LNX Stills 3

Mired in debt and battling a gambling addiction in the 1990s, Li Nanxing experienced first-hand how God not only rescued him from death but also turned his life around. Photos by Thirst Collective.

My career as an actor began 35 years ago.

The first 10 years of my career was smooth-sailing … until I ventured into business. And overnight, I lost everything and got myself into debt.

When a person is desperate, they think of all kinds of ways out. At that moment, I was very desperate, looking for money. All I could think of was how to make fast money.

I thought that was the only way out, gambling or buying 4D. So I banked on that and I lost even more.

I was very worried that my career would end because all the publicity was very bad. I got myself drunk just to forget about my worries.

Near-death experience

Once, I was in Thailand at a very rowdy place. It was a brand new karaoke, three-storeys-high, owned by one of my friends.

I was invited there, had a couple of drinks, then I received a phone call.

Looking for a quiet place to answer the call, I went out to a walkway – there was a corridor, and an exit sign. I rushed to it, opened the door, and just fell off.

I don’t know what happened.

But at that moment, something just grabbed hold of me and turned me around.

That touch was comfortable, smooth and steady. 

I grabbed hold of something and shouted: “Help, help, help!”

“You mean that just now when I fell off, there was something called the ‘Lord’ that saved me?”

A waiter heard me shouting, ran towards me, pulled me up and said: “Sir, what happened to you?”

I said: “I don’t know, I opened the door and I just fell out.”

He said: “How can it be? This door was locked. The key is with me, how did you open it?”

I said: “I don’t know! I opened the door and I just fell!”

I said that I dropped my phone; he shone a torchlight down. 

There was supposed to be a spiral staircase. But to make it convenient for the workers and waiters to clear the rubbish, they chopped off two steps of the spiral staircase.

At the time I had stepped out, it was filled with garbage.

If I had fallen, there were three things that could have happened to me: I could have gotten slashed, or disfigured, or died.

“When a person is desperate, they think of all kinds of ways out,” says Li about his lowest point.

But who grabbed hold of me?

At that moment, I was scared.

“The Lord will save me”

After the waiter found my phone, I went back to the hotel.

My phone rang again. 

I answered the call and was about to scold my friend because I almost got killed answering his call.

If I didn’t go through all this, how would I have known that God is so real? 

But the first thing my friend said was: “Are you okay? Did anything happen to you?”

I said: “Why do you ask?”

He said that there were a few pastors who were praying for me. They discerned that I was in trouble. But the Lord would save me.

“You mean that just now when I fell off, there was something called the ‘Lord’ that saved me?”

The next day, I returned to Singapore and accepted my friend’s invitation to attend his church. There were a few pastors and friends who wanted to pray for me.

The church was full of people. During the service, I thought: “Alamak … how am I going to face all these people?” 

But they minded their own business; they sang worship songs.

He has restored my life, my career, and everything that I lost.

From there, I started to meet all these new friends. They started to pray for me, and to encourage me, because I was very, very down.

Actually I was unwilling to share my testimony because that is a part of my life I just don’t want to remember.

But if I didn’t go through all this, how would I have known that God is so real? 

The devil came to kill, steal and destroy, but God restored my life. (John 10:10)

Hope is the invisible hand of God that lifted me up and showed me that the impossible can be made possible.

I used to be called the “god of gamblers”, the “unbeatable one”. Now, I’m facing the real God, the mighty God – He’s the real God.

“Now I am enjoying the enriching life that God has given to me,” says Li of his new life in Christ.

If you believe in Him, everything is possible.

He has restored my life, my career, and everything that I lost.

So now, I am enjoying the enriching life that God has given to me.

I invite you to the Celebration of Hope, from 17 to 19 May 2019 at the Singapore National Stadium. See you there.

“我人生走投无路的时候,是上帝轻轻用祂的手扶了我一把”:李南星

Li Nanxing will be speaking at the Celebration of Hope on May 19, 7.30pm, at the National Stadium. Visit www.celebrationofhope.sg for more info.

About the author

Li Nanxing

Li Nanxing is a veteran actor of 33 years, best known for his seminal role as the "King of Gamblers", Yanfei, in the Mediacorp drama The Unbeatables. In 2011, Li returned to the big screen as the lead actor and first time co-director in the gambling-theme movie, The Ultimate Winner. A year later, he was the co-producer for the action-packed triad film Imperfect. With a long list of accolades to his name, it is no wonder the actor-turned-filmmaker and multiple Best Actor award winner is better known as the “King of Caldecott Hill”.