IT BEGAN WITH A REVIVAL BEHIND THE SCHOOL LAB
Behind the laboratory of Dunearn Secondary Technical School
On July 15th 1972, an important date on his calendar, Philip Lee was filled with the Holy Spirit. Incomprehensible utterance poured out of his lips. It was an awesome experience which was too good to be hoarded. Bubbling with joy, Philip hopped on his bicycle and raced to Paul Seow’s house which was half a mile away. Paul was one of the students who was fasting and praying regarding the Holy Spirit. Not only did Philip tell Paul about the Holy Spirit, he laid hands and prayed for Paul to receive the Holy Spirit. That night, Paul received the Holy Spirit too.
Of course, such opposition produced fear and anxiety about sharing Christ with other students. But their fear for the Lord was greater than their fear of men and they preached the Gospel boldly in the power of the Holy Spirit. Before long the school was aflame with the Gospel message. The students continued to meet after school for prayer and Bible Study.
Many of our brothers and sisters were attending Youth for Christ at that time, but they realized that they needed to attend church. But which church? God is all knowing, and in His sovereignty, He set up a crucial link between them and brother Matthew, later to be the founder of World Revival Prayer Fellowship. Who is brother Matthew? Where did he come from? Well, one evening in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, brother Matthew heard the voice of the Lord telling him to go to Singapore to work. On the following day, God confirmed His call through a job opening in Singapore. Obedient to God’s call, brother Matthew took up the chief accountant’s post at Castrol Singapore.
Later, Newman met up with the rest of the baptism candidates and related to them all that brother Matthew had told him. The five baptism candidates were convinced that it was God’s will for them to be baptized. Three others, Timothy, Zach and Abraham came to observe and encourage the candidates but they also ended up in water way over their heads! Thus that evening, at the Kranji river, eight students were baptized at 8.00pm on the 8th of August and on the eve of the eighth National Day of Singapore.
Pioneers of revival and Youth for Christ meetings
Opposition and persecution
The flood of students to 14 Jalan Dermawan did not go unnoticed either as our form of worship being charismatic in expression was not what you might call quiet. Following complaints by neighbours about noise, the police were on several occasions at the gate. Simon Tan was always ready with his Bible to convince the police that our worship was similar with that of the first century Christians! At this point, the fellowship realized that they had to look for a place that can accommodate more people, with an affordable rent and in a neighbourhood that would tolerate our mode of worship. That place turned out to be No. 14 Lengkok Saga. After a while, Bro Matthew left for Canada and he appointed Pastor P.J Johney to replace him. A new chapter began and we continued to grow and experience God’s love and power.
Newman Tay: “The washing of feet was practised in the early days of our church. The symbol of love and servanthood demonstrated in this act is a very powerful message to remind us that in order to be effective in his service, we need to have a servant’s heart. It was such a genuine love for one another that created the strong family bond very evident in those days.”
Zach Wong: “The brothers and sisters in the 70s carried Bibles with them wherever they went. They were ready to share the Gospel anywhere anytime. Many were added to the Kingdom because of their Scripture-based sharing. They could not even make it from brother Matthew’s house to the bus stop without checking the Scriptures a couple of times. So, be rooted in the Word of God so that you can be an effective witness for Him in season and out of season.”
Philip Lee: “I agree with Abraham about prayer. Time was never a factor when we prayed. We spent hours and often a whole week praying. The love and care of brothers and sisters were wonderful. In those days, we had lots of love but were very short on cash. After meetings, we would adjourn for food. Even though many of us do not have much money left after bus fare, everyone would dig deep into their wallets and contribute what they could. By so doing, we always had enough and great food fellowship. As Christians, we are to share the good news of Jesus Christ and our message will have greater impact too if we will share of our time, life and possession with others.”
These features of a genuine supernatural revival need not remain trapped and vacuum-packed in our past. The same Holy Spirit desires to fan aflame our present congregation into a vibrant prayerful and caring people who will obey the Great Commission.
by Mrs Martha Wong