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Monday December 11th 2023

( 8 ) Going Astray

After I have believed in Jesus, I have received lots of blessing from God. I therefore decided to get baptized very soon. The faith I had was so strong that I could stop all medication at one time.  However, since the medication I took was addictive, it was not easy at all to live without them. But God gave me the power to go through this. God’s spirit had completely filled my heart and my “friend” could have no chance to visit me anymore.

Stopped Going to Church

After a while, I have changed my job.  Since I became more and more busy with my job, I stopped going to Sunday services.  But I did continue to pray and read the Bible every day.  Later, since my job was too busy, I even stopped going to cell group.  But God’s peace and the security given by Him didn’t leave me. I knew that He was with me all the time when I faced all those new challenges in my new life.

A Crazy Vacation

I am a person who likes exciting games. I had a crazy idea that I must try bungee jump at least one time in my life. One time, I went to Japan with a friend and we therefore were very eager to try those rides in the amusement parks. 

We saw the advertisement there, which was very attractive to us.  Such as “ the fastest roller coaster in the world “, “ the highest roller coaster in the world” , “ a horrifying psychiatric hospital”, “ a house of the spirits where visitors crying and running for emergency escape”.  I wanted to try all of them!

We tired roller coaster first.  We tried to estimate from the ground level and found that it should be more or less the same as those in Hong Kong. So we tried without any hesitation.  After we had climbed up the slope, we found something strange.  The roller coaster stopped for quite a while and we didn’t understand why, until we saw a notice there saying, “You are now 100 meters away from ground level and we are going to rush down at 180 degree at super speed! “ 

Too late, it was already too late to escape!

Then we played another roller coaster, which was at light speed.  As the ride started to move, I could feel the speed was almost intolerable.

I would have collapsed if this went on for more than a few seconds!

After these two games, in fact, I thought may be I could not continue anymore. But, we thought that it was not easy to come here, so we played one more game. Then came the fourth game, which was that “horrifying house of the spirits”.  We were just at the entrance of the house. We could hear lots and lots of screaming and many visitors tried to escape from the emergency exit.  It was very clear to us that this game was really exceptionally horrifying. So, we finally made up our minds for not trying anymore. 

After having these experiences, I had already given up the “bungee jump“ idea!

This crazy journey passed very quickly. We were on the plane flying back to Hong Kong. I was asleep on the plane. 

Suddenly, I woke up in great panic!

“Why? Why? Why am I here? What am I doing? Why am I on the plane? Where am I going? Will the plane crash? “

I was in total lost.  I used my will power to suppress these thoughts. However, another thinking then came into my mind. “What am I going to do tomorrow? I will just be doing the same thing as today.  How about the day after tomorrow then? It will be the same again, I will be doing the same thing everyday over and over again.  What is the meaning of this? What will life be in heaven? It would just be the same everyday, repeating doing the same thing every day even if we are in heaven, and we have to live like this until eternity! “

These thoughts were all compulsive, totally not out of my own will. It just happened in a few seconds and I could not control it at all.  This was caused by the “friend “I always mention about.  

I was totally broken down.  So I started to pray. But I could not get any help from God! The peace from God had left me totally!  I was in total despair and returned to Hong Kong with just an empty body!

My life and my mind would always look to the negative side. What had gone wrong? Have I done anything wrong?

Since then, my mind was filled with all kinds of strange thoughts and I was living in alert at all the time. 

For example, when I was travelling on the bus on a bridge over the sea, I would plan in my mind how to escape if the bus rushed down into the sea.  The windows on the buses many years ago could be opened. But nowadays the buses are all air-conditioned with fixed windows. Then I searched in my mind how to escape if the bus rushed down into the sea. I could find hammers on the buses and therefore I planned to break the windows to escape!  If I was travelling on the ferry, I would plan all the steps to save my life if the ferry sunk.  If there was a big truck on the next lane of the road, I would plan how to escape from my car if the trunk fell down on us!  

