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Memories can be wonderful or painful experiences as we recall the past. Growing up in a typical Singaporean Chinese family, my childhood indeed had its moments of delight, mischief, trauma and pain.
As a five year old child, being the only girl of 4 siblings, it was my duty to pray to the ancestors and Chinese deities with joss sticks and lighting the oil lamps daily. It was impressed upon my young mind that if I am naughty or disobedient it would anger the gods who will punish me severely. I must be good, obedient and study hard. Moreover having a very strict, fierce father who threatened to disown any of his children who believed in Christianity, a western religion, added to my fears. All this instilled fear of failure and fear of darkness into my heart. Of course, it is impossible not to do wrong, not to sin and to be perfect. I lived in fear, tension and anxiety for many years till a Christian neighbor shared Christ with me at fourteen years old.
John 3:16,17 was a complete eye opener, an awakening of the soul – that here is a God who loves deeply, not punitive, and even gave His only begotten Son to die on our behalf for our sins.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved.”
Praying the sinner’s prayer of confession of sins, repentance and believing that Jesus had died on my behalf and God had forgiven me to receive me as His child, reconciling me to the Father, was the best decision I made in my entire life. I became a secret Christian but at 21 years old, my father allowed me to go to church. After giving me away in my marriage, he himself went to church and was saved. Following Jesus as my Savior and Lord of my life had brought many blessings amid the difficulties and the ups and downs of life. He did not promise us “roses” all the way but with each boulder, rock or stone, He helps me to navigate safely to joy and peace in Him. Indeed it is an exciting journey but confident that I will be with Him in heaven eventually.
This did not entirely dispel the fears that were instilled in my mind till I had full deliverance and healing through Zion Healing Centre of prayer counseling in 2009. Through several sessions of powerful prayers by loving, Holy Spirit inspired counselors, the spirits of fear of failure and darkness were finally cast out. The brilliant Light of Christ chased off all darkness and refilled my mind and soul with the shalom peace of God and deep in filling of the Holy Spirit’s presence and strength. Many other life issues and wrong doings were also dealt with. It was a thorough house cleaning. It was like a “second rebirth”. With it came God’s calling to do His work and He has been faithful to be with me, enabling, empowering me to do so.
My heart wells up in thanksgiving and everlasting praise to Him always. Thus my humble attempt of penning and painting an arts and poetry book named “In Praise of Him”. This book is a reflection of my endless admiration, deepest gratitude, love and praise of God our Abba Father. He has indeed made all things beautiful in His time.
Dr. Elaine Chan, Nov 2023