Guided by God’s Hand
Siah Chin Luan—Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
A BUDDHIST UPBRINGING
I came from a big family with
strong traditional Chinese Buddhist beliefs. As a child I had no exposure to
Christianity. During Chinese New Year celebrations and other traditional
festivals, the elders in my family were always busy preparing food and joss
paper as offerings to our ancestors, and praying that these ancestors would
bless us with peace and prosperity.
Worshipping in such a manner was
therefore a habit that I acquired from a young age. I believed eating food that
had been offered would bring peace; whether or not it had any basis in reality,
this became a deeply ingrained concept in my life.
When I was ten, my maternal
grandmother and my aunt became members of the Tian Dao religion. Grandma
believed it was a faith that could lead men to heaven and obtain the truth.
Under their influence, we also gradually became followers of that faith.
After completing high school I enrolled
in an English language class, where I met Brother Yong Choon Min, now my
husband. Although we became friends, I did not know he was a Christian because
he never talked about Christianity or his own beliefs. He was what could be
described as a lost lamb.
During one of our conversations,
when I mentioned that I was a member of the Tian Dao, he said, “Your type of faith is false.” I was
insulted and started to debate with him. He was unable to win me over, possibly
because he had a shallow knowledge of the truth. We often quarreled because of
our different faiths.
UNINTERESTED IN SERMONS
One day, Brother Yong saw an
advertisement for a college that offered a double degree twinning course in
business administration and marketing. After two years of studies in Malaysia,
we would complete our degrees with a final year overseas. We decided to
register and continue our education.
Shortly after we started our
program, Brother Yong and I were eating lunch when Brother Liau, who was
enrolled in the same program, joined us and started to preach to us. It was
during our conversation that we discovered that they both belonged to the True
From that time on, Brother Liau
often encouraged us to attend church services in order to find out more about
the truth. Thank God, Brother Yong was brought back to the Lord’s fold through
My first encounter with the True
Jesus Church was in Kota Kinabalu. I was shocked by the way the members prayed;
it was loud and very extraordinary. I thought of leaving immediately, but out
of respect for those who were praying I stayed at my seat.
However, other than my shock at
the prayer I was rather indifferent to the whole experience. I didn’t think
that Christianity was special because I had been taught in Tian Dao that even
though there were different religions, they all originated from the same place.
After that initial visit to
church, Brother Yong brought me to service every Sabbath day. However, I only
attended out of courtesy toward him, so I always hoped for the service to end
quickly. I was not interested in Christianity, so it didn’t matter that I
couldn’t understand what they preached.
Brother Liau would sometimes take
the opportunity to explain the doctrines to me when we studied together. But I
would try and make things difficult for him with many questions. I believed
that every person could have his own faith because all religions persuade men
to do good; the only difference is the method of worship.
MOVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
I attended services weekly at True
Jesus Church to avoid arguments with Brother Yong, but I continued to teach
children at a temple on Sundays. One Sunday, after the lessons were over,
Brother Yong came to take me home. During the ride he said that he had to pick
up his aunt and send her to the True Jesus Church in Penampang to attend the
spiritual assembly being held there. He invited me to join them and encouraged
me to pray for the Holy Spirit.
I decided that I would take the
opportunity to pray and see if the God that I was praying to in this church was
the God that I worshipped. I had been taught in Tian Dao that there was only
one God, and through my conversations with Brother Liau my curiosity had grown
as to who this Christian God was.
When the preacher invited those who wished to pray for the
Holy Spirit to go to the front to pray, I stepped forward. While I was praying,
I suddenly felt that I was burdened with sins and I asked the Lord to forgive
all my transgressions. I already believed in the last day and in eternal life
through Tian Dao and I asked the Lord to save me. My body started to shake
involuntarily and tears fell uncontrollably.
I was astonished. Why was I
weeping when I was not sad? Why was my body shaking? I stopped praying and the
tears and shaking stopped. When I resumed praying, tears again fell
involuntarily and I felt a gentle and comforting warmth flow through my body.
While I was trying to understand
what was going on, doubt started to creep into my mind. I heard a voice say,
“What are you doing? Go back to your own religion.” Once the idea entered my
head the warm feeling left me. After a short time, the prayer ended. I returned
to my seat and wept continuously.
Later, I was told that I had been
moved by the Holy Spirit during the prayer, but I didn’t really understand.
When I returned home, I related the whole event in detail to my mother; both of
us were astonished by what I had experienced. Neither of us knew the truth that
was preached at True Jesus Church and we had never consciously sought to
Due to my mother’s belief in Tian
Dao, she asked me to stop going to church. However, I continued to go to church
on Saturdays and the temple on Sundays.
TWO STRANGE DREAMS
Thanks to the grace of God, I
started the final year of my university studies in London, along with Brother Yong
and Brother Liau. Through God’s love and mercy, I received loans that paid for
my tuition and found a part-time job that paid for my living expenses.
