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Growing Closer - Chee Ming

Photo taken at Taroko Gorge, Hualien, Taiwan


As we approach the end of the year, we sat down with my mother, sis Chee Ming, a long-time member at LAPCOC to learn from her Christian journey. Even though my mum finds it a bit weird that her own daughter is interviewing her, she has nonetheless accepted, and for that, I am grateful.


Michelle:

Tell me more about yourself. What do you work as and what do you enjoy doing outside of work?

 

Chee Ming:

I have been working as an accountant on a flexible work basis since Bryan was born in 2001. I am blessed to be able to do this job that allowed me to have more time for family and church work.

 

Michelle:

What is one little known fact about you?

 

Chee Ming:

I grew up in an environment where I was constantly exposed to Chinese language as my parents read Chinese newspaper and TV programmes. I had very little exposure to English even right up to 6 years old as my kindergarten teachers spoke mainly in Mandarin. I probably only knew A to Z and simple English words. When my mother decided I should attend an English stream primary school instead of a Chinese stream primary school, it was difficult for me. (Note: Back in 1974, there was still a choice to choose Chinese stream schools).

 

I remembered on my first day of school, I could not understand much of what my English teacher was talking to me. My English teacher gave up and switched to Mandarin to converse with me. I have come a long way to attain my tertiary education qualification and I am very thankful for that.

 

Michelle:

When were you baptised? How did you come to be baptised?

 

Chee Ming:

I had a good friend in my secondary three/four class, and I visited her home to cook meals together. Her younger sister got to know me. When I completed my GCE O level exam in end-Nov 1983, the sister asked me if I was interested to attend a student camp organised by Lim Ah Pin COC. I was then attending a denominational church, but had little bible knowledge. So I signed up together with my classmate. We had bible studies with bro Kwan and went on to obey the gospel and was baptised then. The camp was held at the former Four Seas College back in Punggol. I remember travelling through Punggol Road smelling the pungent smell of pig farms. I was baptised in the sea there.


Sad to say, both my classmate and her sister are no longer in the congregation today, and had given up their faith.

 

Group photo taken at the old Four Seas College in Punggol. This is from the 2nd student camp attended by sis Chee Ming.

  

Michelle:

What would you say are your fondest memories in church?

 

Chee Ming:

I have many fond memories in church and it is difficult to choose one to mention.

 

Maybe knowing sis Baby was my privilege and my blessing. For a period of time, I went to her home to have dinner before Thursday midweek services. She was hospitable and cooked delicious meals to share with the brethren.

 

When I got married and had my own home, I invited her to my home and she enjoyed a lunch prepared by me. She was always generous with her compliments even though my cooking skills were not that great. We had a wonderful time bonding over the meal. 

 

Michelle:

Understand that you are fairly active in the church, what areas are you active in? 

 

Chee Ming:

I was not always active in church especially during the period when I was married, and my kids were young. I tried to be more active after seeing how the young couples bring their kids to church activities and bible studies despite juggling their full-time work. 

 

I am an outgoing person, likely influenced by my parents who were always hospitable and friendly. I enjoy meeting people, which is why I help out in the ladies fellowship activities and new member events. I also help in preparing the Lord Supper bread and cleaning the church premises now. I also take up challenges to teach children classes although I always feel that my command in English is not very good. I signed up to be a visitor class teacher as I was inspired by sis Baby and sis Swee Inn.

 

Michelle:

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to be more active in the church?

 

Chee Ming:

If you choose the areas of work that you are good at or you enjoy, you will be more motivated to help consistently and over a long period of time. Even if you are not too good at it, you can slowly learn from other brethren and become proficient in it. I used to sit in the visitor classes conducted by sis Baby and sis Swee Inn.

 

Michelle:

Looking back on your Christian journey, what are some highlights and/or struggles thus far?

 

Chee Ming:

My faith was not that strong prior to my marriage and the period after I was married to a non-Christian and having three kids in four years was when my faith was at its lowest point. It took an accident, where my second girl had one thumb cut off, before having it re-attached successfully, that I was jotted out of my complacency. That night when she had the operation to re-attach her thumb, I kneeled to pray to God for His mercy and grace. My faith picked up from then. Only then did I truly appreciate how God had blessed me with three lovely kids and all other blessings.

 

Michelle:

What is your favourite Bible verse and why?

 

Chee Ming:

One of my favourite verses is 1 Corinthians 10:13 as it reminds me that through whatever challenges and obstacles I may face in life, God will always ensure we have a way out, as long as we continue to trust in Him.

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