We, parents of Timothy Kwang, want to give glory to our Lord Jesus Christ for His abundant grace and favour upon our son and upon VLCS.
Timothy has been granted National Service deferment till 2014 to complete his American High School Diploma studies in VLCS.
This deferment approval is an awesome miracle from our Lord. We want to recount our journey of faith (and honestly, anxiety too) in praying for VLCS and our son, and how God has displayed His wondrous splendour and power, and of love and mercy on us.
As late as early June 2012, though work was in progress, VLCS had yet to obtain its CPE approval status. And this CPE certificate is a prerequisite to be eligible for Mindef to consider deferment for our students.
Race against time
It was a race against time. Our son, Timothy, was fast approaching his 18th birthday in July, which for a Singaporean boy means time for National Service enlistment. In fact he had already received pre-enlistment communications from the Ministry of Defence way back in December 2011.
We did all the needful and even approached Mindef personally to appeal for deferment for our son so that he can complete his Year 12 to qualify for the American High School Diploma. Our appeal was rejected because VLCS was not a CPE approved school yet, and thus our application was not eligible for Mindef’s consideration.
Timothy was very much dismayed. Because of gaps in the two different education systems, he started in VLCS at Year 9. He was at about Year 10 in 2012, and would need about two more years to complete his Year 12 to get his diploma. He asked our Lord why he was prevented from completing his basic education not once or twice but thrice!! “Three times, Lord, why, why, why?” he asked, “Why won’t you let me finish my schooling?”
(Just for some background information, Timothy was down with a severe and debilitating illness in 2010 just before the GCE O level examination. He relapsed in 2011 when repeating his O level in his then St Andrew’s Secondary School. He was thus prevented from completing his O level education twice. Having to leave VLCS for National Service in 2012 would mean he would be obstructed from completing his basic education thrice in a row! It would be a hard blow on him.)
Praying parents pound on Heaven’s door
Our family prayed for God’s intervention and also for His will to be done. I sought reinforcement by raising the issue at the weekly Praying Parents’ Partnership Group of VLCS. Together, we knocked, or rather pounded, on Heaven’s door asking for God’s favour to grant the school the CPE status and its ensuing eligibility for NS deferment for the male students.
Praise be to God that HE gave us the CPE status in mid June 2012. Immediately, armed with this certification, we applied to Mindef for Timothy’s NS deferment. However, Mindef needed time to study the school to ascertain its eligibility. “Oh, God! This is the time for YOU to show YOURSELF Big, real BIG. Please, Lord!” I implored Him.
Meanwhile, by August 30, Timothy was asked to report for enlistment on Oct 9, 2012. The situation looked bleak.
But praise to our God who is never late! The deferment approval for him to complete grade 10 came on September 3rd 2012. (Three months from application to approval but just in time, not late. Praise be to God for His grace.) The enlistment order was rescinded. Timothy is the first student of VLCS to be granted NS deferment in the history of the school. Praise the Lord! Right after him, two other students in the school were also granted deferment.
“The LORD is (indeed) close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
In January 2013, Mindef extended the deferment to 2014 for Timothy to pursue Year 11 and 12 of his studies.
We are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. We indeed serve an Almighty God whose arm is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. (Isaiah 59:1; 50:2)
What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? (Deuteronomy 4:7)
Winnie and CT Kwang
Email from Mrs Priscilla Hou:
It is with much gratitude that we write to thank VLCS for all that Samantha has received throughout the entire three and a half years she has spent in the school.
Sam started attending VLCS after completing secondary one in one of the all-girls schools in Singapore. By that time, she was discouraged by the constant bullying that was happening in school, of which she was a victim. She often came home unhappy and distraught. By the middle of secondary one, we were convinced that we needed to rescue her from her daily tormentors. She had lost confidence in herself and was totally helpless when faced with her aggressors.
Within a year after Sam started school in VLCS, she blossomed. She became more confident, and found much joy and pleasure in learning the ACE curriculum. At the same time, she grew in wisdom, not only in things of the physical realm, but also in the things of the spiritual. We were amazed!
Today, Sam is a wonderful young lady who is such a joy to be with. She is kind, thoughtful and cares for the less fortunate. Sam completed the High School Diploma at the age of 16, and applied to Houston Baptist University for a place to study for her first degree. Not only was she offered a place very quickly, she was also offered a Founder’s Scholarship! This indeed came as a complete surprise to us since we had not applied for any scholarship and had most certainly thought that we would not qualify for any! God is good! His favour is upon Sam!
