I was addicted to drugs in the early 70’s and it was during the hippie movement in Singapore where ‘Underground Rock’ and Blues music had tremendous influence on the drug-addicts. I was only 12 years old. As I grew up, I was rebellious; I joined secret-society and I always got into gang-fights. As I grew older, I was even engaged in a loan-shark business as a bad-debt collector. So life in that kind of ‘Red light’ district environment, I got to know many people from all walks of life; especially drug pushers and drug traffickers. Later, I was influenced!

Every day in the middle of the night I went home, I was ‘high’ on drugs. I couldn’t even focus and walk straight. When mum opened the door for me, I could see she was heartbroken. In that silent moment she would just walk away with tears burning hot in her heart. Often times, there was strife in the family because of my drug taking situation. Police came to the house and looked for me and I brought drug-addict friends home. We did drugs together and the family felt so insecure. Mum was devastated and she would plead with me to turn over a new leaf but my heart was hardened; I wanted to have my own way. That saw me wasting my life more than 10 times 20 years in and out of prisons. Every time, upon my release I wanted to change for the better; I tried ways and means but I did not succeed and went back to prison again. Until the year 2002, my encounter with Jesus became a turning point.

I still remember that encounter. It was during my first day in the prison. My heart was sorrowful, bitter and remorseful. I hated myself for being imprisoned again. I knew this time the Court was going to put me away for a ‘long long’ time. I was afraid to face the consequences and it was in that darkest moment of my life God spoke to me powerfully. I started to weep bitterly before the Lord and I said, “God, I’ve seen many of my friends, they believe in Jesus and their lives are transformed. They got married and started their own family. Every time when I meet them, they are cheerful and they would share with me how they have found hope and purpose in Jesus. They no longer take drug.” I told the Lord that I was envious and I wanted to have this kind of meaningful life. I confessed to God that only Jesus can change my life. God honoured that simple prayer. In His mercy, He raised me up and He turned that painful experience into a hope. His love compelled me to commit my life wholeheartedly to His calling by living a fruitful life, a life that no longer be put to shame again.

So in the prison, I began to attend Christian services regularly and even served the Lord faithfully as an in-charge of a group of Christians there. Along the way while serving the Lord, I had this deep conviction in my heart ‘if I want to follow Jesus, I must separate myself from the gang’. After much prayer and seeking the Lord, one day during recreation time, I took the courage to renounce my affiliation with the secret-society, which I was very active involving in all kinds of illegal dealings in the prison; such like, gambling, fighting and smugglings. Certainly, it was not easy to arrive at this decision. My faith was severely tested. I went through struggle upon struggle in order to keep the faith God has planted into my heart. However, God is faithful, in the test of time, He saw me through and my life grew more mature and complete.

On my release, God led to Breakthrough Missions Halfway House where I stayed for almost seven years. Thank God that today I am still serving in the ministry as a staff and guitarist for more than nine years. By the grace of God, every Sunday I get the chance to follow Pastor Simon to different churches to witness and play guitar for the Lord. I am even privileged to go with Pastor Simon to different countries for missions. Whenever we go for mission, our main objective is to reach out to the prisoners there and share our experiences with them. I am always so encouraged to see many then responded and turned to Christ. Indeed, I always give thanks and treasure every opportunity that is given to me.

Today, I don’t bring shame to my family because Jesus has done. For so many years what I had missed and lost in life, God is restoring now.

I thank God for putting me in this ministry where I found hope and purpose. I get to know people of all kinds of background, talk and share with them. They encouraged me a lot so are they being encouraged by me too. In the Centre, by God’s grace I picked up some skills especially how to interact and serve people at Breakthrough Café. Today, Jesus has broken the curse of my going back to prison again and again.

One of the greatest things God did is 2011 I got married. Thank God for giving me not only a beautiful wife but who is also very supportive of my ministry. She married me not because of who I am or who I was; it is because she believed that Jesus had transformed my life. Honestly, I prayed for five years, until I ‘quarrelled’ with God, “why so long that I had to wait.”  Last time my mum her thinking was just like the world, “A leopard will never change its spots, a drug-addict is always a drug-addict” but not so for God. God apportioned His grace that is for this reason I can confidently boast how much Jesus has done in my life.

Today, wherever I go I can lift up my head and walk tall so to shame all those who put condemnation on people like us. The Bible in 2 Cor. 5: 17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

All glory to the name of Jesus.

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