What could I do? I could do nothing to control these negative thoughts. I could only think from the positive side and said to myself, “ May be this would keep me safe if I have this sense of alertness all the time. “

Heads up for next chapter: After I came back to Hong Kong, I immediately called a brother at church to help me and pray for me.  He explained to me that playing in such crazy games was the same as opening our hearts for Satan to come in again. 

So I went back to cell group meeting again. But something strange happened. What was this?  The brother prayed with me very often, hoping to find out why this situation would come back. 

Pastors and brothers prayed earnestly together for me, helping me to break the fear and the evil spirit inside my heart.

What was the outcome?  There were even believers and preachers from other churches coming to help me too. 

But disappointment came one after another.  How long could I hang on?  Next chapter, the Spiritual Warfare.

Mr. Ice Cream

Notes from editor:  May be you will ask, “ why didn’t God help him when he was crying on the plane ? “  We have seek advice from our Pastor and the following is the advice from our Pastor.

Let us try to think from this angle.  The author was saved by Jesus but had left his new family, i.e. the Church.  Although he prayed and read the Bible by himself everyday, God established His Church with the aim to let us grow in the love and support of our brothers and sisters.  God’s will was not for us to grow alone by ourselves.  If God answered the author’s prayer at that time, would the author misunderstand that he can survive with his own faith to God?  Therefore, God was not punishing him or testing him, but leading him to go back to His big family.   The Church is God’s family, any believer who is distant from this big family can be easily broken by the devil!

Year End Prayer and Thanksgiving Meeting

The most special thing about the Year End Prayer and Thanksgiving Meeting is a feeling of “ happiness “ and “ warmth “. That evening, brothers and sisters had prepared dinner for us. (Thank you so much!) Just imagine you had worked hard all day, and you saw the fine and home made dishes when you stepped in Unit One. The feeling was so comfortable, so relax, and we really felt like coming home.  Just check out the pictures from the Photo Gallery, you will find the smiling on our faces was so contented.  Yes, it was this sense of happiness that filled the air.

Moreover, we could listen to many testimonies that evening. Normally during Sunday service, we could hear not more than three testimonies at most because of the time concern.  However, that night, almost of all us lined up at the front row to give our testimonies.  Even the shyest one would go up to the stage and shared his story.  We were amazed at God’s work in our lives.  You will not know what is happening with our brothers and sisters if you could not hear their stories.

If you have missed this prayer meeting, do not miss it again in the coming year!

6A Reunion Kids’ Kitchen

6A Reunion Kids’ Kitchen has been held on 9th Jan already.  Special thanks to Pamela and Fiona from Catering Team for teaching us how to make the pizza ! Some of the kids here were just about 2 years old.  Since our principle was to have parents learning how to give reasonable accountability to our kids, parents could only perform ” remote control ” by giving verbal instructions.  It was really fun to have our kids being the real chef!

While we were making the pizzas,  Fiona and Jessica, our 6A tutors, were taking video and observing us.  Afterwards, we watched the video and shared how to apply 6A principles in our daily lives.  Thank you Ah Ha, Yen and Molly for providing child caring service so we could have a very good sharing time.

I have received some positive feedback from one of the parents and would like to share with you here.  She shared that her husband was unexpectly involved this time.  The fathers in other couples’ sharing groups they had been to before were mostly quieter.  But here the fathers were very willing to share so making her husband felt more comfortable and thus easier to participate in the event.

Thank you so much for your sharing and your words of encouragement !


( 7 ) Reborn at a Dead End

My situation was continually getting worse.  My mother tried her best to find a way out without giving up.  She consulted a medium about what happened to me.  The medium told us that I had offended an evil spirit and it was not a big problem.  She suggested to me to drink some tea made from joss stick ashes.  It did not work.

My mother also invited a monk from Tibet to my house. He said it was because of the bad Fung Shui in my house that caused the problem.  He touched my back with an unknown power. I could feel a great heat at my back.  He said that I would be all right.  But what was the outcome?

