27 Dec 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
Cham Wei Leng drew a contented smile on her face, which occasionally burst into spurts of laughter. She is a happy housewife now for close to 15 years having seen all of her children grown. One would not imagine that Wei Leng was once an assistant Managing Director of a reputable stockbroker company who resigned into the joys of motherhood.
This is a journey how God changed the heart of successful career woman whose marriage was breaking down behind doors, is redeemed by God into His Design of marriage.
The Humble Beginning
Ever since she was young, Wei Leng saw the value of education though her father did not. Starting to work at 18 years old, she vouched that she would put both of her younger sisters through college, occasionally spoiling them with fancy pencil boxes, toys, and even a bottle of coke with her income. Those were the simple pleasures of life, precious to her sisters.
A resolute and ambitious woman, young Wei Leng set her eyes on earning as much as she could. She joined K&N Kenanga Sdn Bhd in year 1980 as a clerk and became an accounts supervisor four years later, having earned a diploma in accounting. In 1984, she joined another company and got married to her husband.
“When I got married, my mother-in-law wanted me to have a child. So, we had a son but I know that I had to move up in my career,” said Wei Leng who had a son the following year she and her husband got married.
Fixing the eyes on the Ivory Tower
Having appeased her mother-in-law, she continued working hard, so much so she would return home past 10 PM on most nights. Her mother would take care of her son that at one point, she wondered why she gave birth to her son whose asthmatic condition required her to bring him to see the lung specialist. Because of her lack of time with him, her son grew closer to her mother than her.
Due to her demanding hours of her work, sometimes she would go home and sleep right away, without talking to her husband. Her lady boss, a vigorous driver at work, kept her on her toes most of the times, where the slightest mistake would invite a loud reprimand. “This is how God trained me,” said Wei Leng. She began to perform better in her job, slowly earning the trust and confidence of her boss.
Beginning of a Cracking Marriage
While Wei Leng’s career steadily progressed, her husband attempt to start a small car repair shop failed, followed by a construction business which eventually failed as well three years later. Hence, she had to shoulder most of the financial burden in the family including household income, expenses for her son, and her sisters’ education. At that time, she was tempted leave her marriage at 25 years old.
Their husband-wife relationship became strained until at one point, they stopped cooking and eating together on the weekdays. The only time they spent time together were in the weekends, with both sides of the family; while at home, she would give him the cold shoulders when he talked to her. She was upset that she was the breadwinner of the family.
Meeting Jesus in the Board Room
In year 1988, her lady boss had a financial crisis, to which she accepted Christ during this time. Her boss began to change and was on fire for God that she would hold a Christian fellowship meeting every Tuesday during lunch time.
So, Wei Leng and her two other colleagues would often hide themselves from their lady boss to avoid being invited to the Tuesday fellowship. “I would say to them (the two colleagues) that I would rather get sacked than become a Christian,” she said.
In the meeting, she saw many people were prayed for and got slain. She thought that these people were putting on a show to please her boss. The trio would practice falling down in a room to pretend being slain, if ever they were called out one day. But somehow, they could not replicate falling naturally.
One fine Tuesday, one of the two colleagues complained to Wei Leng of a stomach discomfort he had. On that day, her lady boss caught a hold of them, leaving them no choice but to attend the fellowship meeting.
Pr Jean Lim was invited as a speaker that day, and announced that the Holy Spirit prompted her that someone in the room is having a ‘tummy problem.’ Wei Leng nudged her colleague, prompting him to go forward but he asked her to quiet down. Many people walked up to Pr Jean to be prayed upon. But after the meeting, Pr Jean again said that she felt prompted to heal a person in the room with a stomach problem. This time, to her amazement, her colleague went forward.
And just before Pr Jean placed her hand on her colleague, he was immediately slain and started howling, which terrified Wei Leng and her other colleague who thought he was pretending. And when Pr Jean made a last call for people with shoulder problems to receive healing, again this same colleague who had the ‘tummy problem’ went up to her again. “I was thinking to myself, ‘Wow, this guy really want to bodek (brown-nose) the boss,’” said Wei Leng who never heard that he had a shoulder problem.
After the meeting, they pulled the colleague aside and said to him, “You don’t ‘hallelujah’ until like that.” ‘Hallelujah’ is a slang phrase they used to describe the excessive expression Christians show in the meeting. But he replied, “No, it’s real… Something came out from me and I felt different.” He later revealed that he hurt his shoulders badly in a badminton game ten years ago, but never mentioned it to them before.
“I thought, ‘There must be something bigger than what’s inside of him that cause him to be like that,’” said Wei Leng.
Wives, Submit to Your Husband
She became interested in the Tuesday fellowships and would go every week without invitation. Noticing her interest, her lady boss quickly handed her a Bible, which she started reading from the chapter of Matthew.
“Somewhere, down the line of Matthew, it says, ‘Wife, submit to your husband… God chooses a husband and a wife… Satan cannot break family,’” said Wei Leng, which set her thinking about a wife’s submission to her husband although he never expected her to do that.
“I chose this man as my husband. I believe God has approved this marriage. My husband has done nothing wrong,” she said. She finished reading the whole Bible within one year. The teachings appeared logical and right. “Well, do I still want this marriage? My son had been asking me, ‘Mummy, where is my sister and brother?’” she said.
