Life Before Christ
From an early age, even as a Kindergarten 1 boy, I was very sensitive to seeing spirits. I did not know it was impacting me on a spiritual level. Through my family, and the Taoist meditation at the house temples, I engaged increasingly with the practices of interacting with the entities in the spirit realm. My desire was to help people and the wandering spirits, especially during the 7th lunar month Hungry Ghost festivals. Through meditation, I was able to sense and see the sufferings of spirits around in hell experiencing punishment for their sins. It was a learning process about judgement. I experienced emotional pain for them. As a spirit-medium, I allowed my body to be possessed by so-called gods and deities and serve as a vessel for these entities to descend to the mortal realm. When possessed, spirit-mediums are regarded as incarnate gods who help the wandering spirits, who have no one to pray for them. So it was a way for me to accumulate good deeds, by helping them along their way towards a better rebirth.
I grew up in a typical Chinese traditional family. As the eldest son, my father constantly imposed on me his desires for my studies as well as career. My two younger siblings were favoured by my dad, but I often clashed with him. His discipline and strictness pushed me to rebel and endure an endless cycle of hostility and resentment. It was hard to keep trying to convince my father of what I really wanted, to be allowed to choose for myself. Nevertheless, through this authoritarian upbringing, I learnt how to be disciplined and independent, with an inherent burden to be responsible for the care of others.
While being prayed for, I saw a lighthouse again, but this time it was closer. I also heard a voice that assured me, “I have opened up my hand welcoming you to my family”.
It was through Dawn, my girlfriend, that I came to church in April 2021. For some reason, I got headaches and a feeling of tightness or pressure in my head when in church. But somehow I had a desire to pray to Christ for my family to be well and healthy. As I continued attending Church, there were less headaches.
Dawn and I were encouraged to attend the Alpha course and the “Freedom and Wholeness” session conducted by the church. I started to open my heart and the inner healing prayer time was anointed, ministering to me and delivering me from hurts, past associations and practices. However, I continued to own a bunch of amulets and was afraid of throwing them away in case of offending the spirits.
I decided to attend baptism classes with Dawn out of curiosity and a desire to know God more; and began doing the Bible study using the “lectio divina” format. It was during this time that I saw a vision of light and a lighthouse. In one baptism class after the lesson by Richard Chew, I uttered the prayer to trust Christ, and for Him to guide me down the road of life. Usually during this period, while travelling to work, I would ask Christ for His blessing of a good work day ahead, the ability to meet the challenges that lay before me, that everything would work out well.
On 27 July, I came to church to meet with the pastors to ask for help and prayer support. While being prayed for, I saw a lighthouse again, but this time it was closer. I also heard a voice that assured me, “I have opened up my hand welcoming you to my family”. It was at this point that I was finally ready to be baptised before I got married.
In July 2022, Dawn and I got married in church. During pre-marital counselling, Pastor Henry convinced me to discard the amulets and offered to burn them. But I preferred to dispose of them myself. So, with Dawn’s encouragement I threw $6,000 worth of amulets in the rubbish chute. Contrary to my fears, nothing untoward happened and Dawn saw a huge transformation in me. I have God now and I have my faith. I gave Jesus my heart, my life, my everything. Things began to change. My seafood stall in the market also became very successful.
I am experiencing the willingness to let go of my hatred and bitterness towards people and not bear grudges against them. I also feel happier, peaceful and have a sense of lightness. The heaviness of my heart is gone. I have learned to speak openly to Christ and there’s no more bottling up of my emotions. Thank God I am free from spiritual bondage and released into the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Alvin Kong and his wife Dawn are members of Covenant Presbyterian Church. Alvin runs a seafood business called Chapalang Shop 2.