Nov 27 2012, by Adeline Lum CM-
On November 22, I visited the FGB (Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship) chapter of Petaling Jaya Damansara Utama, where Robert Chong as Executive Vice President of YTL Hotels shared how he trusted God for his career.
He managed nightclubs for the Federal Hotel or Low Yat Group for over 20 years. He was also the pioneer for using laser lights in the early 1980's in the Discotheque industry. During the recession around year 1985 to 1987, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
“The guy who maintain the laser lights told me of his peaceful and joyful experience of attending his charismatic church in P.J.,” said Robert. How can singing in church reap such a joy?
“I was accustomed to the fast-paced and upbeat nightlife,” said Robert. “But I also wanted to go to church to find out myself.”
JOY AND PEACE NOT FROM THE WORLD
So, one Saturday, he went. He had a culture shock! The church music was contemporary. As he sang along, the spirit of the Lord touched him.
“I cried and it was so embarrassing for a man to stand and cry in public, especially in the Chinese culture, we think that real men do not cry,” said Robert.
He enjoyed the music but he was not a Christian yet at that time.
“No one told me that I was hungry for God,” said Robert.
He found out about a FGB that was held in a hotel and he attended. At the mean time, his wife, Angie Chong, who was opening a hair salon, felt discouraged due to the unprofitable business she was having. She tried praying to a god of another faith and also attempted Feng Shui to enhance her business, but nothing work. He was also troubled because his son was to be given to a nanny to take care of at that time.
GROOVING WITH JESUS ON THE DANCE FLOOR!
“During this period, God touched my heart and I accepted Christ,” said Robert. He read that Jesus preached to sinners like him! And he thought of sharing about Jesus on the dance floor of his nightclubs!
I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent. (Luke 5:32)
So, he started a fellowship in the clubs with all his deejays, waiters and waitresses, bartenders and cleaners, not to mention organizing evangelistic meetings and Christmas parties. Staffs were invited to attend his church. Some even accepted Christ!
PROMOTED LIKE JOSEPH– FROM A MANAGEMENT TRAINEE!
However, he prayed to God to lead and guide him in his career, as he cannot be managing the clubs and discotheques all his life after he was saved.
When he first managed the Federal Club Discotheque, it was so successful that the owner later wanted him to open more Clubs and Discotheques, promoting him to be the “Group Clubs or Discotheques Manager”. He managed the Federal Club, the Sapphire (in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Singapore), the Prince Club at the then Prince Hotel and the City Club at the Roof Top of Yow Chuan Plaza.
After been saved, the Lord continued to bless him in his career. He was promoted to be the first local “Resident Manager” for the then famous Federal Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which took him off the nightlife. His career continued to grow and he was promoted once more to become the Group Operation Manager for the Federal Hotels International, overseeing three hotels.
Like Joseph, he was promoted from a management trainee to the Resident Manager of Federal Hotel K.L.!
HOW TO FIGHT TEMPTATION?
Since he had been exposed to many temptations over the years as a Christian, I asked him how he fought temptations.
1. Watch and pray—watch what you see and watch what you think.
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
2. Flee, run away from sexual temptation.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. (1 Cor 6:18)
3. Watch yourself from spiritual pride. When you think you are strong and you can bulldoze through, that is when you fall.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
4. Humble yourself before God, knowing that everyday you are subject to falling.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)
In year 1994, he prayed for a new job to support his growing family. At that time, he was chosen to lead the FGB Chapter at Bukit Bintang, which was coincidentally visited by Tan Sri Dato (Dr) Francis Yeo, head of the YTL group. When he heard that he was about to leave the Federal Hotels Group, he told his Personnel Director to get him to join the YTL Group.
“Before I quit, I prayed to God that I wanted a job that would allow me to continue serving HIM faithfully in FGB. Dato' Mark Yeoh who interviewed me at that time, was alright with it,” said Robert.
He did not apply for the job in YTL but God brought it to him!
GOD IS MY CEO
And here are a few advices he has for young working adults:
1. Serve God and He will never SHORTCHANGED you.
Because of his commitment to serving the Lord in FGB, God brought the job to his doorstep.
2. Forgive those who offend or hurt you. Vengeance is not your’s.
A misunderstanding broke between him and the bouncers once, resulting in him being punched. Ranting out of anger and self-pity, he prayed for the forgiveness of those who sinned against him! And before he could finish his prayer, God said to him, “You are the apple of my eye. Vengeance is mine.”
The next day, he did not feel like going to church due to the bruise on his eye until he saw an impression of Christ on the cross. “I felt God was telling me why are you in self-pity when my son died on the cross?” said Robert.
He went to church that Sunday, hearing the preaching of the first martyr in the Bible named Stephen who also asked God to forgive those who were hurting him, just like Jesus in Luke 23:34.
“Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots (Luke 23:34).
And that is how he named his daughter Stephanie, in honor of God when his wife Angie was pregnant at that time.
3. Obey God and keep all his commandment.
But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)
4. Love God and also love yourself. If you hate yourself, how are you going to love other people? So, we must also love ourselves. How well do you love?
He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27)
CAN WE TRUST GOD IN OUR CAREER? YES WE CAN!
Robert broke into tears when he talked about how God said he was the apple of His eye, despite his wrongdoings. He is a walking testimony of how we can trust God with our career if we obeyed Him.
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For more information of FGB, please visit http://www.fgb.com.my/
Pictures were adapted from: