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"I have lost many important people in my life but He has never left me. Even when I did not choose Him, He chose me and found me," said private hire driver Henry See, who often shares with his passengers about how God has transformed his life. All photos courtesy of Henry See.

As a young boy exposed to various religions, Henry See was always spiritually curious.

He was just 10 years old when his two older sisters sat him down to tell him about Jesus. His eldest sister, who is four years older than him, then passed him a booklet titled, Who is Jesus?

Baby Henry with his eldest sister, Charlene, who had passed him the Who Is Jesus? booklet when he was younger.

As they discussed about faith and the divine, Henry wondered: “Jesus so powerful, meh?”

He decided to put the various possible gods to the test. Before he sat for one exam, he prayed to Jesus. Before he sat for another paper, he prayed to another god.

“I wanted to see who is more powerful,” said Henry, now 47. “In the end, both exams also can’t pass as I didn’t study!” he added with a loud chuckle.

Henry in his teenage years with his three sisters.

He went to the library to read up more about Jesus, and learnt how to pray from his friends’ parents who were Christians.

Though he did not go to church, he prayed every night before he slept. From reading Bible stories told through cartoon characters, he wondered about hell and feared it.

While he also participated in the religious rituals of other faiths that his relatives believed in and prayed to various idols, he could sense Jesus’ presence in his life.

“Even from young, I felt that Jesus was with me and He was protecting me,” Henry told Salt&Light.

A quest to see the world

In his teenage years, he developed a rebellious streak.

He did not have many friends in his new secondary school and did not like to study.

He also stopped praying to God every night as he found it boring.

“God, I don’t want to pray anymore. I want to go out and see the world,” he told God in his last earnest prayer at 15 years old.

Henry ended up joining a gang and hanging out with fellow members to smoke, fight and create trouble.

Henry with a full back of tattoos in his younger, rebellious years.

Shortly after, he failed his ‘N’ levels and dropped out of school. Influenced by his friends and then-girlfriend, he began smoking drugs like weed and heroin.

Worried about him, his sister prayed for him. She also accompanied him to the doctor whenever he had withdrawal symptoms during his attempts to kick the drug addiction. 

Henry at East Coast Park during his years in the army.

Eventually, he successfully weaned off the drugs. But he continued to stray from the Christian faith.

After he was involved in a series of motor accidents, he attempted to get rid of his “bad luck” by seeking help from other idols and delving deeper into their rituals.

Yet his streak of misfortune continued. 

After having his first child post-marriage, he was retrenched from his job as a supervisor at a construction site.

Henry (second from left) with some of his childhood friends.

Devastated, he went back to taking drugs and got involved in yet another car accident.

“One problem came after another. My childhood friend who was a drug trafficker really wanted to help me with the car repair expenses, and I ended up smoking cannabis at his home,” said Henry.

His friend’s home was raided by enforcement officers that night. Both of them were ambushed and caught.

“I have never left you”

As Henry awaited his court case, a Christian lawyer offered to represent him. Henry engaged the lawyer because his legal fees were much lower than others’ in the market.

Before his first court hearing, his lawyer asked Henry if he could pray for him outside, along the corridor.

“He told me not to commit suicide, for He would surely help me.”

“I told him I hired him to fight my case, not to tell me about Jesus,” said Henry. “But I accepted his request for him to pray for me.”

As the lawyer prayed for him, Henry heard God speaking to him in his heart for the first time in his life.

“He said, ‘All these past 15 years since you told me you wanted to see the world, I have been waiting for you. I have never left you at all’,” recalled Henry.

Recognising the familiar voice of Jesus, he could not help but weep.

While his court case was ongoing, Henry’s lawyer also encouraged him to attend his church.

“I just go there to sing song and take attendance. I found it boring. Of course, I prayed that I would get a jail sentence of less than a year,” said Henry.

His prayers were answered. He was sentenced to only 10 months’ jail, which is uncommon for charges of possessing and consuming drugs.

Unbeknownst to him, his church pastor had written a letter to the authorities to put in a good word for him.

“You are really blessed … Jesus really wants you,” his fellow inmates commented when they heard of his short sentence.