To believe in Jesus Christ, she challenged God to give her a daughter and she would believe Him. But her lady boss told her that she needed to believe first, before asking for signs from God. Since she would lose nothing in her side, Wei Leng accepted Christ. And before she knew it, she was pregnant although her family-planning methods had been working effectively for so many years. Three months into the pregnancy, the gynecologist confirmed that the baby was a girl! Wei Leng was ecstatic and apologized to God. She would try her very best to accept her husband but God need to humble her.
While her mother and mother-in-law surprisingly accepted her Christian faith with ease, her husband threw a tantrum for accepting a ‘foreign God.’ Perplexed, her husband went up to her mother one day, “Your daughter is a Christian now. Don’t you care?” Her mother calmly said, “I know my daughter will one day go back to Jesus.” She told him of how two nuns prayed for her difficult labor while giving birth to Wei Leng, which allowed her to be safely born. “It was Jesus who brought Wei Leng out of my womb,” her mother added. Her husband kept quiet upon hearing this.
Spiritual Food only at Work
Out of submission to her husband, Wei Leng did not go to church for many years. The only spiritual food she got was from the Tuesday fellowship. A manager invited knowing her situation, invited her to go to SSMC in PJ, which started at 8 AM and finished two hours later. So, every Sunday, Wei Leng would sneak out of the house with his son to church and quietly come back to her house without awakening her husband. Slowly, her husband’s heart was softened. The following year, her husband even came with her two children to witness her being baptized in the swimming pool.
Support from the Husband
During this time as well, her company was bringing in many people with qualifications. She was still very ambitious. But due to her low education level, her position could not go up further.
After giving birth to her daughter, she told her husband she wanted to study. Her husband agreed to support her by taking care of the children while she studied. Hence, her life revolved around working in the day and studying at night.
Her lady boss also wanted her to move up quickly, though many people looked down on Wei Leng due to her lacking qualifications. After six years versus three years of working in ICSA, she finally got the certificate!
Quitting her Job into Motherhood
At 35 years old, her lady boss promoted her to become the assistant General Manager to oversee a few departments. But in the beginning of that year, her womb has a cyst.
After operation, the doctor suggested that she should become pregnant to get rid of the cyst, which grew and fed on menstruation cycles. At that time, her son is already 12 years old and her daughter is seven years old, yet God asked her to be pregnant again.
Praying for God’s Will to be done, she found herself pregnant one month later. As she was doing her daily devotions, she could feel God telling her, “Wei Leng, it’s enough. Both of your sisters have graduated. You already moved up the corporate ladder, you completed your studies…it’s time to be a real mother. You haven’t seen your children grow.”
Wei Leng wondered if God was telling her to quit her job, but her house was still under installment and her husband was not doing very well in his career. Nevertheless, she also understood the burden on her aging mother who is now taking care of five children of her family and her brother family.
The conviction became stronger. When the recession hit in year 1998, the company offered a Voluntary Separation Scheme or VSS, whereby for every year she worked for the company, she would be paid one and a half month salary. This number of years would earn her more than RM100,000 at that time.
Hence, Wei Leng quit her job but later and smoothly delivered her baby. Nevertheless, Wei Leng did not have enough faith in God that He will provide for her. When her baby was six months old, she found a 9 AM to 5 PM job, working as the head in the Credit Control department in another stockbroker company.
She hired a maid to take care of her baby, but a terrible mishap happened. While her maid left her iron unattended, her baby crawled to the ironing wire and pulled it, causing the hot steel to tumble down from his little arm to his face. “I asked, ‘Why God? I just wanted to earn back some money. Then God was quiet. God, how can that happen?” she said, praying to God for two weeks. “Maybe it’s me… God, you said, ‘Stay at home’ but I did not have faith in God and I doubted him,” said Wei Leng.
Trusting in your God
She worked for another two to three months to honor the company’s request, before taking up a Montessori course, where she could bring her young son together and also received her children back from school due to the working hours.
And the Lord has been providing for her needs ever since then. “When you do things to other’s and you don’t expect anything, things will come back to you. My sister would buy clothes for my children and for me. They would also invite me to their house to eat,” said Wei Leng.
After the Montessori, she would also teach the children in the orphanage when her children go to school. God provided her groceries —chicken, pork, and vegetables— for the additional food He has blessed the orphanage with. “Trust in God, don’t try to help God,” said Wei Leng.
Today, her youngest son is 15 years old. Her daughter is 23 years old and works as an air stewardess for the Singapore Airlines, having studied in the hospitality industry. Her eldest son is 28 years old, working in Thailand as a manager. All three of her children have accepted Christ, but only her eldest son is baptized currently. In a comfortable life now, Wei Leng has already completed paying for her house and car installments. In her free time, she does community work for the Orang Asli, where she hopes to be able to visit the kampung’s in a regular basis. “I am waiting for my husband’s approval and continuing to pray,” said Wei Leng with a smirk.
Respecting your Husband
In addition, she found it easier to respect her husband now, who is the breadwinner of the family. Although Wei Leng is still praying and patiently waiting for her husband to accept the Lord, her love for God has transferred into her love for her husband. Looking back, she is thankful that her husband is a patient man. “He is the man and the leader of the family. A woman cannot wear the pants in the family. I submit to God first because of He says, and then I tell myself to submit to my husband.”
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
References for pictures: