God Reveals Himself in His Timing to Heal & Inspire by Hazel Curran
Singapore is a country very much like the United States, with every known religion and belief you can think of; yet I was born into a Buddhist (Taoist) family. I grew up going to temples, worshipping idols, burning paper incense, offering food and praying to idols as gods.
I was never exposed to any other religion when I was growing up. It wasn’t until I was introduced to a new Youth Fellowship Christian (YFC) group in third grade that I learned about Christianity. It was then someone shared with me about God and His son Jesus Christ and so I started to attend YFC every week as an after school extra-curricular activity without my parents knowing about my interest.
At YFC, we sang songs, played games, learned to play musical instruments, and heard bible stories about Jesus Christ. I took part in organized food drives by going from house to house, collecting canned foods and non-perishables for the needy. During the holidays, we also collected used clothing for the poor and brought toys to orphanages during Christmas while singing carols. When I saw the smiles we brought to those children, I felt great, and it was fulfilling. Now as I reflect back on it, I feel I was put there for a reason.
In 1978, I received Jesus Christ as my personal savior at the first Billy Graham Crusade in Singapore. I never told my parents, not even my siblings. Since I was the youngest, I was afraid that they would disown me. So I kept praying and hoping God would give me the courage to tell my parents someday.
I never really got to know my dad because I didn’t see him much; he was rarely home. I was told he was a sailor, a foreman working on a large tanker. I only remember my mother taking me along to collect his paycheck every month. My mother didn’t work but she was a foster parent to many orphans; she was assigned new babies before they were adopted. I believe she received some funding from the government to care for them. I always helped her with care of the babies, and I would cry each time a baby was adopted and left our home.
When I was twelve, my dad fell seriously ill. I didn’t know what was wrong with him but I knew he needed surgery. He had some form of cancer, presumably from the exhaust he was breathing in the engine room on board the tanker. After the surgery, he was in a coma for a few days, and we thought he had died. My sister, who was eight years older than I, asked my mom if she could bring some people from church to pray for my dad at the hospital. She agreed and a few days later, my dad miraculously came out of the coma.
Although free from the coma, the doctor had to remove my dad’s vocal cord (larynx) which left him with a hole in the middle of his throat. Unfortunately, medical technology was not as advanced in the 1970’s as it is today so my dad never spoke again since. This was very frustrating for him. When he could not express himself; he would throw anything, including furniture which made me frightened of him.
One time, he found my bible and he threw it out of the window. It flew down the nine floors of our apartment building and landed in a ditch below. In his anger, I was grounded and was only allowed to go to and from school. I prayed for months for my father and my family and I know God heard those prayers and answered them in His due timing.
One day my sister courageously told my dad that she wanted to get baptized, and to my surprise, he approved. I felt God had answered my prayers by opening the door to Christianity through my sister. Ever since, I have never stopped believing in God.
Right after high school, I left Singapore to further my studies in Hotel Management in Switzerland. I never stopped praying and attending church. When I returned to Singapore, my relationship with my dad improved and I was able to relate better as I was more mature.
Many years passed, my sister was married to a Catholic man and had twins. My mom and dad helped her often with the children. My sister and her husband frequently invited my parents to their church events and my parents gladly attended. Even though my parents remained Buddhists, it was through my sister that they were exposed to Catholicism.
In 1996, my ailing parents moved in to live with my sister and her family. We all believe that God was patient and that He worked in miraculous ways. That same year, my mom’s youngest brother uncle Daniel, accepted Jesus Christ. When he came to visit he brought over a blessed handkerchief to pray for my mom. Her pain went away instantaneously. It was through that experience that she was convinced of God’s healing power. I spent six months in Singapore when mom was diagnosed with colon cancer and she finally passed away in the Hospice shortly after I returned home to the United States. But, my family knew that the nuns at the nursing home had witnessed to her and believed that through that loving experience, mom was saved.
A year later, my sister and I took my dad to China. He wanted to visit the Great Wall of China in Beijing and visit his remaining distant relatives whom he believed were still in Canton. We were blessed to have fulfilled his one remaining wish.
The following year, I spent a few months with him in Singapore. At the end of my stay, while visiting dad in the hospital, I spoke to a gentleman in the bed next to my dad as he was reading his bible. I asked if he would witness his personal faith to my dad. I told him that my sister and I had tried unsuccessfully for many years. He said he was a new Christian himself and he felt uncomfortable and inadequate in bearing witness, but he said he would ask his sister (a mature Christian) if she would. His sister visited my dad for several weeks.
Months later, my own sister called to tell me that my dad was not going to make it. The situation was dire and there wasn’t even enough time for me to get to Singapore to say my final goodbye. But my sister reported the good news that dad had accepted Jesus Christ and was baptized at his deathbed.
Now that I have a family of my own, I take comfort and joy in knowing that God is using me to influence my husband, my children, and the community in which I live.
I was miserable for the last five years in my employment. I have been praying for God to provide a means of relief through some other employment opportunity. I wanted to start up my own company but I needed to contribute to our household income, so quitting a full time job was not a feasible option. Then, in December 2011, I was thrilled that I landed a position as a Chinese-speaking sourcing leader for a cleaning manufacturer in Bridgeport, CT but a couple of weeks ago, I was laid off. Currently, I collect unemployment to replace some of the lost income. Meanwhile, I am open to God’s calling; always trusting in Him and believing He has great plans in store for me.
I recently saw an open house sign for the Christian Heritage School in Trumbull, CT. While visiting the school, I was informed that they will be starting a Chinese language program in September 2012 and are accepting applications. At the open house, I met the dean and shared my faith. I submitted an application form knowing that I have the required skills. If this is really according to God’s timing, this opportunity may very well open up for me.
Your message about God revealing Himself in his timing could not be more real to me. It has been a wonderful reinforcing message and inspiration to me as I live my life daily for Him.
This is my unique story of how I know that God revealed Himself, according to His timing, to me and to my family!
Comments from the Original Post
May God bless you with everlasting strength to overcome every obstacle in life.
Carol Schofield 8.7.12
What a GREAT Testamony of God’s Love!!
Marine Pina Urrútia 4.20.12
You have some genuinely beneficial information composed here. Good job and keep posting good stuff.
dave krusemark 4.19.12
Wow Hazel! Thanks for sharing. GOD is truly good and amazing in answering prayers offered trusting in HIS Love, faithfulness, and timing!
May GOD continue to use your faith and story to inspire and lead others to our LORD JESUS!