Two lovebirds fell in love at university, but found their marriage to be on the rocks. Yet, it was in this rough patch that God moulded and shaped Damien Chua and Lai Mei Ying, amongst other trials, to start the Arrows Resource Centre in Ara Damansara.
“Before I met Mei Ying, I told God that I wanted Him to find a wife for me. In every area of your life, you have to commit to Him – especially your career and family choices. If you build God’s house, He will build yours,” said Damien who found Mei Ying to be God’s choice for him, after many confirmations from God.
But the marriage did not start on a bed of roses. In 2002, the two young hopefuls quit their jobs in big accountancy firms, to search for greener pastures in China.
“It was quite a lonely period, we were away from church and we were newly married with no kids yet. We did not know the language and business was not going well. Everything was just going downhill,” said Mei Ying.
They would argue almost every day, including entertaining thoughts of divorce. At that time, Mei Ying had to take about 10 pills for her hyperthyroid medical condition, which also affected her mood.
At one point, Damien recalled standing at the apartment balcony in Shenzhen one night shouting to God for help. He immediately felt God’s peace, which greatly encouraged his faith to trust in Him, no matter what.
Yet, the situation did not change until they decided to return to visit Malaysia for Chinese New Year in 2003. In the second week of their break, the Lord revealed to Damien in a dream that he would be praying for a demon-possessed man.
Two days later, when the couple came home from a dinner late at night, Damien found his father, Datuk Chua Jui Meng, Minister of Health at that time, sitting unconscious on the floor beside his bed.
Damien tried to wake his father. But instead of waking up, he began to convulse and mumble incoherently. A wicked smile crafted over his face as he uttered the name “Beelzebub,” which is the name of Satan in the Greek language.
Damien laid him on the bed and began to pray for his father. As Damien laid hands on him and began to pray “in the name of Jesus,” his father opened his eyes wide and jumped at him! His face was full of evil expressions and Damien realised his father was in a demon-possessed state.
“All of us were shocked because none of us had seen him like that before”, said Mei Ying who also came to assist in prayer.
Recalling the incident, she said, “Suddenly, the Holy Spirit came upon Damien and he said with great authority, ‘In the name of Jesus, who are you?!’ And to our horror, the spirit spoke, ‘My name is Legion, for we are many.’
“And we realised that this was also a verse written in the Bible and we began looking for it. We found it in Mark Chapter 5, which told the story of Jesus casting out demons from a madman in the town of Gadara.”
At this point, the family members who had gathered were already commanding the demons to get out, in unison. Dato Chua’s eyes had rolled upwards till you could only see the white part of his eyes. And his tongue was also sticking out like a hissing snake.
On one occasion, the evil spirit looked at Damien and said, “I hate your faith.” And at another point, the spirit even threatened one of Damien’s brothers that it would gouge out his eyes and slit his throat.
The family started calling up pastors and they finally got a hold of Pastor Jean Lim who was still awake praying that night. She came over and prayed for Dato Chua until he fell asleep. Before leaving, she also taught the whole family how to pray for deliverance.
In the next few months, God sent a stream of pastors to pray for Dato Chua and to cleanse the house. During the day, Dato Chua would behave normally and go about his business.
But when people began to pray for him at night, he would again manifest and go through deliverance from evil spirits. This happened over many nights until God finally set him free from every form of spiritual oppression.
“From this experience, we realized that the spiritual world is so real. The demons are real. But at the end of the day, we also found that the power of God is greater than the power of darkness,” said Damien who decided to return to Malaysia with Mei Ying after that incident.
Before the deliverance, Dato Chua was very sickly. He had constant and severe migraine, crippling his ability to think clearly. He also had high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and sharp chest pains as he was recovering from an open heart bypass surgery.
But as God began to deliver him from demonic oppression, he was healed one-by-one of all his sicknesses! Today, he remains healed and healthy, thanks to the power of Jesus.
“Some of my immediate family members who were not Christians also saw the miracles of God and gave their lives to Jesus,” said Damien.
A fulfilment of God’s promise to him, Damien was praying for God in 1996 to touch his non-Christian family members during his university days in Melbourne, Australia. While praying, he heard the audible voice of God saying, “My son, do not worry because one day I will save your whole family and they will serve Me.”
It was during that time as well that Mei Ying had her first powerful encounter with God. A pastor who came to pray for Dato Chua gave her the verse Romans 8:26.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans”. (Romans 8:26)
So, Mei Ying began to pray in tongues whenever she could – even while she was cooking, washing, driving, and before going to bed. A few days later, the power of God suddenly came upon her in one of Pastor Jean Lim’s prayer meeting and she was slain by the Holy Spirit.
There, she went through two hours of deliverance from evil spirits and God miraculously and instantaneously healed her of her hyperthyroid condition! The doctor proclaimed that she was indeed free from the sickness in a medical check-up later. And till today, she remains well by the grace of God.
