Scammed of a million dollars, her father almost lost his mind. But he emerged with an even greater treasure
by Janice Tai // October 27, 2023, 4:05 pm
When Juinn Yee's father was scammed by an unscrupulous business partner, the family's lives quickly spiralled into chaos. But God would reveal His protection in amazing ways. Juinn Yee celebrating her father's 85th birthday in 2018. All photos and illustrations courtesy of Sun Juinn Yee.
It started with the Rubik’s Cube.
The year was 1990 and the Rubik’s Cube was the rage among children and teenagers the world over. It was the fidget toy of the time and even adults found it a satisfying challenge to align all the colours on its twistable sides.
So when a German businessman – the business partner of a friend – approached Sun Juinn Yee’s father to pioneer a spherical version of the Rubik Cube, her father thought it was a golden egg of an opportunity.
Their new product would be called the “Magic Ball”.
Her father had no formal education but he had always been enterprising and hardworking. He was always on a lookout for “lobangs” (opportunities) to make a living to support his family of four children.
Juinn Yee had just graduated from university then and was working as an engineer for multinational company IBM.
As she adapted to a new phase of life, she noticed her father – who used to sell cane furniture and provide ship maintenance services – getting more and more excited about his new venture.
“He often shared with me about the potential massive interest for the Magic Ball from all over the world.
“Dad felt really proud that someone as uneducated as himself would be asked to become the finance director of the company, and his German partner had assured him he did not have to do much except endorse bigger payments to vendors,” said Juinn Yee, now 55.
Yet everything changed one Saturday afternoon in June 1991. The postman had come to deliver an envelope – registered mail – on his scooter.
Juinn Yee saw her father opening the letter. His hands began to tremble. As he could not read much English, he passed the letter to her and asked her to help him read it.
It was a letter of demand by a bank.
“Dad had signed a credit line for the company with the other house he owned in Springleaf Gardens as collateral. The total amount drawn by the company had reached the valuation of the house, and the bank was asking for full repayment to be made in 30 days, or it would take possession of the property,” said Juinn Yee.
All of a sudden, her father realised that he had lost the dream house that he had painstakingly worked hard and saved up for. Their family was living in another house then but he had planned for them to move into Springleaf Gardens. He had no clue about the withdrawals.
Their lives quickly spiralled into chaos and darkness. Their house phone began to ring non-stop as creditors kept calling.
Juinn Yee later learnt that her father’s German business partner and another friend had made her father sign a letter to give consent that withdrawals on the credit line did not need his signature.
More revelations came, one after another. She found that her father had emptied out all his cash savings and had even borrowed money from relatives to give to his German business partner to tide over apparent cash-flow problems.
He had been led to believe that once the business cash-flow problems were resolved, the production of the Magic Ball would finally begin and the promised returns would be a reality.
“I was shell-shocked. Dad had always been a very careful man,” said Juinn Yee. “He would often get a trusted friend to help read documents before he signed them. He would sometimes ask for my help too. But he had trusted his German business partner fully, and had signed various documents that were detrimental to his interests.”
Later on, she even found out that the withdrawals made against the property were mainly for credit card payments that had nothing to do with the business, but for luxury items such as branded watches, diamonds, fine dining and cruises and holidays.
Their lives quickly spiralled into chaos and darkness. Their house phone began to ring non-stop as creditors kept calling – the secretary had directed all the creditors to their home since Juinn Yee’s father was the “finance director”.
Strangers also hung around outside their gate throughout the day as creditors hounded them for payment.
Her father’s German partner was nowhere to be found and their calls to him went unanswered. The friends who had introduced her father to the German partner also avoided them.
“Dad became a different man. He had totally believed in his German business partner and now he had lost everything. The shock was so severe that he went into a panic state throughout the day. He was sleepless and unable to eat,” said Juinn Yee.
Almost overnight, she and her father reversed roles and she became his parent.
Initially, she witnessed him behaving like a lost and frightened child. Very quickly, he sank into a full-blown mental breakdown and was admitted to the psychiatric ward at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He was diagnosed with clinical depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Juinn Yee found herself having to take on a deluge of matters in which she had little experience – caring for a mentally ill father and dealing with creditors summoning him to court.
Very quickly, he sank into a full-blown mental breakdown and was admitted to the psychiatric ward at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
She found that there was no one she could turn to for help except the Christian God she had come to believe in after wrestling with existential questions in her teenage years. Yet she did not really know Jesus. Going to church had been taboo as her relatives were of a different faith.
Yet during this crisis, prayer became like air to her lungs.