Falling away again

In prison, Henry prayed and read the Bible every day. He was also touched by the Holy Spirit whenever he sang worship songs at the prison’s chapel services.

However, these faith encounters were not enough to stop him from being caught up in the distractions of the world.

“‘You are Jesus’, I said. He told me to remember that I have been healed.”

After he was released, he became one of the poster boys for the Yellow Ribbon Project, which helps to rehabilitate ex-offenders through societal support. He also got a job in the food and beverage (F&B) sector and rose up the ranks from a kitchen helper to an executive chef.

Spending long hours at work caused him to neglect his budding Christian faith. And when his childhood friends persuaded him to volunteer at a house of worship of another faith, he agreed. 

“I told them I was already a Christian but they really needed help at night, which matched my schedule as I could go after work,” said Henry.

He volunteered at the house of worship every week, hoping that his active participation in its rituals would result in favour with the gods there and help him have a better life.

Deaths, debt and divorce

In 2011, his wife divorced him and he remarried the following year.

Church-going became a distant memory.

“Even when I did not choose Him, He chose me and found me.”

“I felt ashamed that I back-slided. There was this accusatory voice telling me that I have no more face to go to church or even pray, and that all religions are the same,” said Henry.

But God continued to show up in his life. There was once he saw a white figure in his dream.

“He was so bright that I couldn’t see his face but the light did not hurt my eyes. ‘You are Jesus’, I said. He told me to remember that I have been healed,” said Henry.

The moment he woke up, he told his second wife about his dream. But he did not understand it fully and doubts about its reality quickly took over. Dismissing the dream, he resumed his life as usual.

In 2016, life went on a downward spiral again. His best friend from primary school, who had found him a courier job, took his own life after battling drug addiction and schizophrenia.

Henry with his best friend, Ben, when they were younger.

That same year, his grandmother, to whom he was close, also died.

Henry visiting his grandma when she was warded in hospital.

Disconsolate about her death, he tried to build on her legacy by reviving her ngoh hiang (five-spice meat rolls) recipe and food business. He rented a hawker stall at Jalan Besar to sell her ngoh hiang, but business was bad.

Henry’s grandma carrying him when he was a toddler.

Desperate for some guidance, he sought out a spiritual leader at another house of worship who predicted that business at his next hawker location would do well.

Thus, he decided to open a stall at Yishun Park Hawker Centre. Business was better but its rental was high, and he chalked up debts totalling $100,000.  

Seeing that the business was unsustainable, he gave it up to become a private hire driver. Every day from morning to midnight, he plied the streets in a bid to earn enough to clear his debts.

His wife even went overseas to find work to help out with their finances. By then, he had a son from his first marriage and a daughter from his second marriage.

Henry with his son and daughter when they were younger.

The following year, Henry suffered more losses.

His father was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer, and Henry sought advice from another spiritual leader on whether his father ought to go for an operation to remove the stomach tumour.

The leader asked Henry to sponsor an item at the house of worship and reassured him that his father’s operation would go well. Henry dutifully made the donation and his father’s operation went smoothly.

Henry’s father (in bed) surrounded by his wife and children, including Henry (in red).

Eight months later, the cancer came back and his father died. It was one of the lowest points in his life.

During this time, his relationship with his wife, who was working overseas, also deteriorated and he felt her becoming distant.

In 2019, she divorced him and left the family.

A Presence that makes spirits flee

“Everyone who was important in my life left me. I couldn’t take it anymore and just needed to find a solution to make my life better. I went to find all sorts of fortune tellers, mediums and spiritual card readers to help me,” said Henry.

He was told to do various things, from purchasing and burning prayer papers to buying items that would change his luck. All of this cost him a pretty penny, but he was willing to spend whatever it took to get his life back together.

He figured that even if he spent all his money on these strategies and none worked, he could just end his life.

“I am who I am. You can call me Spirit or God.”

One day, as he stood at his window in his flat on the 15th floor, he entertained thoughts of suicide.

“I thought about my son and daughter and how sad they would be if I died. I thought of how my mother would take it, especially since she had already lost my father,” said Henry, who subsequently stepped away from the window.

