God's Saving Grace

Testimony the writer, Ng Ek Khiam made
on the day of his Baptism on 15th August, 1982

Mr Ng Ek Khiam

"I am 66 years old and have been a nominal Buddhist. My two daughters have been Christians for the last 15 years or so. I had resisted conversion because the so called Christians who approached me showed self conceit and intolerance and tactlessly in one fell swoop condemned my past heritage.

But lately as old age was catching up on me I began to think of death. I thought that should I die my wife would have to run around looking for Buddhist priests and arranging all the ceremonies which might cause her health to collapse. Because my daughters are Christians and a Christian burial is less complicated I decided to make things easy for everyone by converting myself to the Christian Religion. I was just being practical!

So the Pastor gave me 12 Catechism lessons after which he asked me to write my Christian Creed. I was direly tempted to write what would make him happy, but finally decided that I must be truthful. So I wrote that I respected the Bible because it appears factual followed with a statement of my belief in a divine force. However, I concluded by hinting that I am not absolutely convinced of the Christian God and that my dialogue with Him has not even taken place. So the Pastor said, "Mr Ng, I'll come to your house for tea every Saturday, and I'll try to convince you that our Christian God is the only true God." But he did not have the chance to come for tea because of what happened the following Saturday.

It was our usual open house on Saturday. I had taped my "songs" on a tape for Julie, a friend to take to London for the benefit(?) of my two year old granddaughter, Melissa The songs I sang on the tape were oldies like "You may not be an angel" and "0! My Darling!", songs which I used to "croon" Melissa to sleep since she was a few months old. While they were having tea downstairs I thought I might as well make a spare copy just in case the original got wiped out when passing through the customs check points.

So I went to my airconditioned room upstairs and started the re-taping. Towards the end of the tape I had said, "Lim, Lian, and Melissa, let us kneel down and pray for the Lord's Blessings".

When I came to re-taping this last portion, something dramatic happened. I suddenly felt very warm blood coursing through my body, and I was floating on a very warm and cosy cushion of air! It lasted for almost 3 minutes. When I narrated this experience to the friends having tea downstairs they all exclaimed, "It must be the Holy Spirit."

Next morning at about 5 am. I went downstairs to read the Holy Bible, and unexpectedly I felt a very warm helmet resting on top of my head; it was heavy too! They told me it was the Helmet of Salvation!

So next Sunday I told the Pastor, "You need not come for tea! I am already convinced and fully converted to your religion!"

As I look back I now realise that the Good Lord, Jesus Christ, has guided me all along through life. He has also tested me through the years; I passed my Senior Cambridge at the age of 14 but did not earn my first pay packet till - the age of 36!

The following are instances how He has saved me:

  1. In 1937 when I was a medical student l had a tubercular knee and was sent home encased in plaster for almost 5 years. This saved me from being killed with my best friends, Emile Baptist and Ding Ee, who were hit by a Japanese shell in early 1942 when the Japanese took Singapore. The wooden cross in the Singapore General Hospital marks the spot where they were buried.

  2. In 1941 when Dr Chitty opened my plaster he found that the infection was creeping up towards the hip. He deeded to amputate the leg. So I was given an injection the night previous to the operation. The next morning the assistant surgeon on my enquiry as to why I was not wheeled to the theatre explained that the surgeon had diarrhoea and the operation had to be postponed by one month. But before the operation was to take place they took another X-ray and found that the infection had receded almost 2 inches! He decided not to operate. I prayed. In six months' time the plaster was removed and I could walk though the left knee had to remain stiff throughout my life.
I then wanted to continue my medical studies but the Japanese invasion intervened and for the next four years I had to struggle for a living. When the war was over in 1945 l did not have the means to continue my medical studies. I was then almost 30 years old and unable to get a job. The pattern of the interviews was as follows:

Question: How old are you?
Answer: Thirty years old, sir.
Question: What experience have you?
Answer: Nil
Question: How can we give you a job? You are not physically fit and you have no experience whatever.

So I limped or hobbled on crutches (when my legs were tired) from office to office with no result whatever.

I used to cycle with one leg and deliver bread to some offices, and one of these was the State Medical Store in Taiping. Dr A W Moreira was in charge with Mr Seow Siew Huatt as the Chief Storekeeper. The good doctor happened to know me as we had played for Perak at Hockey together, that was during my schooldays. On Mr Siew Huatt's recommendation he took me on as a lab assistant for $40 a month. Imagine my joy! Then came another good samaritan in the person of Mr A Hitch, Chief Pharmaceutical Chemist, who transferred me to Penang to serve my Pharmaceutical Apprenticeship at the Penang General Hospital. While there, many people - some total strangers - helped me with accommodation and food; my $40 could not go far.

I graduated as a Pharmacist in 1951 and in 1952 got a job with Henry Waugh, Penang. The Lord blessed me with a good wife that year and two children in the following two years. The Good Lord was to shower more blessings on me when I was picked by Jardine, who had bought over Henry Waugh in 1955, to head the Pharmaceutical Department in Singapore and then the Federation of Malaya. They trebled my pay and gave me expatriate privileges like house allowance, children's allowance, and six months' overseas leave every three years for the whole family. And my biggest proof of the Lord's blessing was when I asked for a house in 1957, after only five year's service, it was handed to me on a golden platter!

All these years I have never been affluent but I have never been in want. I have been endowed with good and true friends, and my life has been very rich, not financially but in happy experiences sharing with friends.

By saving this testimony I am indeed boasting! Yes, I am boasting, but not of myself, but of the great powers of Jesus, our Lord.

May the Good Lord take care of you the way he had nurtured and blessed me, and hopefully I may flower into a Good Christian Disciple to help spread His Good News! Amen!