“It was my lifeline. I needed strength to get up the next day, to go to the next lawyer, to attend the next court hearing. I needed guidance in pleading with the creditors, strategies to calm Dad down and a sound mind to decide if Dad should receive the electro-convulsive treatment (ECT) the hospital was getting us to give consent for,” Juinn Yee told Salt&Light.
“In His exceeding mercy and grace, He heard all my cries for help and direction. He sent many people to help me, from a psychiatrist to pro bono lawyers. I had barely five hours of sleep each day, working while sorting out Dad’s legal matters, and caring for both my father and mother-in-law who were in hospital at the same time.
“But I never felt exhausted. It was as if I was drawing from a supernatural tank,” she added.
One of God’s answers to her cry for help came in the form of a close Christian colleague named Theresa who prayed with her, accompanied her to every lawyer’s meeting and court hearing as well as visits to her father in the hospital.
She also shared Juinn Yee’s family situation with her cell group members for prayer support.
As the cell group members prayed for Juinn Yee’s father and the family, a brother-in-Christ began receiving visions from God.
He saw a Caucasian man standing behind Juinn Yee’s father and could describe his appearance in detail: He had a beard, wore gold-rimmed spectacles and a Rolex watch, and had a silver pen in the pocket of his white-sleeved shirt. He was seen towering over Dad.
Through Theresa, he asked Juinn Yee if there was such a person in her father’s life.
Up to that point, Theresa had not shared any details of the family’s crisis with her cell group and had only asked them to pray generally.
“When I heard the vision, I knew it had to be the German business partner, as he was the only Caucasian my Dad was in touch with. The Holy Spirit revealed to that cell group member that he was controlling Dad and that Dad was in fear of him,” said Juinn Yee.
“I began to be filled with an inexplicable peace as I knew God was with us.”
She had never seen the man, but when she asked her father about it, he confirmed that his partner indeed had a beard and wore gold-rimmed spectacles and a Rolex watch. Later on, when she finally met his partner at the court hearings, she saw that he was precisely what the vision had revealed – and he was in a long-sleeved white shirt.
“I was rather stunned. But the incident shed some light for me that perhaps Dad had carried out all of his partner’s demands out of fear. I began to be filled with an inexplicable peace as I knew God was with us,” she added.
During that time, her father also started knocking at her door at 3am every night for about a week. In great distress, he told her he was being tortured by loud chanting in his ears.
“He would say, ‘I don’t know what to do, I am very confused. Help me, the sounds are just repeating and repeating and it is driving me crazy.’
“I could not hear anything, so I thought it was his imagination,” said Juinn Yee.
However, Theresa’s cell group member called her shortly afterwards and revealed that he had received a second vision while he was praying for her father. He had seen a religious leader – robed and with a single gold sash across his chest – chanting.
“He asked me if Dad wore something on his neck like a pendant, and asked me to take a close look at it. But Dad was a simple man. The only thing he wore was his Seiko watch. He had never worn any necklace in his entire life,” said Juinn Yee.
“The cell group member then asked if there was a particular object that Dad liked to hold or carry close to himself. I knew instantly he was referring to the agate stone pendant that Dad had received from a religious leader that his German partner had invited to bless the company during its official opening ceremony,” said Juinn Yee.
“Dad had often admired this pendant and told me how good the grade was and how well it was carved. The word of knowledge that came to the cell group member was that this object was exerting demonic powers over Dad’s mind. We needed to remove it from him.”
Juinn Yee searched out the item and, upon careful inspection of the stone, saw that on the back of the pendant was a metal plate with a picture of a religious leader in a sash similar to that described by Theresa’s cell group member. There were carvings of some scripts on the sides.
The cell group member went to the National Library to research the origins of the religious group on the back of the agate pendant.
“He told me he found out that a particular sect was robed in the same way. One differentiation of this sect was that their religious devotees would begin their morning chants at 3am each morning,” Juinn Yee said.
“Each vision came in perfect timing and protected Dad from further harm that would otherwise have befallen him.”
She realised it was no coincidence that her father had been hearing daily chanting at that exact time.
“I was guided to pray over Dad, and we discarded the pendant. Immediately, from that night, Dad never heard the chanting again,” she told Salt&Light.
“I realised that things had transpired in the spiritual realm, and I felt assured that God was fighting this with us. I was awed and excited that this God is powerful and He was reaching out to us in such miraculous ways.”
Still, as she continued to settle her father’s financial matters, he sank deeper into depression and withdrawal. One afternoon, he came to her and expressed his shame and sorrow that he had let everyone down. He also said he did not deserve to be forgiven as his mistake was too great.
The following day, Theresa’s cell group member called her urgently. He had received another vision.