“The doctors had also told Mei Ying she could not have children because of her medical condition. However, God sent many prophets to tell Mei Ying that He would bless her with children, even when she was barren” recalled Damien.
The couple kept claiming the promises of God during Mei Ying’s barren condition, and like Hannah in the Bible, they both dedicated their children to serve God.
One night while praying, Mei Ying had a vision of Jesus in a shining white robe, wearing a golden crown. He walked up to her with a baby in His hands and symbolically gave the baby to her.
Soon after her healing, God blessed Mei Ying with two beautiful children, Rachel and Samuel, who were born one year apart. God had fulfilled His promise to them!
“After the deliverance, I began to hear the voice of God clearly and I began to receive visions and dreams. I became so sensitive to the Holy Spirit,” said Mei Ying.
It was during this time that she visited Pastor Susan Tang’s ministry in Lahad Datu, Sabah called “The Station of Life.” There, during a time of ministry, she was again slain in the Spirit and God gave her a vision of young children being held captive by the devil in a spiritual prison. From then on, God began to prompt her to start a Christian-based school.
Every time she prayed, God would drop the word “school” into her spirit. She began to experience a growing and supernatural love for children. Her desire became so great that one day she found herself praying, “God, give me the children, I will mother them.”
At around the same time, Damien also started sensing God encouraging him to start a school. Many pastors also prophesied over Damien that he would one day be involved in youth ministry. Pastors would also pray for the couple and see a vision of them being surrounded by many children.
“The way I view God is that He will not always give us the whole picture all at once. But He will just drop parts of the vision over time. And we need to take the first step in faith before He shows us the second step. That is how He built my faith for the vision He had for us,” said Mei Ying.
It took seven years before the vision became a reality. During this period, the couple had tried many other ventures which failed. A pastor from India came and said to Damien, “God wants you to be still and wait for His timing. Don’t go looking for another job or business.” The pastor did not know what they were going through.
“When God gives you a promise, it takes time before it comes to pass because it’s always His timing. We may doubt but we also need to be patient in His timing, like Abraham waiting for Isaac,” said the couple. “God told us this work will be built on our knees”.
Mei Ying added, “Personally, I felt that God was just using the situation to deal with me, to empty me, and to cause me to surrender. Because coming from the corporate world, I trusted more in my own strength instead of relying on Him.”
In 2010, Arrows Resource Centre opened its doors and God has since grown the centre to about 300 students today. Arrows is blessed with dedicated teachers and staffs who love young people, and the couple credits every success to the talented and passionate team.
“A school is only as successful as the quality of the teachers and administrators,” says Damien.
Mei Ying added, “Our students became our testimonies and they also became our teachers. We learned a lot from dealing with them. We are all created differently, so there’s a different approach for every child. And that’s really the wonderful work of God.”
From running Arrows, the couple has seen how the devil has already negatively influenced young people through addictions, violence, vulgarity, depression, and rebellion. Today, children have free and easy access to worldly influences through the Internet and social media. They are exposed to music and movies with poor moral content.
“In running the school, I always need to run back to God and ask Him, ‘God, how now? What is the next step.’ I have to keep relying on Him for answers. And through this journey, God draws me close to Him every day. I find that He is so smart and wise. He knows what He is doing right from the beginning,” said Mei Ying.
But through the constant prayer and the sharing of God’s love and grace, the teachers and staffs at Arrows always see God intervening in the children’s lives.
“God’s heart is for healthy and happy families because families are the basic building blocks of society. If the family unit break up and fails, this gives rise to social problems and disharmony,” Damien explained.
Another blessing to them is that both their children – their daughter who is 10 years old and their son who is 9 years old this year – are studying in Arrows! This allows Damien and Mei Ying to always be with the children.
And from a young age, the couple and their children had been serving together in the ministry as a family. The couple often minister in youth and children camps, and their kids would always follow and assist them.
“Both kids have already experienced God in their own way and that is the greatest blessing to us,” said Damien proudly.
The family’s favourite Bible verse is “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15b).
“When I first met Mei Ying, I just felt that she was the right one. There were a lot of confirmations from God. Even after we got married, many pastors who prayed for us said that God had already ordained us to serve together, as one in ministry,” said Damien.
Mei Ying added, “As for me, I know that God wanted to set the right foundation in our marriage right from the start, because everything must be centred in Jesus. I have to say it’s very fulfilling to have a partner whom you are totally open and honest with, who share the same thinking and heart for God.”
As iron sharpens iron, both have matured in their personal and their collective walk with God over the years.
And now, Damien and Mei Ying are not only parents of their own children, but also spiritual parents of 300 children in Arrows Resource Centre.
Indeed, a ministry is only strong when it is built on the strong foundation of a family, standing on the Rock of Jesus.
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Written by Adeline Lum