Together in Heaven
Lemuel Leong—Sabah, Malaysia
Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His saints. (Ps 116:15)
At 5 am on June 21, 2007, Masneh Singkui was admitted to
the emergency ward, unconscious and in critical condition. The brothers and sisters
by his side immediately contacted other members to pray for him.
That night, Masneh
was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu,
where doctors confirmed that he was brain dead due to excessive brain
Concerned members throughout Sabah
and West Malaysia offered fervent prayers of intercession, and some even fasted
and prayed for God to show mercy on Masneh.
However, on June 23, a Sabbath
day, he returned to the arms of the Lord. The grief at his passing was deeply
felt by members and relatives alike. Yet, in our sorrow, we accepted that his
death was according to God’s will.
GOD’S ABUNDANT GRACE
was born in September 1978, and was diagnosed with a hole in his heart just
nine months later. He received monthly treatments until he turned twelve years
For most people, dealing with this
condition and the constant treatments would have probably affected their growth
and limited their everyday activities, but it was not so for Masneh. He was a dynamic person and diligent worker.
However, after undergoing an
appendectomy in January 1999, doctors discovered that the right valve in his
heart was badly damaged. It was so severe that doctors predicted that without
immediate treatment he would only live for five more years.
In May 2001, Masneh
traveled to the National Heart Institute for surgery to replace the damaged
valve. During the journey, he decided that if the operation was successful, he
would dedicate his life to serving the Lord.
The surgery was a success and he
recovered well from it. But in November 2002, he was admitted to the hospital.
He was on warfarin, a blood-thinning medication,
because of the heart valve transplant, but the amount he was taking was too
strong and had caused an overdose.
Doctors warned that he might never
be able to walk again because the nerves in his feet had ruptured as a result
of the overdose. Yet, by the grace of God, he recovered within two weeks—he had
no problems walking and was back to normal.
SERVING THE LORD
promise to serve God was fulfilled when he became a full-time religious
education teacher in 2002. He was appointed as a full-time teacher by the
General Assembly, serving in the areas of greatest need in Sabah.
Apart from teaching, he trained
other teachers, established religious education classes, and assisted in
preaching and pastoring. Living and serving God in Telupid and Penangah was
difficult because of their isolated locations, but Masneh’s
faithful spirit and strong character were gifts from God that helped him
overcome such challenges and difficulties.
In 2004, Masneh
became a theological student, and the three-year program gave him many
opportunities to serve the Lord and visit the churches throughout Sabah.
In June 2007, he was assigned to
practical training in Bingkor with Pr. Seraya. Although he had a fever and muscle pain, Masneh did not want to postpone the trip. He followed the
itinerary and stayed in Bingkor from June 2 to 16. He
returned to his home on the 16th to attend to other matters and
traveled back to Bingkor two days later.
He delivered a sermon at the
evening service on the 20th despite being noticeably unwell,
declining Pr. Seraya’s offer to substitute for him.
They went to bed at midnight, but at 3 am Pr. Seraya
woke up and saw Masneh tying a blanket around his
head to relieve the pain. After they prayed together, Masneh
took some painkillers, but instead of getting better, he began to retch
He became very weak, so Pr. Seraya decided to send him to the hospital. By the time a
member was able to come and help bring him to the hospital, he had already
slipped into a coma.
COMFORT IN THE LORD
Even though it was difficult for
everyone to come to terms with his sudden passing, our merciful Father gave
members visions and dreams that brought hope and comfort to everyone.
Masneh’s older sister, had a dream in mid-June. She
saw Masneh and Pr. Seraya
standing at the top of a mountain with a group of people dressed in white shirts
and black pants. Some were standing and some were sitting, as if posing for
Suddenly she heard a voice say,
“Brother Masneh has to rest for a while because he is
in extreme pain and his body is exhausted from work.” She could not tell who said
these words, but the dream ended and she woke up. She pondered the word “rest”
and became worried that it meant death, so she knelt down and prayed before
going back to sleep.
A few days later, when she heard
that Masneh was admitted to the hospital, she
immediately thought of the dream. When he passed away, she understood that the
dream had been God’s way of telling her what would happen.
During a special prayer session
for Masneh at Tinuhan
Church on June 21, a sister saw a vision. In the vision, a group of church
members visited Masneh at the hospital. He was lying
down, covered with a blanket.
After the visitors stopped
praying, she saw Masneh’s spirit come out of his
body, wearing a long white robe and with a white cloth tied around his head. He
was smiling and looking around.
She was filled with sorrow and
heard a voice say, “I am going to take him.” The vision ended and she continued
praying. She prayed that God’s will would be done but that He would bring
comfort to Masneh’s fiancée.
During the prayer after the
evening service on June 22 at Tinuhan Church, a
sister saw a vision. Masneh was wearing a long white
robe and his head was tied with a white cloth. He was sitting on a square
cushion with twenty people sitting on the ground around him. Masneh was slowly lifted up to the sky, smiling and waving
his hands as he went.
The sister believed that this
vision meant the Lord would call Masneh home.
A special service was held at Masneh’s home in the afternoon of June 23. During the
concluding prayer, a sister saw a vision. She saw people walking up to a high
place that was shrouded in clouds and mist. They were all dressed in long white
robes and appeared to be on their way to a wedding. She saw Masneh
dressed in a suit, as if he were the groom. His face was radiant and joyful.
She was comforted by this vision
because it convinced her that Masneh was in the most
WAITING FOR US IN HEAVEN
From a human perspective, Masneh’s passing ended a life still in its prime and left
many loved ones to deal with his premature death. However, we accept the will
of God with faith and thankfulness, for His will is good, pleasing, and perfect
Further, we can find comfort in
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from
now on….that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
health would not have permitted him to continue serving the Lord as he was
enduring a lot of pain. He accomplished the work that God entrusted to him and
is reaping the fruit of his labor. Great is his reward in heaven.
God’s grace is abundant; the love
that He showed to Masneh assures us of how He loves
everyone in his family. We no longer have Masneh with
us, but we did not lose him—he just went ahead of us and is waiting for us in
We can all find hope and strength
from the visions that were seen of his joy at being called back home.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy
and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy
Spirit. (Rom 15:13)