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My father died when I
was 14, leaving my mother to bring up 7 children. Being the youngest I was her
favorite and, although we were not well off, I often got what I asked for. I
wasted my secondary school days in the company of a group of young hooligans my
age, and although I often saw them smoking and doing drugs I kept away from
After completing my national service, I began to seek having fun in life. I would party all the time and go to discos; it was a wild life of wine, women and song. I also gambled and took LSD. My life philosophy was “living the moment”. It was only when I was about to get married that I found myself a stable job. While I cut down on my partying after marrying, each time I had setbacks or discouragement they would be my excuse for taking drugs again. My wife did not suspect anything until our 7th year of marriage when she felt unease about my behavior. She was trying to find out more when the accident occurred.
I had an accident while riding my motorbike. The doctor’s report showed that I was bleeding internally and the tendons of my right hand were all torn. Even if they could be reconnected the hand would no longer function normally. This was a crushing blow to me; I abandoned myself to despair and chose to lead a dissipated life from then on. I slackened in my work and no longer brought my salary home. When I was short of cash for my drugs I would shamelessly ask for money from my mother and siblings. My family members were dismayed by my constant pestering and refused to have anything to do with me, all except my wife who still clung on to the faint hope that I would turn back one day.
In 2008 I ran afoul of the law and was jailed. My first experience of life in dark cells did not wake me up. Once released, I headed straight back to drugs, and used all means straight and crooked to pay for my insatiable craving. I was subsequently back in jail several times and suffered much. I resolved to turn over a new leaf but failed repeatedly. I was in the iron grip of drugs, which ravaged my body and spirit, robbed me of my inner peace, and destroyed my relationship with my loved ones. Just as Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” After giving me innumerable chances my wife abandoned me to my perverted ways. There is no grief greater than when the heart dies and she gave up on me altogether. As I recalled, “It is terrifying when abandoned by man, but it will be tragic when abandoned by God!”
Our God is merciful. In prison I heard the testimonies of ex-drug offenders at Christian meetings. I wondered how their lives were transformed and decided to give their God a chance since I had nowhere else to turn to anyway. I was later sent to Breakthrough. Given my own ill-disciplined and wayward disposition I had many grouses and often squabbled with the brothers in Breakthrough.
One day I went with a Breakthrough team to a church service. It was during the singing of one of the hymns that the Holy Spirit moved in my heart and showed me very clearly some flashbacks of my depraved and sinful living, followed closely by clear images of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for sinners like me. At that instant, I could no longer hold back and tears streamed down my face – tears of remorse and tears of joy of salvation.
After I accepted Christ I took my spiritual disciplining very seriously. I no longer glossed over Bible passages when reading, and was very attentive during sermons. I was determined to walk the way of the cross, accept God’s molding, study His word conscientiously, and seek first His kingdom and righteousness. I would trust God in all things, learn to share the Gospel, live by the teachings of the Bible, and to establish positive relationships with others.
During my junkie days I hurt my wife deeply because of my deception and wild and perverse living, and I lost the trust of my family with my obstinate persistence in going the wrong way. After I returned to the Lord, I offered heartfelt apologies to my wife and mother, and expressed my deep remorse and contrition.
Having a family meal may be routine to most but it was a pipe dream for me in my dark days. In the many years I spent behind bars my two daughters had grown up. I was not able to fulfill my duties as a father and missed the joy of seeing them grow. Today, I’m full of joy and I give thanks to God for answered prayers: for my regular family meals and for my daughters having also accepted Christ. By God’s grace I will spend the rest of my life trusting God and loving others as myself because I’m convinced I can do nothing without Jesus Christ.