26th Sept 2012 by Ezra Chim, CM
The gift of grace was demonstrated miraculously in the life of Brother John Hong. The years leading to His conversion was strewn with a huge pride of life, business failures, and broken relationships and was stricken with cancer but the Lord in His great mercy came through to him in his darkest moments. His story is one where the Lord God can still be found if we are to ask, seek and knock at heaven’s gate of the Creator God.
Brother John Hong, age 56, in his young days, explained that “My brothers and sisters work very hard 7 days a week, at least 10 hours daily, no rest and all stressed up. My brothers are one of the pioneers in the textile embroidery services business in Malaysia in the late 1970’s. I join them in the year 1991 after having worked in Sabah for 10 years. After a few years we started our first embroidery shop outlet in Sungai Wang Plaza in 1995 and I was managing it. We did well and expanded a second outlet to The Mall near Chow Kit and got our younger sister to run it. But things change for the worse. Our business was affected by the economic crisis in the late 1990s. Rental was high and I remember I was a bitter man full of hatred and anger towards my brothers and sisters who are also partners in this family embroidery business because we follow the world’s way with low human values, business ethics and there is no unity in our family. I was very unhappy with what was going on in the business and family.”
He added that “We are the opposite to all these good Godly values and attributes of Jesus. We didn’t know this true and living God and we lack wisdom. Everything was not good. We were complaining to one another about everything in the business when things got bad. We did not have good work ethics and God’s Word for our guidance. I use to throw my anger at my children and my wife and blame everybody for this mess that I am in. I am also heavy on designer drugs because of all my frustrations and anger in the business with my siblings and I could not find peace. My family was almost broken up and destroyed.”
Then in year 2005, he discovered he had a lump growth on the left cheek on his face. He sought medical treatment at Tung Shin Specialist Center and it was later confirmed that it was cancerous. He could have been blinded by the growth or a possible tumor growth in his brain would be fatal. The operation was supposed to last for 45 minutes but it took the doctors about 2 hours to remove the tumor because the tumor burst during the operation and gave complications for the extraction. In His grace God gave him a second chance at life. The operation went well and within a week he was discharged and was recuperating back home.
In all his tribulation years, God was indeed gracious to him. The Lord sent his own younger brother Gary Piong, who was a Christian already to meet up with him in his hour of need. Gary was not involved in the embroidery family business. While he was sending Gary to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) one day, he spoke about his dire conditions to him. When he heard this happening he asked him to stop the car half way to KLIA and Gary took out a red pocket size booklet out from his luggage and gave it to him. John said “I remembered the front cover was written in capital letters “GOD’S WORD.” Gary told him, “Take this, it will help you.” It was the New Testament distributed by the Gideons. He has tried to read it many times over several months but could not absorb the message.
Yet the Lord our God was faithful. After a few months, nothing happens. However one morning, around 3 to 4am, he was not able to sleep and he used to take sleeping pills. He needed help and he had no one to turn to. He was very depressed then as though the world was tumbling down. In his deepest hour of need, “a still small voice” prompted him to read the red booklet with “God’s Word” written on the cover, and as he flipped opened the booklet, it was the Lord’s Prayer and he knelt down to pray that prayer. And then he turned the pages again and found the sinner’s prayer. He prayed the sinner’s prayer as well with tears rolling down his eyes and cheeks in that tiny room alone. He was crying and sobbing, and was touched by the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. He slept peacefully that morning and had no problem sleeping ever since. He knew from his heart that he had found what he was looking for in all his life and that is the wonderful gift of salvation and grace from God. After his conversion, he called up his brothers and sisters to seek forgiveness and reconciliation for all the harsh words, verbal curses and condemnation done before. Three months later he was baptized in Renewal Lutheran Church (RLC) in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
One day while he was reading the Bible and praying, something happened miraculously. “The Word of God is Spirit and they are life,” said Jesus. When he had sensed a smell like “foul smell of dead chicken”, he could not understand. The foul smell that came out of his nose was the dead cancer cells that were burned up by the fire of the Holy Spirit. He knew that God had healed him completely and it has been almost 7 years now.
Through it all, the Lord has transformed his life around and restored his relationship with all his family members and healed him completely of cancer. The greatest gift he has received was the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. His wife and children came to faith in Jesus Christ as well. Praise and Glory to the Lord!
Brother John Hong is the Chapter President of FGBMF Putra Heights Chapter. He is married to Sister Ann and they are blessed with two children. He is also an elder of Faith Oasis Fellowship in USJ 21, Subang Jaya. His email address – firstname.lastname@example.org