By Ruth Choo

Forty years ago in 1976, at the age of 20, I was married. For almost ten years since, I enjoyed a stable marriage and family life, with two children. Then, in August 1987, my husband had a fall at work and was rushed to the hospital. After an operation, he was in a coma for a month. Every day, I wished he would wake up. Unfortunately, the doctors diagnosed him with brain damage. He could not move, speak or eat. Even though he could open his eyes, he could not recognize me or other family members. After being in the hospital for six months, we took him home. Family members took turns to care for him.

After several months, in February 1989, my husband passed away. I was 33 years old. I had become widow, and a single mother to a daughter aged 12 and a son aged 11.

I felt terribly sad and lonely. I had nobody I could talk to. I missed my husband very much. I was struggling in pain. I was filled with insecurity and fear, and cried every night all alone. I did not know how I was going to get on with life and to bring up my two young children. At the same time, I was also responsible to take care of my parents-in-law and sister-in-law.

I began to focus on working hard to provide for our livelihood. Yet, I was very worried about my children’s studies and fearful that they might go astray in their growing up years. But I later found out they had been going to church without my knowledge.

My life went on like this for several years. After my parents-in-law passed away, I sold my 5-room flat to start a business in China. In 1996, I went to Xiamen to start up a food court. However, within one year, the business failed badly. In May 1997, I was back in Singapore to work. My income was far from enough. I had taken loans from banks for the business. The debt I was bearing amounted to SGD150,000. During that time, I could buy a 5-room flat with that sum of money. My financial debt was huge. I had my children to provide for. I had no one to depend on. Now, not only had I lost my husband, I lost all my money! I was very scared and felt totally lost.

Banks were calling me every day asking for payment. I did not even dare to take the calls. I looked at the bills every day and asked how I could ever settle all my debts. I lived in such fear and helplessness for two years. No matter how I worked hard to pay off the debts, they just kept growing because of the interest rate. I did not know what to do.

In June 2000, my children invited me to their church, River. I agreed, but went no expectation at all. But once the people began to worship with songs and music, tears kept flowing out of my eyes. I was just deeply touched by the beautiful worship. I knew I needed God to help me in my great helplessness. But I did not know who this God was and how to receive His help. Yet there was this love and comfort that I felt during the church service. A feeling that I had not had for a long time.

Later, a few of the church members shared with me about God’s love. They shared how Jesus died on the Cross for my sins, resurrected that I might have victory and would one day come back in glory. That day, I received Jesus into my life as my Lord and Savior. I was crying non-stop, as if I was pouring out all my fear and helplessness to God. I prayed for God to help me resolve my debts. I felt like I finally had Someone to talk to and get help from.

I thank God He indeed helped me to walk out of my debts. He sent my Pastors, Reverend Dr Stephen Tan and Reverend Monica Sng, into my life to teach and guide me. They held Bible Study sessions in my home so that my children and I could grow in our faith. Not only that, they gave me practical counsel in managing my finances. They even offered to go with me to the banks to negotiate for installment payment plans that I could cope with.

I thank God I now had my Pastors and church family to seek counsel and encouragement from. I was no longer helpless. God had given me help.

Because of my Pastors’ selfless love and guidance, I came out of my financial debt and stepped into financial freedom. Because of God’s love, I have been saved and transformed – from broken to blessed. All glory to Jesus Christ!

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My friend, are you feeling broken, needing help and strength? Like how Jesus has helped and saved me, He wants to be your Savior too. I invite you to receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. Say this prayer with me –

“Dear God, I am broken and I need help. I thank You that Jesus has come to set me free by dying on the Cross, and that He has risen to give me victory. I give my life to Jesus, asking Him to take charge of my life. Forgive me of all my wrongdoings, and teach me to live according to Your will and purpose. Thank You, God. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

You are a believer and follower of Christ now that you have said this prayer. Praise God! I invite you to join us every Sunday at our Church Service to learn and grow in your life journey.

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