Testimony Monday – Kim Hock Fong, Malaysia
Each Monday, for a number of weeks, someone from around the world shares the story of how they heard the gospel and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. This week’s contributor is Kim Hock Fong, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
World War 2 in Malaysia
I was born in 1941 in a small town called Bentong in the state of Pahang, which is known for its mountainous terrain, dense forest and sandy beaches on its east coast. Today, Bentong is a well-known stop for tourists seeking out Malaysia’s king of fruits, the durian, and hill resorts such as Frasers’ Hill and Cameron Highlands.
The war came to our country with the Japanese invasion in December 1941 and the fall of Singapore in January 1942. The war ended in 1945 with the surrender of Japan.
My father’s name was Fong Kon Seong and my mother’s name was Poh Ah Kim. Theirs was an arranged marriage. By the time I was born, they were already a family with two boys and four girls, my older siblings. Over the years there were added to our family two more boys and girls. During the war years it appeared my father was an interpreter for the Japanese. Being Chinese by race, our family were Buddhists in outlook and practice.
After the war, my father was employed as a detective in the criminal investigation department of the Police. It was not long afterwards we found ourselves living in another town within the same state, called Kuala Lipis. I recall there was a river running through this town. It was here my formal education commenced in the Clifford School. This school was named after Sir Hugh Clifford who was governor of the Straits Settlements of Malaya, namely Malacca, Penang and Singapore. Under British rule, this school was modelled after the British system of education. I remember meeting the headmaster, whose name I cannot remember. In the school field at each end stood the H-shape posts which I understood to mean the main sport of the school was rugby football.
In 1950, our family relocated to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the state of Selangor which borders to the west of Pahang. The road where we lived had a row of houses on the left and government dwellings opposite, called Bukit Bintang road. Further along this road was an Adventist church and the Bukit Bintang Girls’ School (BBGS) which in those years belonged to the assemblies. Miss M Glasgow was headmistress of this school in the fifties. I attended the Methodist Boys’ School a couple of miles away in the town centre. This school is what was then known as a missionary school, founded in 1897 by Dr T Kensett, who was a serving medical officer in HMS Orion. I attended this school, which would be my third year of education. The headmaster was Hugh F Clancy. Every morning, there was school assembly in which hymns were sung, and in later years Scripture was actually a school subject. In one of the classes a boy recited the parable of the prodigal son from the Gospel of Luke.
Malaya gained independence from the British on August 31, 1957. My secondary education would be completed the next year. This was a time of change in so many ways.
My schooling was near completion and I would soon be seeking employment. The area where we lived was a small community of different races; there was a church, a school, a market, shops, cinemas and amusement park. Although attending a Christian school, I showed no interest in Christianity.
On Sundays, I observed many young people passing our home, going down towards the school. Many were walking, well turned out in their clothes, and others were cycling. A few faces I recognized as my neighbors with whom I had companied in games in the neighborhood. It was not long when, to my surprise, they invited me to attend Sunday School with them. This was quite novel as I had no knowledge of what constituted a Sunday School and what activities there might be. This was the beginning of my spiritual journey. I began to learn about the Bible as being the inspired Word of God, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that every one of us were sinners in God’s sight, and that the death of Christ was the means by which God can save sinners from the awful penalty of going to hell.
In June 1958, a preacher, J Weatherly, came from America to preach the Gospel in the School. I attended these meetings. One night I was convicted that there is a God in heaven. His Son the Lord Jesus died for my sins. I was helped by John 5:24 to believe that God sent His Son Jesus Christ. I heard His Word and believed in my heart; by doing so I have eternal life. This is my story of conversion. I was baptized in December 1958 and received into fellowship in Venning Road Chapel, Kuala Lumpur.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.John 5:24
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