Testimonies / Testimonials 見證
I first came to learn about God and Jesus through Vacation Bible School, VBS, at this church 11 years ago. The theme was High Seas and I remember sitting in one of these rows in the back surrounded by lots of other kids and Crew Leaders. It was really fun singing the songs, playing games, all while slowly learning about what God means. At the end of the week of VBS, I remember Auntie Eunice asked something like that “If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior but would like to do so, you can”, and I did. I thought wow Jesus is amazing, He died on the cross for all of our sins! But I don’t think I completely understood what that meant until later throughout Sunday school and sermons. My sister, who was also at VBS in the youngest pre-K group, and I wanted to come back to the church and so we asked our parents who began bringing us to church each Sunday.
Coming to Sunday school, I got to meet other kids who were also Believers and learn about how God has guided different people in the Bible. It has been fun singing with everyone and playing music and using our skills and talents to help worship God. It has also made me happy to help out as a Crew leader at VBS with everyone for a few years and coming full circle to help show some past-me’s what God is about. I found and I still continue to find a special warmth and happiness in surrounding myself with people who love and trust and believe in God. Everyone is always quick to say “hi” and “happy to see you”. I don’t think many other places like this exist and I’m so glad God has brought this church together through Pastor and the dedication of everyone throughout the years.
I’ve also seen myself come and gone many times and there have been times where I put school or other activities above coming to Church. I think my faith grew a lot during this pandemic actually and I realized that I can make time to come to Church and pray and read the Bible, even after the pandemic wanes. Moving forward and going into college, I intend to place God above everything and to trust His process and plan. I know there are times where my faith will be tested but because I have slowly learned what He is about, I will continue to trust Him and pray to Him. I’m so glad that my mom found that newspaper flier about VBS all those years ago and for my mom and dad for taking us to Church many Sundays over the years. I thank my dad for asking us what we learned during Sunday School on the rides home from church and teaching us what he knew. Thank you to my fellow youth for showing me what it’s like to live with faith as a young person in these modern times. Thank you to the aunties and uncles here who have guided us youth through learning about God, studying the Bible, and keeping us grounded in our faith. Thank you to Pastor Stephen and Auntie Eunice for teaching all of us about God. And most of all thank you to Jesus for dying on the cross for our sins.
我非常高興參加了角聲2017年在布魯崙會幕教會舉辦的All Spheres of Life（卓越人生）生命見證會，Francis Chan、Jeremy Lin和MC Jin三位分享了他們的見證。那時，我還在信仰之外，教會也只是小時候去過一次。我的父母一直找不到他們覺得合適的教會，但他們還是很希望我們接觸到基督教和上帝。我記得他們給我買過一本兒童版的《聖經》，我很喜歡，甚至因著這本書我和哥哥還想去讀真正的《聖經》，可是那時我們讀不懂。
Jeremy Lin's Conference Changed Me
In 2017, I had the great pleasure of attending the All Spheres of Life event sponsored by the Chinese Christian Herald Crusade at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church where Francis Chan, Jeremy Lin, and MC Jin all shared their testimonies. At the time, I was not religious at all and had attended Church maybe once in my life when I was younger. Growing up, my parents were unable to find the "right" church, but they still tried to expose us to Christianity and God. I remember that they had bought a Toddler's version of the Bible for when I was younger, and it was my favorite book. It even compelled me and my brother to want to read the actual Bible, but at the time we didn’t really understand it.
At first, I didn’t know that the All Spheres of Life event was a preaching event and only had the mindset of meeting Jeremy Lin, a NBA star, in person. However, during this event, I ended up learning about God’s message, and the testimonies given were never far from my thoughts in the days after the event. Everything that was shared was all very moving. I went to the front and accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. I remember being very inspired to reflect on myself after the event.
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Sometime after this event, I participated in the Multi-Cultural event happening at Livingston High School in New Jersey for an outreach with my robotics team. My parents, who had driven me there, took the time to walk around the venue and visit the other booths. The Christian Evangelical Church in Livingston (新澤西活石園生命堂) happened to also be outreaching at the same event, and my parents finally believed that they had found the right church, and one that reminded my mom of the one she went to when she was younger.
