wedding pix

Born with a birthmark across the left side of his face, Timothy Wong did not think he would ever get married. But God had other plans for him. All photos courtesy of Timothy Wong.

Timothy Wong grew up knowing he was not like other children.

Although his parents did not treat him any differently, classmates in primary school mocked him for his facial birthmark. The red patch, known as a port-wine stain, covers almost the whole of the left side of his face.

“They called me names like ‘red Indian’, ‘monster’, ‘beast’. They would say, ‘Eee …,” when they saw me,” he told Salt&Light.

Timothy as a child. His family treated him no differently from his younger brother. But his schoolmates were less accepting.

The taunts planted seeds of insecurity that took root and bore bitter fruit as adolescence set in. Though he had a few girlfriends in his 20s, by the time he was in his 30s, Timothy was ready to remain single.

By his 30s, Timothy had given up on the idea of marrying.

He was actively serving in a ministry that saw him going to the streets and praying for the underserved. He thought that would be his lot in life.

“I wanted to serve God and know Him better. I knew that I would have this tension within me if I were to be in a relationship.

Timothy (in red) with the team who would go to the streets to pray for the underserved.

“I had little to no confidence in myself in relationships because I saw myself as someone with no worth in the eyes of the world and was quite resigned to being single. Yet I struggled with desiring a partner.

“So I asked God to set me free. I told God I would be happy to be single if He gave me the grace to be single,” said the 48-year-old.

Instead, just over a year later, God gave Timothy three prophetic words that led him to the woman he would marry.

“You will meet your wife”

The first word came from the pastor with whom Timothy was serving as they prayed for people in the streets.

At one prayer meeting, the pastor turned to Timothy and said: “God is preparing a partner for you.”

“Why don’t the two of you consider each other?”

Timothy was 37 then and just the week before, he had asked God to help him be single. At the pastor’s statement, Timothy laughed. It seemed so improbable.

That same year, 2011, his mother encouraged him to join her on a trip to Israel. She was going with a group to pray for the survivors of the Holocaust.

“I asked God, ‘What do you want me to do while I am there?’

“He said, ‘Spend time with Me.’”

In Israel, Timothy received the second word.

Kim Geok and Timothy in Israel where they both received words from God that they were meant to marry each other.

“I enjoyed spending time with God, walking where Jesus walked. I was at the Rampart Walk in the Old City of Jerusalem when I got a call from the pastor in Singapore.

“She is the one. Just believe in the word.”

“He told me, ‘You will meet your wife on this trip.’”

On that trip, there was indeed a woman Timothy knew. Tan Kim Geok was a quiet, unassuming woman who served in the same prayer ministry as Timothy. One morning, he found himself next to her at the hotel breakfast buffet line. That was when the third word came.

“This lady in front of Kim suddenly turned around and said to us, ‘Why don’t the two of you consider each other?’ This auntie had a track record of bringing couples together in this way.

“I felt like Isaac when he was in the field meditating on God and then the servant came and introduced him to his wife! (Genesis 24:62-67)”

God had been preparing Kim as well. Before this encounter, she kept seeing people with facial birthmarks, prompting her to ask God: “Are You telling me something?’”

Kim Geok and Timothy in 2012, a year before they got married.

Timothy and Kim agreed to pray about the words while getting to know each other better. On their return to Singapore, their pastor friend confirmed things for them.

“He said to me, ‘She is the one. Just believe in the word.’”

As they dated, they found more that linked them together.

Kim had a brother who suffered from schizophrenia. The day her brother died by suicide is Timothy’s birthday.

A year and five months after they started dating, Timothy and Kim got married.

The gift of a son

A month after their wedding, Timothy was coming home from work when “I felt the Holy Spirit coming around me and a strong sense that God was going to give us a son”.

“The promise of God came through for us. We see our son as a gift.”

Two days later, a woman in their cell group shared a vision she had.

She saw Kim holding a young boy’s hand. She had no idea that Timothy had had that encounter with the Holy Spirit.“My mum also sensed that we would have a boy.”

But no baby came. Instead, when they went for a check-up, the doctor told them that Timothy had low sperm count.

“There were three grades and my grade was the lowest. So we said, ‘Why don’t we do the test again?’

“We tested again and not only did it come back with the same result, it also showed that my sperm was moving very slowly.

“We were like: God told us one thing but the test results tell us another thing.”

God prepared them for a son, despite the improbability of their circumstances.

Kim was 40 years old then, so the doctor encouraged them to give IVF a try.

The cost would come up to four figures and the chances of success were only 10% to 15% at best. So the couple decided to try Traditional Chinese Medicine instead, praying all the time.

The Wongs and their son, who was born despite medical odds.

But nothing happened.

Finally, Kim decided that she would take time off to visit Israel again before giving IVF a try.

“The IVF appointment was in January. My wife went to Israel in November,” recounted Timothy.

“When she came back, she found out that she was pregnant. It was in her last menstrual window before the IVF appointment.

“The promise of God came through for us. We see our son as a gift.”

Lessons on parenting

When their son entered pre-school, Timothy and Kim noticed that he had learning delays. They got him an appointment to test for dyslexia.

Timothy stays home with his son to provide him with the care and guidance he needs to navigate his educational needs.

By Primary One, it was clear that he had difficulty reading and writing. His teacher asked to meet Timothy and Kim.

“We are happier despite all these challenges.”

“Primary One became a trudge for us. We decided that one of us would work part-time to be home with him to help him.”

Timothy opted to work part-time for a year before becoming a stay-home dad.

“We also found and grew deeper in the communities around us – from church community to parent groups – who have special education needs children.

“Even this is a gift. If not for it, we would not have slowed down. We would have stepped ahead with our hopes and expectations for him like my parents.

“We are happier despite all these challenges.”


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About the author

Christine Leow

Christine believes there is always a story waiting to be told, which led to a career in MediaCorp News. Her idea of a perfect day involves a big mug of tea, a bigger muffin and a good book.