Then, we went to see the Bai Long Wang, a very well know man who is believed to have super strong spiritual power in Thailand.  He told us that there was “ a mother with a son “ following us all the way.  And at that moment, they were waiting for us at the entrance of his office.  I am not as silly as this to believe such ridiculous things. So I asked him why they did not get rid of us and when did they start to follow us?  He said, “It is not the time yet. They are “ evil spirits of trees “.  You need to avoid all kinds of plants.”  As there was no other solution, we followed his instructions. 

Later, he came to my house and conducted a ceremony for driving out the evil spirits.  They put Thai incantations on our door.  He insisted that I had to sit inside a circle built with candles and should not leave the circle.  I felt very uneasy and there was another power coming into my body, which was greater than the one inside me.  I could feel that the two powers were fighting.  I wanted to leave the circle but I did not.  I also saw that Bai Long Wang was very exhausted.  May be, he had already tried his best.

After that, not only was my situation not improved, strange things happened to me even more frequently.  One time, I was like a mad man running down from the 10th floor to the ground in our building within just a few seconds.  My family members were taking a lift trying to catch me but they were still not as fast as me.  Fortunately, they informed the security guard to catch me and I was therefore saved.   Another time, I held my mother’s neck and talked in an unknown language, which was not English or Chinese.  I did know that I did this to my mother until my family members told me.  It seemed that this was done by another person. 

Also, another time, I was with my friend at my place.  Then, we went out together.  When we were waiting for the lift, I got a phone call and I saw the number was my home number.  I told my friend that it was my family calling me so we headed back home.  When we opened the door, we found something very strange.  I started to realize that there should be no one at home ! We therefore ran away immediately.  Although it happened many years ago, I am sure my friend would still remember this.

My mother knew a Christian friend at her work place.  She knew my situation from my mother and desired to help me.  My mother had been worshiping idols and she offered me to a Chinese goddess, Guanyin (a Bodhisattva) since I was very young. Because there was no way to help me, inevitably, she had to try Christianity.  She talked to me about that many times but I refused.  One day, she invited her colleague and three other church friends to my home without informing me, so I had to give some response to them unwillingly.  I was not friendly to them at all and did not feel anything special when they sang worship songs.  They asked me to pray with them and I just followed.

But, unexpectedly, when I tried to follow them saying, “in Jesus’ name I pray”, I immediately felt a power inside me stopping me to talk.  I felt something was holding my neck not allowing me to talk.  I was suffering and said, “No! No! I am in much pain! Leave me alone!”  Then, I could not talk at all.  The church friends urged me to speak out “ in Jesus’ name “ and I tried my best to do so, and I made it.  After they left, I felt different powers inside me, making me sick.  I didn’t have any solution. 

I went on with my life without any direction.  One day, I was drunk and was taken home by my friends as usual.  Then, I was in bed.  Suddenly, “I” woke up and knocked my face against the table corner near my bed.  My hands hit on the mirror and broke it in pieces.  At that moment, my blood was everywhere.  My family reported that to the police.  My family members, the police and the nursing officers held on to “me”.  I was so strong that it was very difficult to stop me.  After much struggling, finally, they were able to tie my hands and feet up and send me to the hospital.  “I” was continually shouting and struggling for a while. 

Then, “ I “ calmed down and after a while, “I” started to talk to my brother, “Brother, why do you treat me like that? Why do you treat your brother in this way?  I am suffering!  Please help me and set me free!”  My brother looked at my eyes and listened to my voice tone.  He realized that “I” was not normal so he did not release me.  For a while, “I” started to shout loudly again.

Since I had a number of records for being hospitalized, my doctor suggested that after having had the operation, I should be sent to the ” sanatorium” again. But they could not force me to stay in there because I did not commit any crime.  My family did not allow me to be sent to there again, of course.