Then, the month after, we started going to the Christian Evangelical Church in Livingston (新澤西活石園生命堂), and everyone was very welcoming. Learning about God every week and going to the retreats to learn more about Him strengthened my relationship with God. I was baptized on Easter, 2019 and became actively involved and served in the church. Praise God and all glory to Him!
Thank you so much for having ____ in your Club this year. He always had a great time and gained knowledge through hands-on activities. Most importantly, he grew spiritually and I saw him praying from time to time. Thanks for making this life impact on __.
L & K
Dear Bro. Stephen.
We love the people in your church and how you conduct ministry. Being an evangelist, I (and my family) have experienced many churches and I can earnestly say that CECL is led by the Holy Spirit...
God bless you.
Dear Pastor Stephen,
God has really changed me tremendously with the move to OH. He took me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to do things I would have never had the time, courage or inclination to do if I had stayed in NY/NJ. I don't think I ever told you but part of the encouragement to go to OH and do the things I'm doing also has to do with a sermon you once gave. It had to do with a frog being in a well and how it was so comfortable being there that unless it jumps out, it would never know that there's something far greater out there. I remember hearing that sermon and afterward I told Winnie that that's me - I'm the frog. So, I just wanted to say a quick thank you for God to allow you to give such a life-changing message and I hope that it has affected others as much as it has touched me.
Our dear Pastor Stephen,
We would like to thank you for the sermon you preached today about "Surviving Stress". Although this is a very common subject matter, the words you used, as well as the illustrations you gave, were very precise and appropriate to get the point across. We appreciate the efforts you put into it. It's always a blessing to be reminded that we can always survive stress by trusting in God and keeping our faith in Him.
May God continue to use you mightily for His kingdom.
Caring CECL members
Dear Reverend Lim,
I attended the Memorial Service for Mr. ___ on Saturday. I was very impressed with the beauty of the Service. Your Pastor Thoughts were comforting and inspiring. You demonstrated a great deal of compassion for everyone involved. The music provided by your wife, and the Choir was beautiful.
Thank you for your wonderful service.
I Surrendered My Life to Our Lord
My first attendance at the CEC in West Orange was in mid-October, 1995. On November 24, 1996, I invited Jesus Christ to come into my heart. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I declared to Him: 'Lord, I give my life to You; You are in control; My life is in Your hands; God is so gracious and merciful that He provided salvation to us.'
When I learned that I had cancer before my conversion, I was anxious, worried, stressed out and I experienced dreadful moments and the fear of death. I was looking for inner peace. But when I become a newcomer at the CEC in West Orange, Julie lent me her Bible and introduced me to Bible verses like Philippians 4:6-7. "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving; let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understand shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Other Bible verses I learned from our Bible study about assurance of salvation and inner peace helped me before and after my conversion.
On the day that I surrendered my life to our Lord Jesus Christ, my life was changed. It was a turning point in my spiritual life and journey, and the fear of death faded away.
After my conversion, I learned to value each day, keeping in touch with the fact that life is a gift from God, and that every day is a gift from God. I appreciate everything much more than before.
By God's grace and mercy, God has extended my life to this day. I do not know if I will still be here tomorrow, the next day, next week, next month or next year. Only God knows. Everyday I live as though it's my last day on this earth. With anticipation, I know Jesus is returning at any moment.
Every step I make, every breath I take, for every heartbeat, God holds my being in His hands. God is my sustainer, redeemer, my refuge and the source of strength in my life.
Every day, I praise and thank God for a new morning, a new day, for all the blessings He has showered upon me. I thank Him for His love and care, for His protection and provisions, for supplying all my needs. I also thank Him for the miraculous provisions during my disability years.
I also learned about God's sufficient grace: God gave me an affliction that made me depend on Him and in my weakness, He leads me to trust in His strength. God's word in II Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness..."