The suicidal thoughts persisted as he sat before an altar in his house to do his regular meditation.

“During these meditation sessions, various spirits usually would come and talk to me. They reminded me that I had so many problems and nobody could help me, so why not just end my suffering like what my best friend did? It would be easier,” said Henry.

As the different voices continued speaking to him, Henry suddenly felt a Presence enter the room. All other spirits quickly disappeared.

“I felt goosebumps from my head to my toes. He told me not to commit suicide, for He would surely help me,” said Henry.

Stunned, Henry blurted out: “Who are you?’

The reply came in Mandarin: “我就是我你可以叫我神灵或神。(I am who I am. You can call me Spirit or God.)”

“Even after this, I still did not know which Spirit had spoken to me. It was only months later when I was in church and heard the preacher use the same phrase of God being ‘I am who I am’ that I realised it was Jesus who had come and called out to me that night,” said Henry.

Met again by Jesus

Clueless about which “big God or Spirit” had come to him ­– and caused the rest of the spirits to scatter in His presence – Henry continued his search for answers to the issues in his life.

He remembered that a spiritual card reader had passed him a “card of guidance” shortly before that. As he read it again, one line jumped out at him. “It said, ‘You must pray to your God again’,” said Henry.

“I have come to realise that God is the only thing I can rely on in my life.”

The following night, Henry went into his room and prayed with sincerity: “Lord Jesus, I come to You. Please forgive me.”

Immediately, he felt the presence of God in the room as if “a wire had connected”.

Then, he heard Jesus speaking to him for the second time in his life: “Till today, I have never left you. You have seen Me before, but you did not believe in Me. After all that you have gone through, now you know who is your real God.”

Henry wept, apologising profusely to the God whom he knew had been with him since he was a child.

When the tears finally stopped flowing and he opened his eyes, he felt like a totally different person.

Overjoyed at finally finding his answer in life, he shared the Good News with his son and friends.

It was approaching Good Friday then in 2019. So Henry texted his sister to ask if he could come for her church’s Good Friday service.

His sister, who had been praying for him for almost three decades, was caught by surprise. “You want to come? I will save a seat for you,” she replied.

Despite his recent divine encounters, Henry still felt some resistance within him. “Don’t put too much hope in it. If I drive my taxi and I am nearby, then I will come,” he answered her noncommittally.

Later on, he continued to experience other voices speaking to him, interrupting his consciousness as if they were his own thoughts.

“The thoughts urged me, ‘Nevermind lah … Don’t need to go as you still need to drive your taxi and earn money.’ By the time it was almost time for the service, I was driving near Tampines, which was quite far from the church at Suntec City,” he said.

“He chose me and found me”

But God continued to pursue him.

“I heard God saying in my heart, ‘Just go. I have a message for you, all for you. Just go,’” recalled Henry.

Henry gave in and went, not before reminding God that it was on Him to provide for his day’s earnings and help him clear his debt.

The Good Friday sermon, which was on the Parable of the Prodigal Son, spoke directly to Henry’s heart. He responded to the altar call and was baptised a few months later.

Henry being ‘born again’ through baptism.

Renewed with a new spiritual hunger, Henry has been listening to sermons by different preachers while driving his private hire taxi. He also readily shares his testimony and the Good News to any of his passengers who wish to hear it.

“Sometimes, I take down their names and pray for them. Some of them also pray for me before they alight from my taxi,” he said.

A visiting pastor from Australia who took Henry’s taxi and prayed for him before he alighted at his destination.

Henry has also seen God faithfully providing for all his needs.

“Last time, I needed to drive seven days to earn seven days of income. Now, somehow I can drive just five days and go to church and cell group, yet also earn seven days of income,” he testified.

Henry celebrating Christmas with his cell group members in church at its candlelight service.

“I have come to realise that God is the only thing I can rely on in my life. I have lost many important people in my life but He has never left me. Even when I did not choose Him, He chose me and found me.”


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About the author

Janice Tai

Salt&Light senior writer Janice is a former correspondent who enjoys immersing herself in: 1) stories of the unseen, unheard and marginalised, 2) the River of Life, and 3) a refreshing pool in the midday heat of Singapore.