Volume. XIX, No. 10
Sunday, 05 September 2004

He must increase, but I must decrease

God’s timing is perfect, never too soon and never too late. All the events in my life - my salvation, the ups and downs in my life - all take place according to his perfect plan. However much I plan for myself, He closes and opens all doors, according to His perfect will.

The Lord began His work of salvation on me at the young age of 10, possibly earlier.

As a four-month old baby I “migrated” to Ipoh. I remember clearly the many visits back to Singapore, where I was born, to visit both my grandmothers. During one of these trips we visited Haw Par Villa. I am not sure why people visit Haw Par Villa. It had the most frightening display of the Ten Courts of Hell, based on an Indian Buddhist legend. Here you see gory figurines of people being tortured and dismembered, certainly not to be viewed by the faint hearted. It left an indelible mark on my mind.

Then, I had my first confrontation with death. My maternal grandmother passed away. She was a Taoist and her wish was to be buried as one, following the customs with an elaborate funeral ceremony, where as a 10 year old I had to sleep next to grandmother’s coffin (her lifeless body in the coffin) for several nights. Each night the Taoist priest would conduct ceremonies for her soul. We threw real money into a basin of water as we crossed a bridge; we burned paper cars, houses and money for her eternal use. We lit a lantern to lead her soul back to her home. I thought that Grandma was in a nice place for her rest, until I noticed that the money we were burning nightly had the words “Hell Currency” printed on it. I asked some of my uncles why we seem to be feasting at “celebration” dinners each night when grandma was in the horrible place like the ten courts of hell depicted at Haw Par Villa. I was traumatised that I would eventually end up at the Ten Courts of Hell. I would be so afraid of death, thinking I would have to endure eternal tortures with no hope of any other outcome after death. This disturbing thought was with me until I went to University.

My family returned to Singapore in the midst of the infamous May 13th 1969 racial riots. I completed my GCE A level exams (year 12) and then, like all obedient Singaporeans completed 2 ½ years of military service, after which I enrolled into the University of Singapore where I read Economics and Statistics. At university I met some of my classmates from school again. We were rather cliquish, but I thank God that the rest of the clique of five were Christians. Each Monday at lunch time, I would be alone as the rest would be off to their Bible study. The leader of the group was very bright, winning the University gold medal every year for academic excellence. Feeling very much alone, I asked if I could join them for their meetings. An added bonus was that I would have access to the cell group leader’s study notes, which he freely provided (he went on to serve full time in the Anglican Church in Singapore, currently as an Archdeacon). The next step was for me to attend the various Church activities they were involved in and eventually Sunday services. Several years later and after much prayer by my friends, God worked in my obstinate heart. I thank our God that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Oh, such comfort it gave me that there is light in darkness, hope in despair and assurance of salvation. At last I was free of that fear of death that plagued so many years of my life. The Lord’s victory is our comfort, so that we can boldly believe “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:55 I was later baptised in 1984 at the Anglican Church of Singapore.    

I thank God for the support from the Bible Presbyterian churches in Singapore and Australia, as we made our moves to migrate to Australia. Giok and I together with her parents arrived as migrants on January 13, 1987, straight into the caring home of the Loke family in Melbourne, who had the beginnings of Bethel BP Church Melbourne, in their living room. The sermons were video tapes from Dr SH Tow and Pastor Edward Paauwe and Mrs Lehia Paauwe came across from Adelaide every two weeks. Knowing that Giok’s parents would be looked after by Tat Luen and Julie Loke, we returned to Hong Kong for another two years to work and save more dollars for our future in Australia. We eventually moved permanently to Australia in January 1989, with Giok in her final trimester of pregnancy.

