The FISHERS Magazine (Issue 233)

Rejected by Man, Accepted by God

A note from Dixie Chua: In 1999 I looked for part-time help to do cleaning jobs in my home. A sister in my church introduced her part-time helper to me. She told me that this person is a Christian, very reliable and hardworking, but she was already 65 years old. I gave her a try. Since then, she has worked for me for almost twenty years. Her faithfulness towards God as well as men has always encouraged me, so I penned her testimony for the glory of God and the encouragement of fellow believers. Twice a week when I wake up in the morning and hear the washing machine running, I know that Siew Eng has arrived and she is helping me to do all my chores. I say a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for such a wonderful sister-in-Christ who has rendered invaluable help to me for the past twenty years and counting! Praise the Lord!

Rejected at birth
I was born in 1935 in a small town in Malaysia. The woman who gave birth to me rejected me; she put me in a bag and left me in the open. But by God’s mercy, a kind couple took me home to raise me even though they themselves were struggling to make a living. My adopted parents named me Leng Siew Eng and reported my existence to the authorities so that they could apply for a food ration card to buy extra food for the new addition to the family.

Started work as a child
When I was four years old, my adopted mother died and my adopted father took care of me. Whenever he went out to do odd jobs, he would leave me alone in the house and I survived by eating whatever was available in there. When I was six years old, he sent me out to work for a couple who owned a biscuit shop. My main duty was to keep an eye on their young children and to play with them even though I was still a child myself.

They often went to the temples to worship all kinds of idols and once, they took me along with their children. I was asked to bow down to those fierce-looking figures, but due to fear, I refused to worship them. Since I was only six years old, they left me alone and did not force me to go with them again. In retrospect, I thank God for preventing me from bowing down to the idols to dishonour Him.

A year later, by God's providence, my adopted father came to know a Christian couple who were looking for someone to do housework and take care of their children. Since they were educated and kind, he thought that I could have a better future working for them. So, I was sent to the household of Mr and Mrs Wong to work while other children of my age were attending school and enjoying their childhood. Mr Wong was a school principal and Mrs Wong treated me kindly. Whenever she had the time, she would teach me how to read and write. When I was a little older, they allowed me to attend school in the afternoon. I tried to learn as much as I could until I reached Primary Six at the age of fourteen. Then I had to stop attending school because I was working and I could not follow the lessons which were too difficult for me.

Received the Lord as a teenager
The greatest blessing I had while working for this Christian family was that they brought me to a Methodist church to worship God every Sunday. It was there that I was exposed to the Christian faith. I loved to sing the hymns and to hear the stories from the Bible. I cannot tell exactly when I received the Lord as my Saviour. I remember, as a teenager, singing a song entitled “This is My Father's World” and I was very touched by the lyrics which describe how God created this wonderful world and how He takes care of all His creatures. These words captivated me: “That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet”. I could not understand why my life had to be so hard but I knew that God is the Ruler of this world and He is in control of all things concerning me. So I entrusted my life to God's gracious hand and received Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord. I submitted to the lot He has given me and I have not stopped going to church since I became a Christian because worshipping God on Sunday is a privilege and a joy to me.

New life in Singapore
In 1952 the Wong family moved to Singapore and I followed them as I had nowhere else to go because my adopted father had re-married and had two sons of his own. Whenever he came to see me, it was always for money. All that I had earned since I was six years old had been handed over to him and I had no savings of my own. The Wongs were like my own family. In 1963, I applied to become a Singapore citizen and for the first time, I received an identification card.

When Mr and Mrs Wong's children were older, they allowed me to take on part-time jobs outside their home. I even took up a six-month course in dress-making and I did so well that my instructor asked me to work full-time for him. When I consulted Mrs Wong, she refused to let me go because she strongly believed that God had something better in store for me. Thank God for her insightful advice.

Thirty-eight years in the Bible College
In 1960, I felt the call to go to Bible school to receive biblical training so that I could serve the Lord better full-time. In 1938, after the spiritual revival in the region through the ministry of the evangelist John Sung, many Bible study centres were set up to train those who decided to do outreach work. Over the years, some of these centres had developed into proper Bible colleges. The most important requirement for entry into these Bible schools at that time was that a person must be born again and have the desire to serve God full-time. There was less emphasis on academic achievements and so, I was given a place in one of the Bible schools to be trained. But Mrs Wong requested for me to stay with them for another two years until their youngest son finished high school. Since they had been so good and kind to me, I felt obliged to stay on. I finally left this family in 1962 whereupon I entered Bible school at the age of 27 and graduated in 1966.

I had no family and no place to go after graduation, but the Lord provided a job for me as a superintendent in the Bible school to take care of the physical running of the school. God was good to me in giving me many friends and I developed close relationships with many students. Some of them helped me in my studies and others laboured with me in evangelism. I was also given the opportunity to learn to play the piano and that proved to be useful in outreach ministries later. God has given me a good voice to sing for Him, so I joined the choir and sang in many of the evangelistic meetings. What a joy it has been to be able to serve the Lord all my life. I was often asked why I did not get married and have a family of my own. There was once an eligible young man who courted me when I was in my twenties but I rejected him because I wanted to serve the Lord unhindered. And the Lord honoured my decision.

My retirement years
When I was close to sixty-five years old, I knew that I had to leave the Bible school after spending over 30 years there. The questions that I faced were ‘How am I going to support myself?’ and ‘Where shall I stay?’ The Lord always goes before me to open the way for me. I continue to do the things that I know best: cleaning households that need part-time help, which gives me the flexibility to serve the Lord during weekends and in the evenings. I rent a small flat from the Housing Board with a friend. I like to read books and magazines given to me by Mrs Dixie Chua. I spend my evenings reading the Bible and the free literature in Chinese published by The 'Fisherman of Christ' Fellowship. I especially enjoy reading the Behold Magazine which is very helpful for my spiritual nourishment.

Every weekend, I travel to Malaysia by bus to join a group of brethren I came to know during Bible school days to worship the Lord and to teach Sunday school to children in the neighbourhood. I am in my eighties now and I thank God for giving me strength to continue working for people and to serve the Lord wherever He leads me. I do not know what the future holds for me but I know God holds my future in His hand. I can testify that “…he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame” (1 Pt 2:6b).

I was rejected by man at birth but God chose me to be His handmaid for His service! May I never forget, “You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You!” (Ps 118:28). All praise and glory be given to His Name! He will never reject those who put their trust in Him!

Leng Siew Eng

- Leng Siew Eng is a Behold reader. Her testimony was written for her by Dixie Chua.

Back to FISHERS 233's mainpage