29 July 2019 by Ray Lee –
Pastor Tom Pereira was born and raised in a Catholic family of nine in Sitiawan, Perak.
At a very young age, he felt that there was no God in the church. He even asked people and his friends around him why church was so dead. He wanted to see something alive.
When Tom was a teenager, he became very wild and rebellious, especially after his father passed away. Under friends’ influence, he was involved in demonic practices at 16 and started dabbling into witchcraft. As he plunged deeper, he saw more power and manifestation. He was happy but fearful at the same time due to demonic oppression.
In the middle of the night, Tom would hear loud, rough and angry voices calling his name outside his house. He could feel the demonic presence wherever he went. He could even smell the spirits and identify each of them by the distinctive smell. He personally interacted with many spirits. When the spirits entered into his friends’ bodies in a trance manner, he had conversations with them for at least two hours a day. The spirits would tell him precisely what he had just done or said 10km away prior to their encounter. Tom also desired the spirits to come into his body in order to gain a lot of energy and power like his friends. But every time, the spirits replied to him that they had no permission. He would beg them and even fast upon their request. Yet, those spirits still could not gain entrance into his body.
“The Bible says, that God loved us; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
I believe that when I was into all this, He protected me.”
In November 1990, Tom and his friends sensed that they were going to die as a sacrifice for those spirits. One day, his elder brother came back to Sitiawan to bring him to a church in Kuala Lumpur. Tom was very anti-Christian. He hated the gospel. He hated Christ.
“When I walked into this church, I told the pastor I was going to beat him up. I think he was scared. When I sat through the service, I was very mad. I knew the rage inside of me. I was going to beat all my family members up for taking me to the church.”
“When the altar call was given, one of my sisters was smiling at me. I looked at her, wondering why. Then I realized my hand had gone up automatically. So I put it down and said, ‘No, I’m not going.’ Three times my hand went up on its own!”
Curious to know what was going to happen next, Tom finally went forward to the altar.
“The very minute I said the sinner’s prayer, inviting Jesus into my life, I felt my eyes were open. Like Apostle Paul in the Bible, suddenly I realized that everything I did was wrong. I had betrayed God. I had failed God. I felt very bad at the thought of my relationship with the demonic forces.”
That night when he went home, he started to see spirits coming out from the wall and the floor, threatening to kill him and his family because he had broken his promise to the devil. He was so scared that he could not sleep the whole night. He prayed that nothing should happen to his gang members who were still involved in the demonic activities.
Tom continued to see spirits everywhere and he was very fearful. So he went to the church again.
A pastor from the United States preached about fear. After the sermon, as soon as he laid hand and prayed for Tom, the latter stopped seeing and smelling the spirits. At last, he had peace of mind.
“After I received Christ, the fear left me. Today, even if the demon were to come in front of me, I don’t fear him. I realize that with Christ I’m stronger. And I know that I have a living relationship with the living God. And I can ask, and He will give.”
“I had seen the demon. But as for God, I hadn’t experienced yet. I wanted to know everything about Him. So I started reading the Word of God. I also talked a lot to God every day. When I asked God for something, He gave it to me.”
In December 1991. A friend who had also been saved from the demonic group came to Kuala Lumpur. As they were praying in the room at 3am, Tom heard a loving voice calling his name.
“It was holding me close and giving me all the assurance and protection. I was filled with joy.
I had never felt so complete in my life. I would have flown! The feeling lasted for 2 days.”
I told myself, ‘If hearing the voice alone is like this, imagine if we go into the presence of God, how much more complete we will feel!’ That was my most memorable time in my Christian walk.”
In his early twenties, once he was given the opportunity to preached for the first time in the church evangelistic event. Before the event, he went to a corner and prayed, “God, I just want one soul. Since the day we started this activity, nobody has come to know You.” He felt peace and preached. 14 souls responded!
He started a church in Kajang in 1997 and left in 2003 to go back to the marketplace as a businessman. Though his focus was off church, he never left God and always had conversations with Him in his heart. He also prayed for the sick and witnessed all kinds of miracles.
One day, Tom received a call from a Hindu friend whose father’s skull had cracked after falling from a trailer. The friend asked Tom to pray for his father who was in a coma and living on life support.
The next day, Tom went to the hospital. He touched the father’s hand. It was cold.
“My prayer was very simple ‘God, please help this person. Help him to recover because this son has faith that you can do something but he thinks that you’re going to do it through me.’”
The following day, the doctor wanted to remove the respirator. The friend called Tom again, telling him that he and his young siblings needed their father for at least five more years. Both of them prayed together on the phone. In spite of the doctor’s prediction that the father would either die, become a vegetable or wake up but never be normal again because of the uneven skull. Later when the doctor removed the life support, the father got up and started talking. He had no brain damage and lived another 5 years.
Once Tom was waiting for a cheque in order to pay his staff on a Monday. Every day during the previous week, he called the company that owed him a lot of money to ask about the cheque but it was not ready because they had no fund. On the Friday, he was told that the fund was there but the director had not yet signed the cheque. At 2pm, Tom said to his colleague, “They can say they don’t have the cheque. But I’m saying that there is a cheque because I’ve asked God. I need the cheque!”
He prayed all the way to the company and arrived at the finance department. The employee was surprised to see him as he had informed his colleague earlier that there was no cheque for them.
As Tom insisted to collect the cheque, the employee put the pile of cheques on the table. They were not signed. But when he took out the cheque for Tom’s company, it was signed!
Tom went back to join his colleague who had earlier dropped him at the LRT station with his car. They had to bank in the cheque at the counter. It was almost 3.45pm and the traffic was heavy. Banks usually closed the doors on time at 4pm on Fridays. When they reached the bank, it was 4.05pm. It was as if the security guard was waiting there for Tom. The minute he walked in, they pulled down the roller shutter and closed the bank. He took the last number of the day and managed to bank in the cheque, have it cleared and pay the staff on Monday. Taking about God’s perfect timing!
“We don’t have a small God. We are not confined by directors and signatures. We have a living God, a miracle working God. In times of your desperation, when you call upon Him, He is there.”
Last year, Tom was called to serve as a pastor again at Faith Oasis Church in Kelana Jaya. His message has been full of faith and testimonies as a result of his life journey with God who is much more powerful than the demon!
(photo courtesy of Pr Tom Pereira)
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