Then after a while, I truly calm down and fell into a deep sleep.  When I woke up, I felt extremely tried and strong pain with my hands.  My face was also very painful.  The only thing different was I realized that the evil power and the negative thoughts were not inside me anymore.  I felt deep peace  in my heart.

Then, a nurse told me that I was going to have an operation.  I asked, “What is the operation for?”  The nurse said, “Don’t you know that?”  I really didn’t know why I needed an operation.  The nurse told me that the operation was for rejoining my broken hand tendon.  I was afraid of what caused my broken hand tendon.  I did not know the reason until my family told me what happened!

You could not imagine how I could resist so many people with my broken hand tendon.  What was the power in control of me?  I and my family knew about that.  This evil power deceived my brother by pretending to be pitiful. 

I can tell you now that if it was not by God’s grace, I would have jumped out of the window and took my own life, and I would not be able to share with you about this witness anymore.

I was finally reborn again!!  During the days staying at home for recovery, God was with me every day.  The feeling of peace and security was so real.  It could not be described by any word.  After having received Jesus, I change a lot.  My stubborn personality and hot-temper was disappeared. 

I let go with my anger and bitterness.  My Lord helped me to think through.  I understand that if I am angry with every little thing, it will accumulate and become a huge hatred and bitterness inside my heart. That would break the peace in my soul and will damage my good nature.  Therefore, I need to accept and forgive people when things go wrong.  In this way, I will have fewer burdens in my life. 

On the other hand, when our enemies are in failure and unable to regain their glory in the past, they have distresses in their heart.  They would have no confidence.  If at the same time, they need to face those people they hurt before, it is not easy.  When I try to stand in their shoes, I can let go of my anger and hatred.

Regarding my brother, before I thought that there would be no chance to rebuild our brotherhood relationship.  Now, when I think from another angle, I can understand that he might not be aware of what he said to me was hurting me.  In our life, many people are not aware that they are hurting other people with their words, including myself.  I am also thankful that it was because of my brother, I could get away from the ” sanatorium”.

My family also found that I am happier after I have received Jesus.  I am also more forward looking with a clearer direction.  

Heads up for next chapter:  We need to put effort towards preserving the peace and security given by God.  My job caused me going to church less and less.  After having a spree, I was roused suddenly from sleep on the plane.  What happened to me was even more terrible than before!  Next Chapter (8): Going Astray

Mr. Ice Cream

(6) The Abyss

At this moment, I struggled hard on the floor.  My mind was totally blanked out and what I could see was only an opened window.  I only needed to stand up and jump out from the window and I would finish all this torment and “my friend” will leave me forever.  Suddenly, the image of my neighbor’s mother came into my mind. Her hair turned all white overnight after my neighbor lost her life in a traffic accident.  I really did not want my mother to become like her.  It was because of this thought, I tried very hard crawling on the floor and finally was able to reach the phone and called my brother.

When my brother arrived, he immediately put his finger into my mouth, trying to make me vomit.  And I did vomit a lot of white foam.  He could do nothing more but to send me to the hospital right away.

The doctor asked me, “ Are you feeling better now?”  I said, “I am in deep sufferings.  I want to die.”  The doctor said, “How about taking a rest in a sanatorium? I will communicate with the doctor there and see if we can make some adjustment to the dosage of your medication.   Is that fine with you?”  I agreed but felt a bit strange when they asked me to sign some documents.  But by that time, I really did not have any strength to think about why and I just signed them.

Once I arrived there, I just realized that it was a place for psychotic patients!  The ward I was staying was called the “ admission ward “.   It was under tight security control.  There were doors after doors to prevent the patients from running away.

Once I went inside, I was totally awake!  I saw ten to twenty patients walking closer to me and looking at me in strange ways.  They did not look friendly at all.  I fully understood what the place was for within just a few hours. 

