19th Oct 2012. By Ezra Chim, CM –
Many young children living with foster parents are going through extreme pain, rejection and suffering alone. And life is full of toil to them and the hard life seems unending. Not many of the abused cases are brought to light through the press and the media and there are many out there who needed to hear the Savior Jesus Christ who came into this world to suffer extreme pain, torture and to be hung on a wooden cross to set us free and to give us a “new creation” life. For both sides, the person who inflicts pain and the victim, this article was written so that our human hearts can be more compassionate and loving towards others who lived with and around us.
Zechariah Rajan’s childhood days in the 1970’s and 80’s was filled with physical abuse and torture. He was given away immediately to foster parents when he was just born into this world. His foster parents lived in various places, in Batu Arang, Kuala Selangor and Rawang, which were rural estates at that time. Till this very day, he does not know who his actual parents were although he would love to know them now.
Explaining his life as a young boy, he has to undergo extreme beating and caning with leather belts for simple childhood mistakes; days without food and only water to drink, sleeping at night in the school canteen when nobody was around and even beside construction sites at night. The extreme fear of returning home to the foster parent’s house led him to live like a “homeless beggar.” Sometimes after school, he will take the last bus home so as to avoid the constant abuse and caning. And he has nowhere to turn to, no close relatives who cared and no “Samaritans” to take him in. He was all alone in this harsh world, full of fear and pain, and not knowing what tomorrow brings.
He recalled that at the age of 9 years old, after an extreme beating from his foster father, he stood outside a verandah somewhere in Batu Arang and looking up to heaven and said “God, please make me two wings so that I can fly away and be at a place of no pain.” Not knowing much about the living God and His love then, he did felt that peace, joy and happiness flooded into his being when he said those words.
The life of pain and abuse goes on for Zechariah and he related his experience when he once dug grave for survival. At the age of 13 years old, he was without food for three days and by divine appointment, an elderly Chinese man was cycling past him by the roadside and asked him whether he wants to work. Not knowing what kind of work and the need to survive, he just followed the Chinese man along and eventually went to a Chinese cemetery. There he was asked to dig a new grave. He was paid RM20 for the job and with the money earned and because he was so hungry at that time, he spent it all in one meal.
Even though the early life was full of struggles, he managed to finish his Form 5 studies and he started working in a construction firm at the age of 17. Today he is 45 years old and speaks fluent English, Bahasa Malaysia and even Cantonese. He is married to sister Carrina and has one daughter, Michelle.
The life story of Zechariah was very much like Joseph in the Old Testament of the Bible where Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and betrayed and thrown into prison. As an outsider, it was difficult to understand the many years of being away from his own family and living in a foreign land without help. But the Lord was with Joseph all along just as He was with Zechariah. Only Joseph himself understands the extreme struggles, the loneliness in the prison and the deep longing for the comfort of his family. As the writer shared Zechariah’s life story with another Christian friend, wisdom dictates that pain is a “tangible” experience on this side of eternity. In the toughest part of our earthly life, most of us will pose the same questions like Zechariah, “God, will you take away my pain? or Please God make me two wings so that I can fly away.”
God’s mercy endureth forever that at the age of 30 years old, a “still small voice” spoke to him repeatedly to go to a church. He was working in a printing shop in Shah Alam at that time and the inner call to him was so pressing that whoever he meets with a “cross” chain or symbol, he will ask them to take him to church. He was desperate to know the living God. Eventually he made it to a church in Klang and there he gave his life to Jesus Christ.
Asked about his conversion experience, he said “Before being a Christian, I blamed God for everything. But now I realised that God has kept me safe and protected me all along. No matter what our problems are in life, the solution is found in Christ Jesus. Once you receive Jesus Christ into your life, your entire life changes. The negatives will eventually turn to positives. God’s amazing grace will change our hearts to love one another and to make this world a better place to live in.”
Just before his foster mother died a few years ago, he was summoned urgently to the hospital to visit her for the last time. There at her bedside, she asked Zechariah for forgiveness for all the pain and sufferings inflicted upon him while under her care. And Zechariah said “yes” with tears rolling down his cheeks. There at her dying bed, she has turned around her abusive years into one of forgiveness and reconciliation. It was amazing how God restores broken and painful relationships in such miraculous ways. Life is not a bed of roses but God can turn all our toughest trials and afflictions around for His Glory. It is true that with the Almighty God on our side, all things are indeed possible!
Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!
Zechariah Rajan is a renovation contractor for houses and also a contractor for sound barrier walls along noisy roads and highways. He is based in Klang, Selangor. He worships at The Tabernacle, Kuala Lumpur. His email contact – firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone 018-3883661.