27 Feb 2015 by Adeline Lum CM-
Born with a silver spoon, international photographer Kid Chan grew up with the rich and famous. However, the family fortune turned overnight for the worse, breaking his parents’ 20 years of marriage under the heavy financial brunt.
This is a story of how God redeemed Kid Chan from a struggling child to the splendorous hall of fame. He thought he had seen it all at the peak of his career, until he saw God’s glorious face.
On 11th of February, Kid Chan shared about his journey with the Lord in the Full Gospel Business Men Fellowship of the Damansara Jaya chapter under .
“At 14 years old, what initially is a blessing is not much of a blessing. You see you friends in the private school. They are pretty much set for life—they have a company to inherit and they look like they are going overseas,” said Kid who attempted suicide more than once out of depression. “I looked like a very happy guy outside but I am actually hurting inside.”
The Lord provided for Kid to pursue a degree in international business from Curtin University of Technology. Graduating as a bright-eyed 20-year-old chap, he was headhunted to work as an executive assistant for Tan Sri MS Tan, owner of many renowned colleges then.
Kid was rewarded with a handsome pay that came with many privileges including a company car with full coverage of gas expenses, a gold card, and a mobile card. But stress caught hold of him from his long working hours that could stretch up to 20 hours a day. So, he quit and took up photography.
During this time, Kid got reconnected with his high school friend Chris Yap who invited him to his cell group. Chris Yap’s mother, Auntie Celia, had always been praying for Kid. So, at one time without Kid’s request, Auntie Celia prayed to God to bring Kid a good Christian wife. However, there was a problem—Kid was dating his wife Shirlyn Lim back then who was a staunch Buddhist! Although she refused to visit his cell group, she finally visited to accompany Kid’s brother who was visiting.
But even during this one-time visit, to Kid’s amazement, Auntie Celia led Shirlyn to say the sinner’s prayer. In a literally tasteful manner, she asked if Shirlyn would like to taste a delightfully sweet mango, which she could only affirm by eating it. This tasting metaphorically meant trying out a relationship with Jesus Christ. Shirlyn agreed and both of them ate the mango. But what was more amazing is Auntie Celia was actually allergic to mango, which Kid found out years later. However, she suffered no side effects on that night. Praise God!
Not only God blessed Kid with a good Christian wife, God also blessed Kid in his career as well. He took up an apprenticeship at a photography studio under the mentorship of TS Lim of Sudio 88. There, Kid learned the lesson of humility. He had fond memories of him washing the toilet in his first day of work and also painting the exterior wall of an industrial building during midday. Years later, Kid found out that none of his apprentices had to do that, but it was a test of patience given by Lim. And because Kid showed humility and willingness to learn, Lim was willing to teach without reserve.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (Luke 16:10)
Kid worked hard and he eventually took over a company in year 2000, which was later rebranded as Kid Chan Studio. Built with sweat and blood, Kid recalled scraping coins from his car just to buy nasi lemak bungkus to share with his mother, after paying off for his building rental and staffs. But God was ever faithful in providing him good mentors in his life.
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Prov 15:22)
After years of hard work, Kid finally reached the peak of his career in year 2008 amidst the economic crisis in Malaysia. Malaysian Tatler named him as “one of the the 100 people you must know in Asia.” He would travel to four different countries in one month, coming home only to exchange his bag of supplies before flying off. On one good month, he recalled doing wedding in multiple countries! Serving the top-two percentile of the country, he was party-hopping from one glitzy wedding to the next glamorous event. A few of the notable high-profile personalities he had photographed were Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Cherie Blair, Jackie Chan, Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh, Elle Macpherson, and Jimmy Choo.
“Don’t be jealous of what someone has because that may also be their biggest test. That is my biggest test,” said Kid. “As a young boy, I saw my family broke because of money. So, when I grew up, I hung on to money.”
Beneath his glamorous life, Kid’s private life was breaking down. Discussion of family affairs with his wife Shirlyn became an annoyance. Communication was breaking down to the point where divorce was mentioned. Not only that, his physical health was also suffering where he had bad back, blurred vision, bad eczema, overweight issue, and pre-diabetes, from the long working hours.
From the surface, Kid appeared successful, but he was far from living a balanced and fulfilled life. A balanced life is characterized by being healthy in the seven F’s including: faith, family, fruit (or legacy), fitness, friends, fun, and finances. Although Kid was strong in his finances, he was losing his family and fitness in terms of health.
But fast-forward to today, Kid has regained both of his marriage and health by the grace of God! In fact, his marriage is much stronger today, having stood the tough times.
As for Kid’s business, while he thought he was riding on the never-ending waves of success, his business unexpectedly took a turn. In 2009, his company was downsized to only two people—his wife Shirlyn and him. They prayed to God, even contemplated whether they should returned to their corporate careers. But as both of them quiet down and prayed, God separately gave them the verse Ecclesiastes 7:1a, which says, “A good name is better than fine perfume…” Since they have already built a brand name, they would sustain the company leaning on God’s strength through the challenging times.
Now together with Shirlyn, Kid saw that the purpose of their lives is to do only what matters for God. Having led by God to join the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), Kid identified with the life of Moses who started off as a prince, then a shepherd, and finally a priest. Like Moses’ princely phase, Kid rose to the peak of his career, money and stardom, during the first 30 years of his life. In his second phase now, Kid is unlearning and relearning to be a shepherd and to see the world from God’s point of view. Closely following the Lord now, he is more sensitive in seeking God’s direction for his work, including choosing projects strategically and building a strong team.
“I also told God that I really wanted to take my family to church on Sundays. And God moved my work calendar to my weekdays,” said Kid. “In the end, it’s not how long we are in Christ but how equipped we are to fight the battle.”
Wise words indeed from Kid! In the end, God does not care how wealthy or how famous we are but how Christ-like we are in richness or poverty. Do we follow Christ when we are poor? Do we forget about Him when we are rich? Kid has decided in his heart to follow God in richness and poverty.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4)
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