A seed is sown

Salt&Light wishes all families a Happy Children's Day!

David Wong // October 7, 2021, 11:31 pm


Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash.

After a church service where her husband had preached as guest speaker, Jenny Wong heard someone call her name. She turned and saw a mother with two young children.

“Do you remember me? I was your neighbour a long time ago.”

Jenny was pleasantly surprised.

Casting her mind back some 30 years, she tried to recall who this might be.

Of course, the lady standing before her was Joan!

Joan was only five when the Wongs moved into their rental flat at Prince Charles Crescent. Joan’s family was not Christian, and her mother told her that a church pastor had become their neighbour, with his front door directly facing theirs.

Joan (left) with Jenny at the Wongs’ home. Photo courtesy of Jenny Wong.

The two families soon became acquainted and Joan dropped by the home of the Wongs from time to time. When the Wongs’ baby girl came along, Joan became like an older sister to her. Years later, they even took part in a fancy dress contest together.

Children in the neighbourhood

While Jenny’s husband, David, pastored a church that met in a shophouse at Lengkok Bahru, Jenny worked as a kindergarten teacher at a different church in Jurong.

“I have always worked with children. I started as an assistant teacher, took a course in preschool education and became a teacher,” she explained.

When the Wongs’ baby girl came along, Joan became like an older sister to her.

“Even when my husband was studying in England, I worked in a day nursery for children of postgraduate students. We were newly married then and I was already taking care of seven kids!”

Living at Prince Charles Crescent, an estate with many children running around, Jenny wondered how she could reach out to them. She remembered how she herself had come to know about Jesus.

“I was living in Redhill. Our family was large. We were eight children. Our parents didn’t have much time with us, and I was free to roam and play around our area.”

One day she learnt about a place where she could sing songs, listen to stories, play games and get free sweets. All this took place in a flat not far from where she lived. She went and, there for the first time, she heard about Jesus.

At eight, she lost her mother, someone whom she had loved and adored. The trauma of the loss was so great that, today, she still remembers the smell of the hospital where her had mother passed on, and the sight of her body being lowered into the grave.

Knowing Jesus had brought the eight-year-old Jennifer peace and comfort. And she wished for all children to find what she had found.

The Good News Club

When Child Evangelism Fellowship offered their “Good News Club”, the Wongs jumped at the opportunity.

Their home in Prince Charles Crescent became a club during the school holidays. Leaflets went out to nearby blocks inviting children to come.

For five days, the children gathered, sang, played games, listened to Bible stories and enjoyed refreshments.

“We went to the blocks of flats, knocking on doors, handing out leaflets, inviting every child we met.”

Jenny, who was one of the teachers of the school holiday programme, recalled: “My partner and I went to the blocks of flats, climbing up and down stairs, knocking on doors, handing out leaflets, inviting every child we met.”

One of the children who came to the Good News Club was Joan. “My mother didn’t object. But she was not keen for me to mix with children from the nearby one-room flats,” Joan said. “The teachers were really kind and loving.”

A song they taught stuck in Joan’s young mind:

“My God is so big,
So strong and so mighty,
There’s nothing my God cannot do.”

A comforting refrain

But as Joan grew, she was drawn to another “club” in the neighbourhood. “I was introduced to rituals that were noisy and weird. These slightly older kids were playing with black magic and the spirit world.

“What I thought was a game became a trap. I wanted to leave but could not.”

“One of them would run around like a monkey. Another would prowl around like a leopard or tiger. We were told that our area was haunted and we should not go out on certain nights.”

Joan was roped in and became involved in the group. “I was driven more by fear than anything else. We were into candles, chants, calling on spirits, and offering of sacrifices.

“But what I thought was just a game became a trap. I wanted to leave but could not because of threats against me.”

The song about the big, strong and mighty God kept coming back to her.

Thankfully, after a year, the group disbanded.

“We went our separate ways. None of us wanted to talk about what happened. In fact we stopped talking to each other and became strangers.”

“Thank you for planting the first spiritual seed in me.”

Some time after, a friend invited Joan to go to church with her. There she found peace and felt loved. It brought back memories of the “Good News Club” at the Wongs’ home.

One day, alone in her room, she prayed: “If you are the real God, show me.”

“Something happened,” Joan recalled. “I heard Someone calling my name, saying, ‘What have you done to Me?’

“I fell down on my knees, feeling guilty and crying. I knew then that it was God speaking.”

Soon after, she attended the Luis Palau Mission at the National Stadium (1986), and there accepted Jesus into her heart and life.

The first seed

So when Joan and Jenny bumped into each other outside the church, it was a happy reunion. Joan visited the Wongs’ home once again, just as she had done all those years ago when they were neighbours.

“Thank you for planting the first spiritual seed in me,” Joan wrote in the guest book after her recent visit to the Wongs’.

Jenny, who is now living in New Zealand, can only marvel at the fulfilment of God’s promise in Isaiah 55: “… so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

This was first published by the Bible Presbyterian Church In Singapore and republished here with permission. 


Children: Our light, our hope

I am an Asian mum but I’m opting out of the Tiger Mum race

How one widow with four young children used what was left of her “olive oil” to “fill the jars” of others

About the author

David Wong

Pastor David Wong loves stories and story-telling, especially about how ordinary people doing ordinary things accomplish extraordinary results by God’s grace and for His glory.