Volume. XIX, No. 8
Sunday, 22 August 2004

Praise and Thank God!

Dear Hopefuls,

I arrived in Adelaide, via Perth, on 31 January 1971, as a naive skinny boy, not knowing what could be in store for me in the years ahead. I never understood why, of all places in the world that I came (or was sent) to Adelaide, a quiet city not as well known as Sydney or Melbourne. Where was Adelaide? That was the question commonly asked by family members, relatives and friends! All my classmates who went overseas for further studies landed in either large Australian cities or in cities in the United Kingdom, Canada or United States.

Looking back, I discovered the reason. It was in this small, quiet Adelaide that I came to know the Lord Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, “having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph 1:5). Back then, I considered myself religious, and believed in God, but with extra-biblical baggage. I attended church services every Lord’s day, and at an hour when the majority of the people were still snoring in their beds. Before I came to Australia, I used to attend church services very early at about 6:30 AM! As I went through the Australian school system, and thereafter, university and medical training years, I lost my interest in God. There was a short period of time that I became a fool not believing that He even existed! “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Ps 14:1). This was brought about by what I had witnessed, that is, the misbehaviour of many leaders of the church (no excuse!), and also by what was taught in science, such as evolution and genetics (my arrogant wisdom). It became a chore to attend church service. I would be at church physically, but my mind and emotion were elsewhere. Then, if I did not go, I became guilty, fearing the condemnation of hell if I should die that night! It was the fear of hell fire that led me to church services and performing the “rituals”.

Some time in 1985, I started to “research” on God. For some reason my mind began to be filled with questions on the reality of God, the meaning of life, and the hereafter. I thought I was heading for a mental breakdown because, for no apparent reason, I was suddenly filled with this desire to know the Creator, if there was such a person! I began to read the Bible, and researched on other religions. I even read the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” and the Islamic Koran. The Koran really interested me. I remembered reading the Koran whilst lying on Aldinga Beach in the unusual warm spring of September 1986 whilst my two daughters, Josephine and Bernadette, were playing with sand, and enjoying themselves, under the watchful eye of my wife, Alice. I thought I should consider the Islamic faith. I was serious. Wait, just wait a second! An inner voice led me to read the Bible again, and this time I was compelled to compare the Bible and the Koran. Soon after, I decided that the Bible was true. The problem was this – the church I was attending was not following the Bible. There were rituals or practices that were not in accordance with the Holy Scriptures. I had yet to admit my sinful nature, confess my sins and to receive Christ in my heart. That event was about to happen in a most unusual way!

In 1987, a disastrous crisis came into our lives, and it was during this time that a patient, who happened to be a minister, came into my life and helped me to receive the Lord Jesus in my consulting room! “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom 10:9). My outlook was changed in that instant. My covetousness for physical things and love for wealth were changed to things spiritual. Later, in 1988, I met Rev and Mrs Edward Paauwe. Then I was invited to attend Hope BPC’s second Anniversary service in May 1988. It was at this time that I was challenged by a worshipper, causing me much grief, anger and resentment. This led me to further research on the denomination I was in. I finally decided that I should leave this non-biblical church “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev 18:4).

I started to attend Hope BPC regularly from August 1988. Apart from rostered work, sickness, vacation, missions, or very rarely medical conferences, I have attended every Lord’s Day, even sacrificing birthday parties, and gatherings which were usually organised at lunch time on Sundays! (Even when I am on vacation interstate or overseas, I make it a point to attend worship service in a sister B-P or any Bible-believing church). Somehow, I slowly preferred to mix with fellow believers rather than with non-believers. I had not yet even comprehended that part of Scriptures where believers were commanded to “not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Cor 6:14a).

I praise and thank God that He had directed my paths all these years. I soon became actively involved in many church activities. In 1998, I was nominated and elected to become a Deacon. I tried my very best as a Deacon. I appreciate the many brethren in Christ who prayed and helped me to carry out my duties. I remained a Deacon till 15 August 2004, when I was ordained an Elder.