Staying here was the same as staying in the prison.  All the windows were with bars.  There was no freedom here.  You must be very disciplined for eating, taking shower, and even sleeping.  You were allowed to make only one phone call each night, and under close supervision. Only one family member was allowed to visit in a day.  It was like a hell!  People were fighting for food and even for remaining food!  Some patients were shouting, and totally losing self-control.  They even took the garbage from the bin and ate it. 

Who was sent here?  Why were they here?  Some of them committed some crimes.  Some were waiting for a psychological report.  A young man abused his own sister. The other one was caught when attacking a policeman; Some were only mentally retarded. Some were physically abused, and some were drug addicts.  They were either harmful to others or being harmed.  People with psychotic and /or psychological problems would be admitted to here too.  That was why it was called the “admission ward”.

You need to be tactful when dealing with the staff here.  Otherwise, you will be bullied.  If you were against them, it meant that you would never be able to leave.  They could tie you up on a bed whenever they thought that you are losing control.  Fortunately, they did not do that to me because they realized that I was not psychotic and I had family members coming to see me everyday. The lives for those who did not have their family to visit them were indeed tragic.

Just within a few hours, I realized how I could survive.  I needed cigarettes and food to trade for my own safety. And I need to use some violence too sometimes, and I must be strong!  I said to myself, “ I have to leave this place with all the methods I can! “  I might have some problems, but this was not a place for me.  I would only get worst if I had to stay here any longer.

I had only one chance to make a phone call in one day.  I was thinking who I should call.  Finally, I decided to call my father, as my father could have more flexible time for coming to see me.  I could only say I was okay because the staff was just next to me.  I asked my father to buy me more snacks.  In that way I could have more bargaining power for protecting myself from others’ attack.  These snacks were my “ bodyguards”. And I asked my father to tell one of my friends to come and see me. Later, when my friend arrived, I told him all that was about and asked him to inform my brother.  They needed to help me to get out of this hell-like place as soon as possible.  On the other hand, I did my best to convince the doctor who evaluated me.  I pretended to be pitiful and very cooperative in answering all the questions so as to gain his trust.  The doctor also thought that I should not be treated here.  Not easily, I finally could leave this place after a few days.

After that, I need to follow up with the doctor regularly.  When I was dismissed from the sanatorium, the doctor reduced 50% of my dosage. But in fact, my negative thoughts and emotions were still with me all the time.  I ended up pretending that I was improving every time when I saw the doctor.  I was afraid that the doctor would force me back to the so-called “sanatorium”.  But deep in my heart, I knew very clearly that even if I could get pass for few times, I need to face my own problem sooner or later and I had no idea what and how I should do to deal with this.

Preview for next chapter:  My situation was getting worse.  My family tried everything they could to help me but causing me even more sufferings.   The cruel and cunning one was trying to kill me! What could help me get out of this situation?  Keep on reading the next chapter, (7) Reborn at the Dead End.