It was a harrowing time for me. A new country, a new baby boy, lots of new friends but no job, and quite broke. I felt smaller and smaller each week as people would ask me that fearful question “So, David, have you found a job yet?” to which I would answer with the tiniest “no” followed with a gulp. This went on for four months. I was losing confidence fast. It was a humbling experience that I had to learn how to write a CV all over again, go for interviews and even submit myself to job psychology tests. I was distraught on one particular occasion when after passing all the tests heaped on me to be told at a final and “as a formality type interview” by the managing director of a company in Melbourne “ sorry, I did not know you were a newly arrived migrant, you do not have any effective business network here”. How mysterious, several years later, this same managing director would have to meet me and ask for help to sell his computer systems to my customers in Asia, to which I wrongly kept that hurt in my heart and said “sorry but your systems are relatively unknown and you do not have any effective support in Asia”.

There are many things I regret, for the hurt and stress I have brandished on others. I am so sorry for the many people I stressed out at work in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, that so many have cried (men, women, Australians, Hongkongers, Singaporeans and Americans) because of my cutting remarks about their work, for being late for meetings or for taking an extra five minutes for lunch. I am so sorry that I have not done better at helping other people in need. I am so very sorry for all the nastiness in me. Yet, as I ask for God’s forgiveness and mercies, and despite all these faults, God has given me much blessings. I am so grateful that He has opened so many doors of opportunity at work and business. I am so thankful that God has provided me with so many wonderful Christian friends at Hope BP Church. I am so thankful that God has provided a wonderful wife, son, daughter and mother-in-law, especially Giok who never complains about my frequent work travel, but is always supportive and encouraging my endeavours. I thank God for her submissiveness and I pray that I will love her even more.
Dn David Yeo
When I was approached by Elder Michael Lee and Pastor Ki to join session as a Deacon, my first reaction was discomfort, lethargy and doubts aplenty (that my second name might as well be Thomas) about myself. I now know that I will have the Lord’s strength to run this race. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

I pray as I serve in this role as Deacon that, “ He must increase, but I must decrease” John 3:30. I ask for your patience, encouragement and prayers as I submit myself humbly to serve God and Hope Bible Presbyterian Church.

Dn David Yeo

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No. 65: What is forbidden in the fifth commandment? The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing any thing against, the honour and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations.

Please pray for healing for Sis. Myung Ki, Rev. Peter Clements, Bro. Surish Dharmalingam, Sisters Nan van buuren, Susan Varadi, Irene Turner, Peggy Kingham, Aranka Rejtoe & Angie Yuen. “Be strong and of a good courage: ” (Joshua 1:9).

Please pray for journey mercies for Dn & Mrs Ngie Joo Gong (Canada), and Mr & Mrs Ray Price (Perth); for provision of needs and protection for missionaries and Bible students in Cambodia; our Missions Team’s preparation for Cambodia in January 2005; and for the Lord to provide $8,295 before 31 Dec 2004 for our loan payments.

Praise and thank God for journey mercies granted to Dn & Mrs Ngie Joo Gong (Toronto), Sis Wendy Gong (Alice Springs), Sis Angie Chen (Beijing) and others who have travelled recently; recovery of Sis Angie Yuen from surgery.

Congratulations and God’s blessings to Rev Errol Stone, Session and members of Faith Presbyterian Church - Perth’s 5th Anniversary today.

Extra BBK Classes commence today. New term BBK classes will commence from 3 October. Those who had completed their BBK classes and desire baptism/church membership, please discuss with Ps Ki ASAP.
Rosters for Oct-Dec are being prepared - those who are not available to serve the Lord during this quarter, please let Dn Edwin D’Mello know.

Ladies’ Fellowship Meeting at the Stone Mansion on 18 September, 2pm - Cooking Demonstration by Sis. Susan Varadi.

Looking Ahead: “Homosexuality and the Bible Seminar” - Sunday, 19 & 26 September from 1:30 - 3:30 pm. Speaker: Ps Ki. All welcome to attend.

Looking Ahead: YAF and Teens’ Coffee Night: Friday, 24 Sept. As this is an evangelistic event, please invite your friends to attend.

Looking Ahead: Vacation Bible School: 27 Sept-1 Oct. Speaker: Bro Hai Seng Lim. Helpers are requested to attend a meeting after the Worship Service next week.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041