
“Would you be willing and consent for our Lord and savior to come into your heart, body, and soul ?”
I said, “Yes!!”
From that day on til now, my yearning to seek or bet on hope of winning money was gone! I felt a big rock *a heavy burden* being lifted up from inside me. Hallelujah!
With Esther, we promise to open up on our relationship on all of our past so that we could move forward and not be haunted by our past.
Spiritually I found freedom ,I found peace I never felt before …The grace of Christ…freed me from all the worldly things ..and daily renewed me in my mind and soul. I started to read the bible and listen to sermons and started to feel healing coming into me ..releasing me from the burden, the load of guilt, betrayal ,abandonment, the feeling of depression and hopelessness …
On the 25th day of May this year, I was baptized as a Christian.
And soon I began the duty of being a responsible Christian, offering tithes to our church, and signing on for leadership conference and seminary classes. It opened up a whole new world for me …
I found my wonderful old self, the innocence, and the peace and joy of my families again. Since then I have asked forgiveness from my parents and siblings.
The beauty, the faithfulness, the love and the power of our Lord placed before me Helpers*friends …I realize it’s no accident that Esther is with me. She willingly visited my families on her way home to China in the month of June …..and brought joy and reconnected me with my families in such a profound way …The Lord answered my prayers .
The bankruptcy situation is being handled. It’s not so scary for the money owed is not 600,000 plus Malaysia dollars anymore but got reduced to 26,000…the rest is just interest accrued! The other creditors of my closed business did not sue me. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
I am now more prudent in handling my finances and not the burden of it.
Why and how did I not see how I lived in fear all these years in agony ..And being controlled by THE ACCUSER.
Before I told my parents I was a Christian, my parents themselves told me on Chinese New Year that they removed all of the idols and ancestral worship from their house. LORD …how you prepared our journey. I felt so elated and praised God.
Esther …my joy ..she taught my parents about the gospel and bought them a bible with a recorded version . They became believers. Thank the Lord .
I see more clearly now and I thank God for coming back to my life and lifting me up again.
Brothers and sisters …Since the day l welcomed the Lord into my life, I have felt peace, joy and a more purposeful life ..
In the Scriptures of Abraham, his only son whom he was asked to sacrificed by the angel of the Lord ..brings a revelation to me about how such an unconditional, trusting love of my birth mum for her barren sister ..giving me to her …how wonderful the joy that must be felt by my adopted parents …how great a sacrifice it must be!
Ah.!.I felt a feeling of love not felt before for both my families …It inspired me to write a letter to my siblings and share my deepest thoughts …those not shared, not talked about or brought out before …
I now feel their love for me more and more and we prayed our birth parents will be in our Father’s kingdom of heaven. For my birth parent goes on to bring to the world 4 more children! And they grow to be responsible, caring loving …family people…..
Bless the Lord
GOD’S all knowing and caring..
Hope crept in, joy crept in, peace crept in, love crept in …
And I pray daily for the Lord to lead me and keep me away from worldly temptations and renew me daily in my mind…In spirit …of our Lord Jesus Christ.