Mr. Ice Cream

2011 Sermon

52. Unto us a Child is born
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

51. Christmas Celebration
Speaker:Dr. Raju

50. Forget or not forget
Speaker:Pastor Rebekah

49. Suffer but not turn bitter
Speaker:Pastor Rebekah

48. Abide in the Light
Speaker:Pastor Rebekah

47. God & Children
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

46. Jairus’s Daughter
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

45. God’s Word
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

44. Power of Evanglism
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

43. Victory in Mind (Chinese)
Speaker:Pastor Rebekah

42. Good Samaritan
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

41. Do You Want To Be Changed?
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

40. I Can Fly
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

39. Little Brother is Watching
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

38. Exercise Godliness (Chinese)
Speaker:Steven Ng

37. Fishers of Men
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

36. The Meaning of Mission
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

35. God Heard Their Groaning
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

34. Momentum
Speaker:Pastor Mike Sherwood

33. Victor Over the Strongholds
Speaker:Pastor Mike Sherwood

32. Fulfilling the Vision
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

31. Don’t Stop Praying!
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

30. Who is the Greatest?
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

29. To Obey or Not to Obey
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

28. Conquering Fear
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

27. The Potter and the Clay
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

26. Set Free
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

25. The Heart of the Fathers (Chinese)
Speaker:Pastor Rebekah Leung

24. Rejoicing In Work (Chinese)
Speaker:Pastor Rebekah Leung

23. Preventing Falls Sequelae (Chinese)
Speaker:Pastor Rebekah Leung

22. Just Do It!
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

21. Committed to the Call
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

20. All You Need is a Crumb
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

19. Mothers Day
Speaker:Pastor Mike Sherwood

18. Namman
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

17. Power to Change Your Life
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

16. What do we need to do to grow
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

15. God is on Our Side
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

14. The Fruitful Vine 2
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

13. The Fruitful Vine
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

12. Jesus is Watching
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

11. “Privileged and Passionate” ﹣the call of Elisha
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

10. Building a Purpose Driven Church
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

09. Prayer – Call Upon Me!
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

08. Be Special
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

07. The Barren Fig Tree
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

06. Your Spiritual Progress Report
Speaker:Diane Sarchet-Waller

05. The Lord’s Prayer
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

04. A Caring Person, a Caring Church #2
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

03. Being a Caring Person and a Caring Church
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

02. Why the Church
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

01. Overcoming to Serve
Speaker:Pastor Paul Sarchet-Waller

New Year Prayer & Thanksgiving Meeting

Elim Christmas 2010

Peace and Joy in the Lord

Hello everyone!  I am Francer. I have been to Elim Church for about two years.  I was a Buddhist before. In fact, I studied in Buddhist school and my sister was a Buddhist too.

How come I became a Christian? About two years ago, I felt big pressure in my work and I was very unhappy. I wanted to look for a solution. By that time, my ex-colleague, Carol, invited me to join the 7th Alpha Course.  Alpha Course is for not-yet believers to learn more about the beliefs of Christianity.  Therefore, I told myself, “ just try! “

After the first session of this course, I liked this church very much. Here is just like a big family and I didn’t have any feeling that I was a stranger here, even for the very first time.  And most importantly, something was very strong here, I could feel it, which I didn’t have before. That was “ peace “ and “ joy”!

When I went to the temple before, what I could get was “ calm “.  But from the praise and worship time in the Alpha course, what I could get was “ peace “ and “ joy “ which was much stronger than “ calm “.  They are totally different.  That is why after I completed the course, I kept coming to cell group and Sunday service.

In these two years, God had helped me a lot and His grace was sufficient for me. I prayed that I wanted to change to another department.  This happened within only two months’ time.  I was much happier than before! Although my company is now much bigger than before, and the workload is much bigger than before, I can handle this very well with a positive attitude too!

Because I remember what the Bible says,

“ Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. “ (Matthew 11:28)

Therefore, no matter what problem or difficulty I encountered, I prayed. No matter what burden I have, I gave it to Jesus.  So, naturally, I can be freed from those burdens and pressure!

I am so happy that I can know Jesus. I was baptized in April 2010 and became a real Christian! I am very glad that I can be here and share my testimony with YOU!

Finally, I hope if you do not know Jesus yet, you can come and try to know more about Him. So we can share the peace and joy together!!



Christmas Celebration 2010.12.24

Christmas Celebration is our invention this year. This is especially for Jesus. Yes, an event to celebrate the birth of Jesus and for Jesus only.

We sang Silent Night together in the candlelight.  The message that night was about Christmas tree. The Christmas tree was not a religious symbol at all. However, we can make use of this to share the gospel.

* Green represents eternal life.

* Red represents the blood of Jesus.

* Gold represents the kingship of Jesus.

So, every time when we see a Christmas tree in the shopping mall, remember to see if we can share the gospel with other people.

What about the birthday gift for Jesus?We wrote down the gift we wanted to offer to Him in the coming new year and we hang the cards on the Christmas tree.

In closing, we all took a Christmas gift pack away with us and gave it to someone we met on our way home.

Merry Christmas!

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