Lastly, my thanks to Pastor Stephen and Eunice Lim, for their Christlikeness leadership and godly counsels. And thank you to all the church members, thank you for your love, prayers and care for me all these years. Thank you for your friendship, fellowship and for everything you have done for me and my relatives. Saying thank you is not enough; it's only a portion of my deepest appreciation and gratitude to all of you. Thank you for sharing so much goodness and kindness from your hearts.
With a grateful heart, I give thanks to our Lord and to all dear friends who touched my life, who bless me with your acts of kindness, your prayers, and encouragement.
To God be the glory, honor and praise!
O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
There are usually turning points in a person's life when an event or a decision radically alters his life. For many Christians, it is often the day they take Christ as their personal Savior. We often hear touching testimonies of miraculous transformations in peoples' lives when they believe in God and form personal relationships with Him. For the Apostle Paul, his encounter with Christ on his way to Damascus not only changed him personally, but also benefited all of Christianity. Unfortunately, not all such transformations are positive. For every positive example we may be able to find one to the contrary, e.g., the prodigal son. Nevertheless, these negative episodes do not have to be final. As with the prodigal son, there is always room for hope, restoration, and renewal.
Unlike Paul's, there was nothing dramatic about my conversion experience. I was brought up in a Christian household. I had attended church ever since I could remember. I underwent a gradual progression from Sunday school to youth groups to regular church meetings. There wasn't a specific "aha!" moment to speak of. I could remember thinking to myself that I would not make a good testimony for Christ given the "non-dynamic" nature of my salvation experience. I even prayed for a "dynamic" salvation, not really knowing what it meant. However, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for...
Things came easily to me when I was growing up. I did well both at school and at work. God has been gracious to me and has blessed me with good academic achievements and career advancement. Instead of glorifying God by living a life worthy of His calling, I made an unwise choice shortly after graduate school that launched me into a downward spiral. I began to squander away my life, just as the prodigal son did. I started to live a life that was completely indistinguishable from that of worldly people. I stopped attending church fellowships, abandoned all spiritual pursuits, carried on a life independent of God, and even forsook certain Christian values. My life became a mess. Not only did my life suffer, but that of my family's as well. Our children were raised with minimal knowledge of God and with very little Christian values; my manner of life rendered me ineffective in sharing my faith. On the surface, things looked normal but inwardly, I was in a rut. There was no real joy or satisfaction.
During this time of reckless abandon, the Lord shone His light upon me and set me on a path towards recovery. It started out as a longing to restore some semblance of a Christian life for the sake of the kids. He led me to the CEC in West Orange, now Livingston. I began to attend church services, albeit irregularly. My attendance was then mostly an outward formality devoid of life and reality. While I attended services on and off, my Christian life continued to stagnate.
Praise God that "He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion." Through the perseverance of brothers and sisters who indefatigably prayed for my family, who demonstrated their love and concern through persistent contact, and who painstakingly devised ways to usher me back to Christ by involving me in some church services, the Lord has wonderfully restored me back into the flow of life. Beginning in late 2010, through His appointment, first to the Sunday school service and then to the translation service, the Lord has richly blessed me. These services forced me to come before the Lord to draw supply from Him. They also enabled me to keep more of His words in my heart to serve as a constant reminder of how we should live our lives before God. By His unfailing mercy, I was able to restore a more grounded Christian life with daily devotionals, Bible-reading and prayers. I thank the Lord for providing such loving shepherds in the church who act in concert with our Great Shepherd to restore lost sheep to the fold. May this be the beginning of a closer walk with God and a turn towards all things godly and eternal. May I continue to experience Christ as the Author and Perfecter of my faith.
The phrase "O Love that will not let me go" from a hymn speaks to this stage of my Christian experience. While we may forsake Him, the Lord will never forsake us nor leave us. He may occasionally cut us some slack and allow us to venture out on our own due to our stubbornness, but He will eventually corral us back to His fold. Thank God for His faithfulness and loving kindness. Through His dynamic love and saving mercy, He has restored me into His fellowship. I pray that my family be not too far behind.
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
- Psalm 詩篇 127:1