Because he is someone Who did not know his real birth parents he did not know the date and place of his birth.
He guessed he could be born around 1936 in a village in Fujian, China. He was adopted at about a year old. Although he had tried finding his roots by visiting China many times, he had come up with blanks. In fact on several times he was almost conned by people there.
Now he comes to realize that, the ones who raised and him are greater than his birth parents. He is really grateful to his adopted parents who have lovingly brought him up.
At the age of two, Wong’s aunt brought him over to Nanyang, via Singapore and then to Sarikei in Sarawak. The journey took more than a month. It was hard for him to imagine how he could brave the long difficult journey. His aunt must have “mouth-fed” him (biting the food in the mouth first) for there was no instant
powdered milk in those days. Thinking back, he was thankful to God for preserving his life in such poor and desperate situation. When he was slightly older than two, he was sold to the Wong family of Tung Nang Po village in Bintangor.
Unfortunately after his primary education, his adopted father died, and he had to stop studying as life in the village was hard. He started tapping rubber as the price of rubber was very good then. That was during the Korean War.
In 1953, with the help of Lee Tung Kiew, a teacher, he was able to resume his secondary education by being a newspaper boy for See Hua Daily News in Sibu at the same time. After graduating from high school, he worked as a reporter. In 1961, he got married.
He Did Whatever Was Told
On 15 August 1960, he went to work at the timber camp until 1 November
2008, for around 50 years in all. Humourously, Kee Siang said that with only those “eight or nine years of education”, he started to struggle in the society. And again, seven or eight years later, he went into the jungle to put his life in danger, to earn money. He said he became involved in a life style and career which destroyed nature and the environment.
He started out as a clerk in the timber camp. Later he became a tally clerk checking the logs and planks. After that he learned to be a surveyor. He even held a record of staying in the jungle for 21 days.
As a timber camp Worker, one usually followed pantheism, Worshiping of idols and gods. When the camp opened up a new road they had to Sacrifice a COW. As he was in the management level, he didn’t have to join in the Worship but provide what was needed for the offering.
In 1969, he was transferred to the interior and highland jungle of Kapit.
There the workers were mostly from West Malaysia and they worshipped a Malaysian deity called “Na Tok Kong’ or Datuk Kong. Besides, other deities were also worshipped. Animal Sacrifices were to be offered whenever they set up new campsites or new roads. They often invited mediums to Conduct the Ceremonial rituals. After all the chanting and of fering, they would draw charms or talisman on yellow papers to be given to all the Workers as protection. The rituals would differ from different beliefs or the mediums invited.
As Wong was good in Chinese calligraphy, he was often invited to write the names of the gods they were Worshipping to be placed on the altars. Although he was baptized as a Christianit in his youth, he said that he was “shallow in faith”. Even if he Was doubtful about these ceremonies he was willing to be led on, doing as requested for the peace and safety of the workers.
He remembered he was baptized at the age of 14 in 1949. There was a pastor who often stayed at his house during her ministry in the village. They were well acquainted and so when his father fell ill, she led all the family members to Christ and baptized them. In his recollection, he was never a fervent Christian then. Thus, when he was working at the timber camp he did what the Romans did. He was involved in inviting mediums to do rituals when misfortune arose.
Death in the camp was common. It happened almost every month. At the end of 1984, or early 1985, a son Of his close friend died and he was very sad. He started to doubt all the idols and deities they had invited to look after the camps.
He started to question. “If they were true gods, why didn’t they protect the camp and the workers?”
When the son of his friend died, he knelt before the altar and prayed, saying that he won’t Worship the gods anymore if they couldn’t protect the lives of the Workers.
A month after this incident, another accident killed a Worker, he said to his workers that he would no longer participate in any of the sacrificial rituals as he doubted their identities as God. He had Written all their names on the red paper, but they had never protected them well. He was determined to give up believing all those deities from then On.
Renewed Faith in Christ
Occasionally if he was home on a Sunday, he would drop in for a Sunday Service. All these years at the timber camp, he had met many dangerous situations as well. For instance, he was almost drowned from a river trip when his boat capsized and he couldn’t Swim; his car once turned turtle, fallen trees crashed down on him and SO on but he was safe. Slowly it dawned on him that it was the hand of the Almighty God Who Sheltered him from all harm.
In 1986, Wong returned to work in Sibu but he was still in-charge of more than ten camps which kept him very busy. In 1995, his wife had a stroke and he was transferred to work at the main office in Sibu. Only then, he was able to go to church regularly. In 2000, he lived closer to Huai Ann Methodist Church and Worshipped there.
Soon he went on a mission trip with Rev Ting Diu Kiong to Thailand and was deeply touched. It was a life changing trip and later he started to join the ministry to the Indigenous people. He worked closely with the church helping out in the longhouse ministry. He went on more than ten trips to the Iban longhouses in Julau.
After being serious in his Christian faith, Wong recognized how corrupted his life was. He had bought lottery tickets and had Worn talisman too. After returning to Christ, he is now renewed by the Holy Spirit to lead a life staying away from temptation, evading the Lottery shops
As he felt a calling to serve in the indigenous ministry, he continually makes a donation of RM6000 every year to this mission work for many years. He believes that giving willingly will not go in vain. Thus, he also gives generously to his mother church in Tung Nang Po to meet their needs. He said, “It doesn’t matter how much we give but in giving we experience the Wonderful grace Of GOC.”
At the moment, his wife is on wheelchair. He is looking after her personally when he is around but God looks after her when he is on mission trips. He is grateful for having a very good maid to assist him and a good daughter-in-law who is willing to care for them. He truly believes that when God calls us to go out to serve him, go in faith for He will take care of the rest
Interviewed by Menglei