By Goh Keng Swee

Opinions expressed are solely the author’s and do not express the views or opinions of others.

Sometimes I feel sad when I see mom. Despite reaching out to her in the past, she has been quite strong-willed. I love her and hope to see her saved. Mom turns 76 this year and I feel life is short – there’s not much time! Mom grew up in a family of staunch unbelievers and is still close to them. It has been a challenge to get my family to understand and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Sometimes it makes me ponder about Jesus’ words “…no prophet is accepted in his hometown…” (Luke 4:24). Even Jesus Himself was not accepted as a prophet in his hometown.

Is there a better way, I pondered? A neighbour, a strong-willed woman, believed when she was about 65 years old after attending Alpha. About 68 years old now, she diligently seeks God by reading the Bible, praying, attending Bible classes, listening to sermons, etc. This made me realise age is not an obstacle. After all, God made it possible for Moses at his age to complete his mission. It gave me an idea. Perhaps Alpha might work. Moreover, Alpha is technically not from my hometown. 

When PJEFC’s Joy Ministry was organising an Alpha for seniors on Zoom, I thought that would be a wonderful opportunity to help mom, an aunt who had been drifting away, and another unbelieving aunt to move one step to the right. I figured seniors could relate better, share the Good News and explain why God’s great salvation is important. Mom initially opposed the idea when I brought it up but eventually relented after I persisted.

The Alpha course was held once a week for 10-12 weeks. I took some time off from work, went home to set up Zoom and ensure their attendance. Initially, I noticed they were unmotivated, like I was when I was a schoolboy. As the course progressed towards the end, I noticed mom’s interest gradually growing. As I sat there with them, I thought Alpha has improved a lot because it is more relevant and interesting than the one I attended about 20 years ago. One of my takeaway points is life events do not happen by chance.

At the end, mom said she understood the Good News better and was slightly convinced. A small step to the right. Not everyone has that dramatic encounter that Apostle Paul had and perhaps that may not be suitable for everyone. Perhaps like a seed, it takes time to “wake up”, take root and grow naturally. I prayed with mom that day and asked God to draw her to Him and enable her to believe. Everyone is different and is at different stages of life after all. Whatever happens, I am telling myself to trust God, do my best and be patient.

I found the Alpha Course a good source of information to anyone who wants to know more about Christianity; I have often wondered how the pastors or anyone delivering the sermon could be so well versed at referring into the right chapter and verses and now, I realise that it was the guidance from the Holy Spirit!

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