I continued to attend services at
the True Jesus Church in London with Brother Yong and Brother Liau, and stopped
going to the temple. Every week, we would stay at church over the weekend
before returning to the university. One Saturday night in December, I had a
In my dream I was in a temple,
where there was a huge idol of Buddha. It was dim and filled with smoke, and I
stood near the entrance. Suddenly, a mosquito flew past me and settled by the
idol’s ear, seemingly berating me for attending the True Jesus Church.
The Buddha’s smiling face turned
to fierce anger, its body grew bigger and bigger, and it came towards me so
fast that it seemed to be flying. I could see it trying to grab me. As it got
closer and was about to capture me, I clasped my hands and cried out,
“Hallelujah! In the name of the Lord Jesus!”
I woke up even before I finished saying
the rest of the sentence. I was so terrified of what I had just experienced in
the dream that I prayed silently underneath the covers. However, when I woke up
the next day I put the dream aside and treated it as only a nightmare.
A week later, London Church held a
week-long evangelism training camp. One night during the camp, as I was
sleeping in a room with a few other sisters, I had another dream.
In the dream, I saw a high wall.
It was very dark and I could not see my fingers when I stretched out my hands.
A shadowy figure, with a long beard and dressed all in black, slowly floated
out of the wall. Suddenly a voice sounded from the figure, “I am God.”
God? Does God look like that?
Why is he dressed in black? I wanted to
pray but I was unable to cry out “Hallelujah.” I tried to wake up from the
dream, but I couldn’t. After a great struggle, I suddenly heard a loud bang,
like two cars crashing into each other at high speed on the road outside the
chapel. I was awakened by the noise and prayed for some time before falling
The next morning, I asked the
other sisters sharing the room with me whether they had heard the loud bang the
previous night. They had not. If the loud noise I heard had been caused by a
car accident, how could they not have heard it as well?
I then related my dream to Brother
Yong. After I finished, he asked me whether I still had any idols or charms in
my handbag. It was only then that I fully understood that this dream and the
one I had a week earlier were trying to make me stop going to church. Instead
of having that effect on me, however, they showed me which religion I should
I related the two dreams to the
deacons and gave them all of the charms and idols I had, which they destroyed
in the name of Jesus.
RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT
Seeing Brother Yong receive the
Holy Spirit during the evangelism training camp spurred me to seriously seek
after the Holy Spirit myself. That night, I prayed to God, “O Lord, You are the
Lord of heaven and earth. Please let me once again experience the movement of
the Holy Spirit. If it is Your will to give me the Holy Spirit, please let me
feel Your existence again!”
For three consecutive days I
prayed fervently to God in this manner. I also asked God to forgive my sins.
During one prayer, I was suddenly reminded of my poor attitude towards my
father and I felt deep remorse. If I could not respect my earthly father, how
could I respect the heavenly Father?
I prayed even more fervently for
God’s forgiveness. Then I felt a warm current flowing from my head to the rest
of my body, as if the Lord Jesus was gently comforting me. I immediately felt
my stony heart dissolve and become a warm one, made of flesh. I started to
speak in tongues, my body was vibrating and I knew I had received the Holy
Spirit. The joy I felt was indescribable.
BAPTIZED INTO THE LORD
After receiving the Holy Spirit, I
wanted to receive water baptism. But because my family members were followers
of a different religion, I was afraid that they would object when I told them
of my plans. On learning of my predicament, a brother urged me to pray to God
about it. Thank the Lord, when I told my dad of my intention to be baptized, he
did not object.
On February 8, 1998, ten people
gathered at the baptismal site, where I was the only person to be baptized. The
sky was cloudy and it was unbearably cold with icy winds blowing fiercely. We
asked the preacher whether the baptism ought to be postponed but he answered,
“Pray to God with faith.”
When we opened our hymnbooks to
sing, the clouds on the horizon parted and the sun shone upon us. We were very
moved by the sight and knew that the Lord was truly with us. In my mind I kept
thinking, I am so insignificant, yet God has allowed me to receive this
great salvation grace for which I am most unworthy. Tears fell as I felt the Lord’s love touch my heart deeply.
I walked into the water, knelt,
and bowed my head for the baptism. The moment I was immersed in the water, I
felt as if all of my burdens were lifted.
I am so thankful to God for His
wonderful guidance. Because of His love and mercy, He chose someone as
insignificant as me to be His child. Throughout my life, even before I
believed, God’s gracious hand has been with me, guiding me all the way. His
love has touched my heart so that I am able to deeply experience the true and
living God working in my life.
How long, wide, high, and deep is
the Lord’s love? It is indeed without limits. He not only loves me, His love
also covers my family. After my baptism my parents also came to believe and
received baptism. To me, this is an added grace from the Lord.
May the grace and care of the Lord
be with me throughout my life, so that I can continue in my heavenly journey,
holding on to His hand.