Hope BPC is now 18 years old! On 17 July 2004, at the ACM, Hopefuls elected their 4th Session, comprising of Rev Okman Ki as Pastor, Deacons Edwin D’Mello, Ngie Joo Gong, Tony Law, Yaw Chiew Tan, and David Yeo, and myself as Elder. On 15 August 2004, Dr S H Tow, Senior Pastor of Calvary Pandan BPC, and our Pastor, Rev Okman Ki, ordained Deacons Yaw Chiew Tan and David Yeo, and myself as Elder, and installed the new Session. It was a day, like any other Lord’s Day, except that I had to stand before God, two prominent and respected Pastors, and the congregation. It was an occasion where God was in control. I was nervous and wished that it had been all over the week before!

I had preferred not to be an Elder until 2007, at the next Session election. I felt that there were two other deacons who were more senior and capable than me. Also, I had this humility and fear that I might not be able to fulfil the tasks expected of me in this new position, an honourable position no believer should take lightly nor abuse. Hard work is ahead of me. I started to sweat when Dr Tow told me, in front of Session members and their wives, that as an Elder, I had to do more visitations, preaching, teaching, and be involved in missions! Did I take on more than I can chew? That was the question that went through my mind at that instant. I know I need prayers, prayers, and more prayers from all Session members and the congregation. I need God to help me to be humble and wise in dealing with issues in our church, to be diligent in saving souls, to find precious time for Bible study and to be an example to others. I need to learn very quickly self-control, and how to restrain my emotion. It is my desire to serve God and it will be my desire to serve Him with all my power and abilities. Let me over the next few weeks, gradually get into the position and allow reality to sink in. Pray for me that I will have wisdom, initiative and motivation as an Elder, and let me serve our members to the glory of God.

Finally, I praise and thank God and our Lord Jesus Christ, for saving my soul, and directing me to Hope BPC, allowing me first to serve as a committee member under Rev Edward Paauwe, then as a Deacon under Rev Peter Chua and Rev Okman Ki, and finally as an Elder. I thank and praise God for Rev Okman Ki for his leadership of our church and for the many challenges that he has brought to the Session and congregation. I thank and glorify God the Father for His Only-Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus, who redeemed us from eternal condemnation, and giving me a wonderful wife, Alice, and three lovely daughters, Josephine, Bernadette, and Michelle. I thank the Lord also for my mother, though not a believer, unbeknownst to her for heeding the call to send me to Adelaide. Last but not least, to every Hopeful, regular worshipper, brethren in Christ in our BP sister churches in Australia, Singapore, Cambodia, USA and other countries, and friends, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Phil 1:3). Amen.

Elder Michael D Lee

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No. 63: Which is the fifth commandment? The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Please continue to pray for Sis. Myung Ki, Rev. Peter Clements, Bro. Surish Dharmalingam, Sisters Susan Varadi, Irene Turner, Peggy Kingham, Aranka Rejtoe & Angie Yuen. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1)

Thank God for granting journey mercies to Dr SH Tow (Melbourne, Spore), Grandpa Ki (Spore), Bro Winston and Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam (Sydney), and Sis Angie Chen (Spore).

Please pray for missionaries and Bible students in Cambodia.

Praise and thank God for good attendance at the Praying to Victory seminar last Saturday, and for the Speaker, Dr SH Tow; Ordination and Installation of new Session last Lords Day; Dr Tows meetings and advice to Session; and for the successful YAF video night held on Friday. Special thanks to the organisers.

Please pray that the Lord will provide $9,350 before 31 Dec 2004 for our interest free loan payments.
Bookshop News: Books for children and for teenagers have recently arrived. New cards & bookmarks are also now available.

Extra BBK Classes will commence on 4 September for those who have missed out on any of the classes.
Please let one of the Deacons know which lessons you have missed today.

Looking Ahead: YAF and AFG Coffee Night: Friday 24 September at The Stone Mansion. Please invite your friends to attend. Invites are on the literature table.

Looking Ahead: Vacation Bible School will be held 27 September-1 October. All those who would like to help please see Dns. Sally Law ASAP. Speaker: Bro Hai Seng Lim.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041