Yesterday, my recently-discovered ex-neighbour Kevin paid me a CNY visit. Originally, I told him to come between 12noon to 3pm but he turned up earlier around 10+ am. My family was still sleeping at that time (we had a late night ;-)) and Kevin graciously agreed to meet me at the void deck of my block.
We sat around a stone table and were happily sharing away about the grace gospel and antinomianism when we noticed an older gentleman hovering around and observing us with a little smile on his face. I was thinking that this must be a Christian brother as I felt that his smile was a knowing smile. I caught his eye and with a wide smile on his face he asked, "Are you Christians?" I said yes and we shook hands and exchanged CNY greetings. I asked him, "Which church are you from?"
"New Creation Church." came the reply. Whoa! I know NCC has a lot of members but what are the chances of meeting a fellow church member at a void deck on the morning of the second day of Chinese New Year? This must be God!
A spirit of kinship was immediately established and Bro Charlie Ng sat down and started sharing his Christian journey. He was saved at NCC seven years ago. He is 65 years now (but looks at least 5 years younger, praise God!) and a taxi-driver for the last few years.
He shared with us how God started to turn his life around at the age of 58 and now he is debt free and healthy, with seven grand children. He shared on how he depends on the leading of the Holy Spirit when driving the cab (eg. when to wait at Changi Airport for passengers and when not to) and when sharing the gospel. Bro Charlie has led over a hundred passengers to Christ in his humble cab!
Bro Charlie was sharing away when he suddenly stopped and called out to an old man who was just passing by. The old man stopped and Bro Charlie handed him a red packet. The old man didn't want to take the red packet but Bro Charlie insisted and told him God's blessing was printed on the red packet (which is produced and sold by NCC). The old man accepted it with a smile and nodded his head when Bro Charlie asked him whether he has stopped smoking.
Actually Bro Charlie knew the old man. I also recognize the old man as he lives a few floors above my flat and earns a living by roaming around our housing estate, scavenging for tin cans and cardboard boxes and other stuff that people threw away to sell to the recycling company.
Bro Charlie told us that he saw this old man around the neighbourhood late one night. Bro Charlie approached him and asked him for a tin can. He was reluctant because it took a lot effort for him to find it. However, he was finally persuaded to hand over a tin can, and Bro Charlie stuffed a few currency notes into the can opening before handing the can back to him again. The old man was very surprised at Bro Charlie's gesture and let down his guard and chatted with Bro Charlie. Bro Charlie then advised him to quit smoking and not squander away his very hard-earned money on costly cigarettes.
This really warmed my heart and opened my eyes to how to share the gospel. Often times, many Christians (including me) want to immediately "sell" Jesus to non-Christians and expect them to see the truth straight away. However, Bro Charlie has shown that sometimes great patience is required. We need to first let non-Christians see Christ in us by our loving and caring. Then when the right time comes along, we can share the gospel message with them as the Spirit leads based on the mutual trust that has been established.
Bro Charlie has been a Christian for only the last seven years but what great wisdom he has compared to some of us who have been Christians for many years. Truly, I see the grace of God in him and if I may say so, truly a great example of a Christ-centered antinomian!
After Bro Charlie left, Kevin came up to my home and upon his request, I showed him how easy it was to set up a blog and Kevin proved this by posting his very first article today! The title - "Divine Appointment" ;-)