In the beginning, my parents and I were non-believers. We accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior when my paternal grandmother, who was a staunch Taoist, passed away. Both my father and mother had basic Christian knowledge from missionary schools during their childhood education. My father studied at ACS Ipoh and my mother studied at the Convent Girls School Penang.
All of us in the family were baptized in Dec 1968. That was some 47 years ago. As a young Christian I attended church on and off, listened to some difficult to understand sermons and mixed around with the kids after service. Life was carefree and I just had to concentrate on my studies and do well in school exams. While In secondary school, Friday chapel service was about singing some familiar songs. There was hardly any bible teaching at all. We had moral lessons instead and it was a terrific time to relax and waste.
While in varsity I learnt a bit more about Christ while attending Varsity Christian Fellowship and began to notice the exemplary lives of some of the deeper rooted Christians who took care of my needs during the initial years in campus. They organised gatherings and I was very comfortable with them. I remembered attending bible studies with some of them.
After graduating from medical school, life was rather busy and there was not much time for church activities nor meetings with other believers. I attended church on and off and declined to be fully committed to any cell group. A cell leader kept on calling me to attend cell meetings and I always declined. I would only join cell meetings in my house which my sister was hosting.
All being said I considered myself as a nominal Christian then.
While at work in hospital and as a chest specialist later I managed some very difficult cases. Despite my extensive training at home and abroad some patients would die without me and my team being able to do anything to save them. In the bible, I read about Christ being the healer and he would actually perform miracles to bring the dead to life.
Life is certainly short and in life only one thing is certain and that is death. Over time, I began to ask questions like what would happen when a person dies and is there life after death. To find out more about life after death, II began to read autobiographies of people who had near death experiences. To my surprise, many would narrate very similar experiences like seeing a tunnel of light and leaving their bodies. Some described how they were floating around their dead bodies and heard what the doctors were doing and saying during resuscitation. Some described the feeling of joy and serenity when they saw a person dressed in brilliant white in the distance.
During my varsity days I witnessed a middle aged person living opposite to me who frequently went into trance. While in trance he would jump, dance, somersault and behave like a monkey. I was told he had the monkey God spirit in him whenever he went into trance.
From my many readings and observations, I strongly believe that there is a spiritual world in existence which I cannot explain. If it is so, the existence of God must also be more real, I concluded.
My believe and faith in Jesus Christ became very much stronger when my father fell ill with a sudden massive heart attack in 1991, about a month after I began private practice. I stayed with him in ICU and prayed to God for his speedy recovery. I asked God for more years with him.
God was very graceful and merciful. I often marveled how my father’s big weak heart with a function of less than 20% never bothered him with symptoms of heart failure like shortness of breath, leg swelling etc. God’s healing power was truly manifest for many years. I strongly believed God’s healing power was made manifest through my doctor friends and myself who treated him. God works in many wondrous ways and I experienced it all.
My father was called home to the Lord at age 82 years in 2003 some 12 years after the heart attack. He died suddenly at home while being treated for an unrelated infection of his gallbladder stone. Because of all the blessings God has bestowed upon me and my family, my faith in him has steadily grown from strength to strength over the years.
I am thankful to God for being so merciful and faithful. He has blessed me and my family tremendously. I consider my career in medicine as a gift from God. God cares for me daily. Every day, I experience a peace of mind which cannot be explained simply. I have unburdened myself and let him carry all my worries. I know God is in control of every situation and he is in charge of my life. I understand how he has brought salvation for everyone who believes in his son Jesus Christ. He has promised eternal life for me the very moment I was baptized and accepted him as my Lord and Savior. I know my purpose in life and where I am heading.
Leong Oon Keong