Since the day Pastor Nick Resien was born, he knew the meaning of poverty. His father left him when he was still a baby. Because of this, his mother had to work in the city to raise him and his siblings, under the care of his grandmother.
At that time, he would grow up eating rice mixed with salt or dry shrimps, as a staple household food. During holidays, while his friends would leave the village for a vacation in the city, he would need to find work. At only seven years old, he would collect RM2 for cleaning and also picking up rubbish.
His school bag was a rice sack cloth and his belt was made out of a rope girded around his waist. His one uniform was thin with holes, compared to his peers who have more than three uniforms a year.
Yet, God’s eyes were already on Pastor Nick Resien. He knew Jesus Christ in the Christian Fellowship in school, where he could hear God’s gentle voice saying, “I am your Father.” Since that day onwards, he knew that true love comes from God, the Father.
But the LORD desires for Nicky to experience His love tangibly through the family of the church. Due to his excellent school results, he was selected as a candidate at 15 years old for a student-exchange program from Kuching to Johor Bahru, to complete his final two years there. It was in Johor Bahru that he began to experience the agape love of God.
His church friends loved him so much that they would take turns in bringing him out for lunch. Because of his musical talents, Pastor Nick would also serve as a guitarist in all three services in his Anglican church. And this dedication accompanied with his bright genuine smile, smitten the heart of his pastor so much that he was offered sponsorship for his tuition as well.
God indeed poured down His love on Nick through the church family. In fact, Nick grew to love the church so much that he would stay in the church premise during the weekends, never minding to clean it, because that was where he felt the presence of God most strongly.
However, excluding church, he hated his life in the Peninsular Malaysia. As soon as he completed his graduation, he waved his beloved church family goodbye and vowed never to step his foot on this land again. Returning to his hometown Kuching, he got himself a good and stable job as a contractual draftsman in Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR). But strangely enough, he never experience peace in his heart – not at work, not at home, and not in the church. He could sense that God wants him to return to the Peninsular Malaysia.
While he struggled with God, the LORD spoke to him through the newspaper, which reported how the Britain royal family was grooming Prince William to take over the throne. He knew in his heart that God wants to prepare him for something bigger in his life. So, he waved goodbye to his job and bought an expensive one-way air ticket from Kuching to Johor Bahru, with only RM50 remaining in his pocket.
Eventually, he moved to Kuala Lumpur, where he steadily ascended to become the trusted second-in-command person in the company. At that time, he was earning RM5000 per month, having married his beloved wife and owning a car. He was also actively serving in Hope Church Kuala Lumpur, leading a vibrant Bahasa service ministry of six cell groups consisting of 40 people each. Everything was set in place for him, so he thought.
In one meeting, his pastor challenged all the leaders for a missionary calling, to which Pastor Nick immediately thought about going to Cameron Highlands due to his interest for the Orang Asli. Yet, God put Kota Bharu in his heart. While he struggled with God for this strange place, he confided in his wife and asked whether she would move to Kota Bharu with him. And to his surprise, his wife immediately agreed to quit her job and ministry to follow him to Kota Bharu.
Hence, together with his four-month pregnant wife at that time, Pastor Nick moved to Kota Bharu, exhausting all of their income in three months. The only job he could find there only pays RM300 per month, allowing them to afford maggi mee every day accompanied with some cheap yellowing vegetables. Coming to the fourth month, Pastor Nick told God that he would return to Kuala Lumpur if He is not going to provide him a job. But now looking back, this is actually a God-designed valley for him to strengthen his faith.
In the middle of the fourth month, an established architecture firm called Pastor Nick to offer him a project-bases job. With that money, he was able to rent a small apartment with two bedrooms, which would also be the starting base of his home church called Faith Sanctuary of Glory. Suddenly, without him telling anyone of his purpose, students would call him from the universities asking if he will be having a church. Although he humbly told them that his church would be held at his home, all of them did not mind coming.
Hence, every Sunday, Pastor Nick would drive to the universities in Kota Bharu – UMK, USM, and Polytechnic College – to pick them up one by one. The first service had nine students already, worshipping God in their living room without air conditioner, projector, or drums. They had to stick papers on the wall, with written words for the worship service, accompanied only with a guitar. Within three months, the church increased to 20 students and they had to rent a bungalow for the church service. And within one year, the church increased to 40 people already. When the second year came, they had to move to a new premise.
To save cost, Pastor Nick moved into the new premise located on the third floor, with his wife and young daughter. They slept in the dilapidated premise for a period, under a broken ceiling that dripped water during the rainy season. During the Sunday service, Pastor Nick would preach in the heat, drenched in sweat with the congregation, without the air conditioner. However, everyone would still come and passionately worshipped God. Through faithful prayer, the church is now equipped with air conditioners, a good sound system, chairs and also finances for carpeting. Praise God! Today, the church has grown beyond 100 students now although Pastor Nick enjoyed smaller churches more, for the more intimate relationships.
Also, since the church began, he did not depend on the church to pay him but the LORD has faithfully provided Pastor Nick the means to work for his own salary at RM4000 per month from his contractual work and also love offering from others, to fulfill his family responsibility. The monthly contribution to church worth RM3000 is used to pay for its rental, electricity bill, water bill, and the pastoral care of the church ministers.
Yet, Pastor Nick experienced temptations of acquiring more wealth for pride and comfort, especially when comparing to his peers. But God has a way of showing him what His calling is for him. In building him for something bigger than himself, God has appointed him to be the shepherd of his church. Hence, when Pastor Nick takes additional projects till it neglects his church responsibilities, he realized the money he earned would be eventually spent in repairing his car or fulfilling a family need.
Today, Pastor Nick Resien has the brightest smile, with a magnetic aura that attracts people to him. He is honest with his weaknesses and filled with genuine love for people. We can see that truly, he is a product of forgiveness of his father who had left the family to his demise for so many years. Because of the agape love he received from his brothers and sisters-in-Christ, it completely healed him, which allowed him to love others the same.
And this is only part of the unfolding story of Pastor Nick Resien who does not know where God would be bringing him to. His past did not define his future, but he thanked God for the experiences because they molded him to be who he is today. Most importantly, he knows whose he is, he belongs to the Father in Heaven.
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