My name is Lim Sook Imm. I was born in 1959 and grew up in a devout Taoist family where memories of my early childhood comprised episodes of religious worship and devotion. Here is an account of how I came to believe in the Lord.
One day when I was still in primary school, my teacher told us a story of a man called Jesus who lived long ago in the city of Bethlehem. He performed many signs and miracles, and healed many who were sick, including the lame, paralytics and even the demon-possessed. However, some of His compatriots did not like Him so they crucified Him to death on the cross.
I listened to the story attentively. It was the first time I had ever heard such a story. When I heard that He was put to death, somehow I had sympathy for Him. On that very night I had a dream. I saw a kind-looking man in a brown robe standing on the clouds. His head was swathed in a piece of cloth and with a staff in His hand, He slowly descended from the air. I fell on my knees and looked at Him intently. The man said to me, "I am Jesus. You must believe Me. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (Jn 14:14). After this, I woke up from the dream but kept this message in my heart.
My father was the sole breadwinner in our family, with ten children, my mother, and grandmother. I was the eighth child. The stress of life often led to quarrels between my parents. I still recall how on one occasion, in a heated argument, my father smashed a rice jar to vent his anger. Seeing the whole place strewn with rice, I quickly collected the rice with my bare hands and put it into a basin. I was afraid I would have no food to eat.
I saw for myself how my parents suffered hardship despite their piety towards their idols. My mother was so devout, but did not receive even the most basic protection from the deities she worshipped. I resolved I would not worship these idols we had in the house. Instead, I would go to pray to Jesus to protect my family.
When I was 15, one of my classmates invited me to the True Jesus Church. I mistakenly thought that I would receive free tuition from the church, so I sought permission from my parents on that basis and they consented. But even after I realized there was not going to be any free tuition, I was still delighted with the invitation. After all this time, at last, I would have a chance to know more about the Jesus I had dreamed about, the Jesus my former teacher had talked about. So I joined my friend for a Sabbath service at the True Jesus Church in 1974. Being a total stranger, I could only observe. But the prayers of the congregation sounded to me like many waters, just as it is described in the Bible (Rev 19:6). I attended services for 15 months, during which I learned about the basic beliefs of the True Jesus Church. From the Bible I also came to know:
- Jesus was the Word who became flesh and He died on the cross for the remission of the sins of mankind. He resurrected on the third day and ascended to heaven. He is the only Savior of mankind, God of the universe and the one true God (Jn 1:14; Mt 20:28; Jn 20:1-8; Lk 2:8-11).
- Water baptism is a sacrament for the remission of sins (Jn 3:5; Acts 2:38).
- To believe in Jesus is to fear God and love man (Mt 22:34-40).
Attending church services brought me many benefits, but I also met with trials and temptations. Many of my family members considered believing in Jesus a violation of family order. The love of my grandmother, the tears of my mother, the severity of my father and the rebuke of my siblings became a powerful opposing force to my decision to believe in the Lord. Faced with such formidable opposition, I began to waver. One night I decided to pray to God for guidance. Lord, which direction should I take?
I then had a dream. This time, I saw a bright star from my backyard. Fascinated, I wanted to pick it. I went towards the star but it suddenly moved—going from my backyard to the main road, passing many places until it finally stopped before the True Jesus Church in Telok Kurau! There, the star shone even brighter, so much so that I could not open my eyes.
Finally, I found myself in the church hall, before I woke up. The dream reminded me of the event of Jesus' birth, when wise men followed the star from the East until it came to rest over the place where the child Jesus was (Mt 2:1-12).
In spite of the differences in time and circumstance between the wise men and me, I am truly convinced that the Lord Jesus had listened to my prayers and shown me the direction to take.
By His grace, I was baptized into the Lord in December 1975.