9 March 2013 by Adeline Lum-
Traveling first class and dining on top of the World Trade Centre in United States, Wong Hong Meng was a coveted management consultant at only 30 years old.
While he practiced good Chinese values taught by his father– honesty, hard work, elderly reverence, thrift and integrity, he was also exposed to the elements of entertainment cum business.
In 1979, his work mentor who was 15 years older quit working and found God in his quest for the Truth. And for two years, his mentor shared the gospel with Wong.
Finally, on January 1981, he accepted Christ with his mentor’s risk-free proposal during one of their usual meet-ups at Singapore airport.
“I know your problem, Hong Meng… As an accountant, you want to know the benefits of following God,” said his mentor. “And I want to ask you three questions.”
The first question was if Wong believed in the existence of God, to which he replied yes. The second question was who Wong thought God would be—either a fearsome God or a loving, caring and benevolent God. Wong chose the latter. Finally, the third question was if Wong believed that God was omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, to which Wong also replied yes!
“Then my friend, you have the desire to find God. And if you seek Him, you will find Him,” said the mentor. “All you need to do is to take that first step and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.”
Since it was a risk-free investment, after his arrival at Jakarta on that same day, he knelt down by his bed in a hotel room and accepted Jesus into his heart as his personal Lord and Savior.
The 1st Defining Moment- I Quit Smoking
And slowly, God worked on him. The first defining moment was on May 1981 when he was baptized in the Holy Spirit at a lunch fellowship meeting.
A serious smoker, he smoked keretek, cigars, pipes and regular cigarettes. Starting to smoke at 12 years old and becoming a serious smoker at 19 years old, smoking was a difficult addiction to give up! But something strange happened after the fellowship meeting.
“I was smoking already before the meeting. So when I got home, I took out my smoking pipe, took two puffs, and I didn’t quite like the flavour and smell. So, I put it down and never touched it ever since,” said Wong who quit smoking cold turkey without withdrawals or even the conscious desire to stop smoking. Praise the Lord!
The 2nd Defining Moment- My Son was Healed
The second defining moment was witnessing healing of his two-year-old son who developed some viral growth on his right chest. Pieces of extra flesh had appeared on his right chest.
“My wife and I, as young Christians, would pray over him when he was asleep. And over a couple of week, all the pieces dropped off. There was no need for surgery and there was not even a scar,” said Wong.
Contented with Blessings for 7 Years
So, Wong was confident and thankful of God’s love and provision. In fact, he checked over the list of a ‘Good Christian Guy’ including attending Sunday church services regularly, supporting church work wholeheartedly and volunteering as a singer in his church’s annual Christmas Singing Tree program.
For seven years, he had enjoying blessings and deliverance from problems by the Lord. However, he was not a joyful server and he also held back from serving the church due to two fears—lack of time and inadequate bible knowledge.
At that time, he was working 12 hours a day as a banker with a young family to look after. If he had invested his time in serving the church, he would compromise his family, work or personal recreational time. This brings us to his third defining moment in 1988.
The 3rd Defining Moment- I Got Bitten by A Snake
On 4th of September 1988, he hiked up a mountain in Pangson,Ulu Langat, to prepare for his climb to Mount Kinabalu the following week. They reached the summit and stopped to take a dip in a cooling waterfall nearby after that. Suddenly, while he was swimming, he saw a five-foot long snake with dark brownish-back scales right in front of him. The snake jolted at him and bit him at his neck! Blood oozed out and his body began to swell.
“I was told not to get excited or the poison would spread more quickly through my blood stream and I would die faster,” said Wong. “But throughout, I stayed calm because somehow, I know Jesus is with me. He will never leave me or abandon me.”
So, he took a quick lunch and hiked down the mountain for an hour before he was sent to the KL General Hospital emergency room for treatment. That was three hours after he was bitten.
“I was in the hospital for two weeks. During these times, I reflected about my Christian life. Although God blessed me, I was not sharing my blessings by giving back to the community. I was not willing to serve,” said Wong. “If I joined any activity, it was because I thought I would enjoy it, not for the Kingdom’s sake.”
I Can be Valuable to the Kingdom- A Decision I Made
After that, Wong began to be more involved in church, especially in areas he was not very good at.
“I was not comfortable with leading worship but I realize that it has nothing to do with me. People are not there to look at my performance but to worship God. And slowly, God help me to understand and learn to worship lead. God is not looking for a qualified person, but he is looking for a willing person whom He will enable and qualify,” said Wong.
An itinerary financial and leadership public speaker for churches, was a Chairman for the men’s ministry in his church, an active cell member who goes on mission trips, and a governing council member of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship, Wong actively serve the Lord since the snake bite incident in faith. Looking back, none of his areas was compromised! His family is intact and happy; with his wife Irene and two grown-up children. His job was blessed. And finally, his walk with God just grew and grew.
At 52 years old, Wong sat down and asked himself, “How many years do I have left in my life and what am I to do with it? So, I decided to retire and sit at the feet of Jesus to ask Him what He wants me to do,” said Wong.
Although he acknowledged the favor of the Lord upon him, life has not been without its troubles. But the Lord is always there to hold his hand.
“When I didn’t want to serve the Lord, it was I who decided not to do so for that seven years. But when I was bitten by the snake, it was also I who decided to start serving,” said Wong.
“There are many with God-given skills and abilities in church. I hope we can impart them to the Kingdom. People think professional skills and expertise are only to be used from Monday to Friday to earn a living, and kept segregated from our spiritual lives. But the truth is that every part of you is from God and it can be used for and in His Kingdom.”
Wong recalled two tax consultants who held a booth in church after their talk, for whoever who had questions about their taxes.
To be part of the Kingdom is not only to receive, but also to give, serve and help one another in Christ. You are valuable.
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