by Raymond Chirng
I was hit hard by our weekly bulletin article of 31st March, 2013 after I read the message that bro Lawrence Chong wrote. He had a message that counts for all those who had gone through what he and his wife and family went through. I could not help it because I remember being told of him giving his credit card to my wife, Catherine, and to charge the hospital expenditure into his account when I was down with stroke in Subang Jaya Medical Centre in 1992. Of course, my wife really appreciated his act but did not do it because the bills were paid by the company that employed me. However, till today, Catherine and I really appreciate his generosity and his wife’s concern for a brother-in-Christ. Upon reading what he wrote, it brings back memories to me.
It was in 1969 when I was in Form 1, High School Klang, that I met Lawrence Chong. He was my classmate. Together with him was his house neighbor, Ronald Yong, who was also in the next class with us. If I remember correctly, they were converted in the 70’s. I used to visit them together with a group of High School boys in their residence and their parents’ shops. Those were the young days gone and now we have all matured and grown into what we are today. As youngsters, we had a great time doing things together for the church.
Lawrence went overseas to further his education. He came back after successfully completing his degree. Although he was abroad for his education, he was very much a Klangite, a Selangorian and a Malaysian and most importantly he was, is and will always be a Christian. Soon after his return, we were happy for him when he got married to Peng. Wow, soon his family grew with the coming of their son, Wan Ken. I remember their pride and happiness over this. But things changed upon the arrival of Wan Zen. I remember the hard times they had to go through to come to acceptance the condition Wan Zen was in. I remember they were terribly hit and in their minds they were trying to find answers to the thousand and one questions that cropped up and crossed their minds.
I remember that they went through a lot of events with others not of their common faith. The lot of circumstances and the many things they hear from others weighed down on them. However, our church members who were close to them never gave up. We constantly kept close to them, spoke to them, helped them to bear the weight of their problems. A few older members touched them and slowly brought them back to the church fellowship. It was not easy. It was hard trying to show them that Christians do help and care in time of need. I am sure Lawrence and Peng can be our valued testimony to others that Christians do love and care for each other. Christians will be there for us and help us persevere through our trials with God on our side.
It was just like what I went through. It was great to know that fellow Christians visited, helped and gave my wife, Catherine, a lot of help and comforted her. My wife often related to me that it was great and good Christians came by to assist, talked, joked and comforted her during that time. I did not know who came, what they talked about, when they came as I was down with a stroke. I strongly believe my wife’s strength in God was held up because of what the church had given me and her faith in God increased because she saw the church cared for her family members. Our two sons, Reuben and Randall were only in Primary 5 and 1 respectively. They were too young to understand the trauma but I am glad they were well guided and assisted by the Sunday School programme.
Now, I can only tell Lawrence and Peng, if an opportunity arises, I will be more than happy to help take care of Wan Zen. He seems to be happy whenever I am with him, help him and take care of him. Their other children, Joshua and Yen Yen, are now grown up and can look after themselves. They have their parents to thank for what they are and where they are today. May they continue in their faith and may our Lord grant them with more opportunities to serve Him.
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others betters than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 1:1-4