EDUCATION: Experiencing God, Experiencing changes

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I am Chai Nok Yee, Joyce, 22 years old. I live in Serian, Kuching. There are three in my family: my dad, younger sister and myself. My father is a godly man who puts strong emphasis on education and I have inherited his learning spirit. That was why I chose to upgrade myself and further my studies. While I was studying at Methodist Pilley Institute (MPI), I enjoyed my study life with my course mates. We discussed assignments together, had fun and learned from each another. I cherish every moment as a student at MPI. I participated in the religious class and joined the morning devotion on campus as well.

By the grace of the Lord, I was recommended by my lecturers to further my studies at Lancaster Bible College, USA. This was such a great opportunity and I was extremely excited when I heard this news.

Indeed, I have a strong passion in the education field where I can connect with young children. I had always hoped for an opportunity to continue my degree in early childhood education so that I can further master it.

I chose early childhood education as my major because I love kids plus I get to inspire new generations to be interested in learning and grow up with good characters, becoming godly men and women one day.

I was a timid girl and had low selfesteem but God has transformed me into a new person who is courageous, loving, caring and kind. Since then, I have become a person who always challenges myself to do my best in every field I am committed to such as my studies, church ministry and family. I tried everything I was supposed to do and persisted on doing the right things. Let me share an example: I almost gave up during my first childcare practical as l needed to make numerous decisions and to handle all the problems I faced all by myself. Then I prayed to God wholeheartedly to give me strength and mercy. I also tried to approach others and seek for help before I finally overcame them all including myself. In another instance, I tried to serve God as a pianist in church even though I was a terrible pianist. But I persisted in practising and learned from others. Now I get to serve better and better in church. Even though sometimes I fall, I know I have to get up from where I have fallen and learn from every mistake I make.

I grew up in a Christian family. I accepted Jesus Christ when I was young and I had my adult baptism at 12 years old. We went to church and attended Sunday service every Sunday. My sister and I even participated in Sunday school. So, I was very familiar with the bible stories.

A nominal Christian
As a teenager, I attended the youth fellowship and served as pianist. Still my faith was not firm and I did not really know who God and Jesus Christ were. Yes, I was but a nominal Christian then and I seldom read the Bible or prayed to God.

Nonetheless, my father has always been firm in the faith while my mother was such a kind and gentle woman. I loved spending time with my mother. I also enjoyed playing with my sister climbing up the trees, playing at the river side or singing together. We had such a fun and memorable time growing up together. I used to be such a rebellious child and did not like to study. Thus, I did not obtain good results academically.

However, bad news hit our family. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 11 years old. My mother underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy which was such a painful experience and she suffered lots. Our whole family prayed eagerly for her healing and our church members and pastor also visited us and prayed for us. Sadly my dearest mother passed away when I was 15 years old. My whole world collapsed. I was extremely sad and thought I could not go on with my life anymore. But, life went on. I needed to be strong. I blamed God at that time: Why take my mother’s life and not heal her? Why am I such a poor and pitiful girl? Why did God not answer my prayers? A lot of why’s filled my mind then. Until one day, God showed me His way and led me to His path.

A better Christian
Through this extremely sad experience, my spiritual life grew within. I drew near to God, studied His words and prayed to Him. God moulded and taught me to be a better Christian. From then onwards, I studied hard and became a hard working person. God’s hand was working in me. He changed me into a kind, joyful person. More importantly, God helped me to be brave enough to share the gospel with others.

Our God is such a loving God and I believe He has His timing. What I need to do is pray to God and wait for His will. Thank you Lord that you are full of love and mercy. I cannot wait to share this good news with my family, friends and others.

During the two and half years I studied at MPI, I continued to be actively involved in church ministries at Wesley
Methodist Church (WMC). I was one of the committee members in Adult Youth Fellowship for one year and I served as pianist on Sunday. I also involved myself in children ministries as a helper in Sunday school and Children Choir. I also attended some equipping courses like XEE (Ways to share gospel) and so on.

I responded to God’s calling when I attended the short-term missions school at Methodist Theological School when I was 19 years old. During that calling, my heart was so touched by the Holy Spirit that my tears rained down my cheeks. When I sang the song ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Whom shall I send?’ I responded saying ‘Lord, here I am.’

In conclusion, I want to share one of the scripture verses that I always remind myself of, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 6-7)

I truly hope that you will get to experience God and draw near to God. God bless you all abundantly.

By Chai Nok Yee, Kuching

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