Good afternoon. My name is Benaiah and I am here to give my testimony of how I came to Christ. I grew up in a Christian family, and my journey began in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. I don’t remember much about Malaysia as I was very young, but my parents prayed the sinner’s prayer when I was around 1-3 and also guided me and telling me about Jesus.
At the age of 6, we moved to Singapore, our home for 3 years. During this time, I regularly attended Singapore Baptist Church and learnt more about Jesus and Christianity, such as the story of creation, different bible stories, and how God died on the cross for our sins in order to save us, and for us to have eternal life. At this point in time, I found these stories interesting and acknowledged them, but I haven’t really grasp the true meaning behind them, and what they mean in my life for me.
And even though I regularly attended church, my intention was not focused on learning more about God. It was more because my family goes, and I was just tagging along and also because I just wanted to be able to see and have fun with my church friends every Sunday.
When I was 10 years old, the age where I’m more capable of understanding Christianity, I moved to Melbourne with my family.
Here, I attended New Life Evangelical Church, and spent my Sundays in kids church (Sunday School), where I continued to gain knowledge about Christianity and God, such as the Holy Trinity, existence of heaven and hell, the 10 commandments, and about God’s mercy and unending love. However, I didn’t think too much about these things at this age, I was just focused on school, and living a normal life.
At around year 7, or 13 years old, I knew more about God’s existence, His words and His salvation. However, this was also when my faith was heavily challenged. I remember my friends in school asking me questions like – ‘If there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the world?’; ‘How was Jesus born even though Mary was a virgin?’; ‘What is it wrong about gay marriage?’, and the one that challenged me the most – ‘How do you know the bible is real?.’ I had no idea how to answer these questions, and so questions and doubts started surfacing.
Still having these questions and doubts, our family moved to this church, previously known as Knox Preaching Point. By the grace of God, through reading the bible, attending the alpha course in youth, and the help of advisors and my dad, I found my answers to these questions. From this age onwards, it was about growing spiritually, and building a firm foundation in Christ.
A couple of key events helped me with this. For example, the 2016 Awakening youth camp challenged me to truly have a personal relationship with Jesus, and reminded me to put Him above everything else. It also presented me with questions like ‘What is my purpose here on Earth?’, and led to the question ‘What does God want me to do on this Earth?’, which helped me to begin to live out my faith in my life.
Rice Rally that was held last year (2017) taught me that everything on Earth is temporary, but God is forever. It helped me realize that we shouldn’t idolize materialistic things such as technology or money, but to glorify God, and look forward to our rewards stored in heaven.
AMYC, which I attended not too long ago, really encouraged me to make changes in my life as a Christian, to live out Christ likeness and to be a better disciple of Christ. Its theme – Renew, taught me to live by and walk by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25) renew my mind, to battle temptations, and to consistently read the bible to receive God’s wisdom, and understand His direction in my life. I learnt that a prideful heart is one of the most poisonous things that will hinder our spiritual growth, and that we should always pursue humility (Renewal of heart). In our final talk, I learnt about the 4 statements that I need to apply in my life.
I am under God’s governance, which reminds me that whatever happens in my life, I am under God’s control.
I am a proclaimer of the gospel, which tells us that we shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel
I am empowered by God’s grace, which reminds us that God is always there for us and will pick us up when we fall.
I am to live for other’s glory, which tells us to not do anything for our own benefits, but to put others before me, and serve others.
Comparing myself to the past, I have noticed myself growing in some ways. I realize that I now come to church and youth not only to have fun with friends, but to learn more about word of Christ. I’m learning to have a heart that desires to know more about God, to have a close and personal relationship with God. I am also learning on putting what I learnt into practice, such as taking care of others; “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32)
In the past, I would be afraid to let people, such as my school friends, know that I’m a Christian, as I was scared about being judged. Now, I believe I’ve made improvements in trusting God and also knowing the word of God, which helped me to face the challenges. However, there is always room for improvement such as boldly sharing the gospel.
Knowing Christ and having a relationship with Him has definitely been a blessing. Because of Jesus, I was able to walk through difficult times through the reassurance and comfort I find in His words written in the bible. For example, 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”, has helped me through stressful times in school.
I am really grateful that I have now been baptized and belong to Christ, and given the reassurance of my salvation through the scripture John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”
I thank God for the grace he gave to me to serve as a youth committee member this year. I am also very thankful to my parents, advisors and youths, who encourage me to be more Christ-like each day. Thank you