He saw her father dressed in an ancient Chinese criminal outfit and locked in the pillory. As he knelt before the imperial judge, he pleaded for the judge to throw at him a wooden token that had the Chinese character for “decapitate” written on it. The judge had not started hearing the case, but her father was already crying and asking to be executed.
The Holy Spirit revealed to Theresa’s cell group member that her father might be suicidal. He advised her to be vigilant and to watch him closely.
Juinn Yee and her family members hid all the knives and scissors in the house that could be used for self-harm.
“Each vision came in perfect timing and protected Dad from further harm that would otherwise have befallen him.”
The next day, her father indeed came to her again to say he was sorry and that he had let everyone down.
“He said that he deserved to die as he had made an unforgivable mistake. He also expressed that he was too ashamed to live and it was better for him if he were dead,” said Juinn Yee.
“Each vision came in perfect timing and protected Dad from further harm that would otherwise have befallen him. God goes before us indeed, and He is always a step ahead,” she added.
She took her father to a psychiatrist. He was assessed to be suicidal and was warded for about a month.
During that time, Juinn Yee sold off their Springleaf Gardens house, paid off the bank debts and wound up the company that had been declared bankrupt.
Their family had lost close to a million dollars in the fiasco.
Given her father’s mental state, the family decided not to pursue the case further with the business partner as her father would have been required to testify in court. They prioritised his recovery instead.
The only key to freedom
When Juinn Yee’s father was discharged from hospital, Theresa’s cell group member had one final vision.
He saw her father chained and locked in the pillory, but there was a key next to him. The word he received was: Jesus is the only key.
He explained to Juinn Yee that Jesus is the only key that can unlock her father’s chains and set him free. That is because Jesus has already taken the capital punishment for her father by dying on the Cross for him and all of us. Jesus alone is able to wipe away all of her father’s guilt and shame.
The whole cell group came to Juinn Yee’s home to visit her father and pray for him. It was the first time she had met them, including the brother-in-Christ who had been sharing his visions.
“That day, my faith in God was sealed and it was no longer just an intellectual faith.”
They sat in a circle around Juinn Yee and her father and started worshipping. As they prayed, the Holy Spirit came upon them heavily.
“The atmosphere changed. It felt like it was charged with electricity,” said Juinn Yee. “I was filled with the Holy Spirit and I broke down in tears. It was the first time I had cried since that Saturday afternoon when the postman came. I felt the weight of all the burdens I had been carrying on my shoulders in the past months.” She was just in her mid 20s at the time.
“As I surrendered our situation to God, I broke out in tongue and was shaking under the power of the Holy Spirit. I turned to Dad and hugged him tightly. As I shook, Dad also started shaking. Then, he wailed. It was as though the floodgates of his sorrow were opened. I had never seen my Dad cry before.”
God’s love and a supernatural peace swept over them and they both quietened down. The floor was wet with their tears.
“I felt refreshed and renewed, and I knew that I had encountered God in person. That day, my faith in God was sealed and it was no longer just an intellectual faith. This God is real, merciful, powerful and living in our very midst. He is not some distant God to be feared.
“Who am I not to submit to this God who has shown Himself to me?” said Juinn Yee, who is now married with two adult children.
After his encounter with God, her father retreated into his room.
Theresa later shared the Gospel with him and he accepted Jesus as his Saviour that very day, six months after he was hit by the business scam.
Healing and restoration
The days that followed were days of healing and restoration for her father.
His moods began to stabilise. No longer was he calling his daughter every five minutes out of anxiety.
After a few months, he was discharged from the hospital. His medication for depression and anxiety was reduced and then stopped.
“It was almost a miracle to see how far he had come from the time the doctors recommended ECT (though we did not consent for him to go for it) to the time he was healed. That powerful one touch of the Holy Spirit had healed him of the tremendous psychological trauma he had undergone,” said Juinn Yee.
She would later take her parents on a holiday in China, where her father was able to visit his siblings.
When he returned, he was back to his good-natured self and started working at a relative’s crystalware shop.
He would later enjoy his retirement by spending time with his grandchildren.
In January 2019, he was baptised. He died six months later.
For Juinn Yee, her faith journey has continued.
She was a staff and board member of Petra Community for four years before stepping down to engage in other pursuits, including being active in volunteer work for migrant workers and translation work for churches.
“God knows each of us intimately and, in His desire to reach us, He works in different ways,” she told Salt&Light.
“For me, He knew that I needed to encounter the work of the Holy Spirit through Theresa’s friend’s visions, and to be overwhelmed by His power that afternoon when the cell group came to pray for Dad.
“Not only did God completely heal Dad from his severe mental illness, He restored him and saved his soul.
“God is near to those who choose to believe in Him, and He sets us free to live on this earth in His power.”
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