So, thank you, Mrs Boey, Ps Raj, Mrs Valluvan, Mrs Lim and Mrs Liah, for all the hard work you have put in to bring about transformation in the lives of all the children in VLCS, which Sam is proud to be a part of. Thank you for all the opportunities given to groom and to nurture each precious child of God. Sam is very blessed to have been a recipient of all that you have offered to the school – your love, your encouragement and your commitment. She has indeed spent her most impressionable years in the right place, at the right time.
We pray that you will be encouraged by this letter from the parents of our youngest graduate, Joshua Chong, who has enrolled in a local university at the early age of 16! (shown below at his graduation from Victory Life Christian School at last year’s Victory Nite)
PS: Don’t forget to share the good news!
I am glad to submit my testimony of the recent mission trip to the Lahu tribe in Chiang Rai:
At the airport before departure, we were encouraged by a testimony from one of our student’s parents. She had a desire to buy two notebook computers to give away to the ministry among the Lahu villages, but hesitated because of the daily news of devastating floods in Thailand. However, she sensed the Lord’s prompting to buy them regardless of the news. She obeyed the Lord and on the following day, she received a six-fold blessing! Praise the Lord! This testimony encouraged us greatly to know that the Lord will equip us and He will see us through this mission. We departed full of confidence and thanksgiving to our Lord!
We arrived at Chiang Rai around 11pm. Terry with his wife, Linda, and Kitichai and his wife, who speaks Chinese, were at the airport to welcome us. They drove us to a big bungalow dedicated to accommodate visiting missionaries. Terry gave us a heads-up that we may be ‘messed up’ and leave our hearts with the Lahu people when we leave. And he was right, as some of the staff and students are planning to return one day!
Terry (a farmer from Idaho with a degree in agriculture) and Linda (a teacher) were missionaries to Africa for more than 13 years before settling in Lahu for 10 years now. They are in their sixties and are great model servants of the Lord! They have no children of their own but have six adopted children in Chiang Rai and some more in South Africa.
The LTC is a Bible school with 44 students (ages 17- 36) and is situated up in the mountains, about 10 minutes of rough terrain from where we stayed. The Lahu at LTC were exuberant in their worship, and when they sang, “Hide me now, under Your wings, … King over the flood, I will be still and know You are God”, the presence of God was so tangible amongst the people. Their singing brought tears to many of us. Before preaching on spiritual giftings, I inquired of the Lord on what to say. Instantly, I sensed that He wanted me to tell them that He calls them His friends. He knows that they fear Him and love Him and He sees them like He saw Gideon, each of them a mighty man of valour. He will empower them to do great things. Amen! Later, I found out from Linda that those words are so apt as the Lahu have low self-esteem and are looked down upon by most Thais. God is good all the time!
Just before preaching, I realized I forgot to bring my notes to the training centre as I left them in the washroom where we stayed. Praise the Lord, His peace was with me to totally depend on Him to speak through me on spiritual giftings. I know it was effortless on my part! To God be the glory! After preaching, the Lord directed me to ask who speaks in tongues. Only a handful raised their hands and I then proceeded to ask who would like to speak in tongues and saw more that 90% of the students raise their hands and came forward for the altar call. We prayed and laid hands on them and they began to speak in tongues. To God be the glory!
The next morning as I communed with the Lord, He wanted me to share the fact that He came from Nazareth, a place where people doubted if anything good could come from there, and that He was known as a mere carpenter. It was awesome to hear His voice and know how much He loves the Lahu and desires for them to do greater works! I felt led to share Luke 11:11-14. My sharing that morning was once again light and easy. Praise the Lord!
The Lord gave us the best weather – cool and sunny. We were well fed and enjoyed Lahu tea and bamboo maggots! The breakfasts prepared by our students and staff were seasoned with sacrifice of sleep, and tender loving care. It was also a good experience of community life for us when we, together with LTC students, were invited to a village dinner provided by a family celebrating the harvest! There was abundance of good spicy food and many happy people!
We visited a couple who rent a bungalow to house orphan girls. This couple graduated from LTC. All the girls are believers and they can sing very well! Our students were generous with their love and gifts and Mrs Lim shared an interactive story of the prodigal’s son and her own testimony. Even though we don’t speak their language, we parted with many warm hugs, teary eyes, smiles and more hugs.
I am blessed to see VLCS students giving generously their time and resources, never complaining of the rough terrain or traveling in trucks, staying alert in extending help and fellowship. I saw mutual respect and honour, and was especially glad to see their willingness to love others, their spontaneity in sharing their testimonies, having fun in teaching English and leading in games. Thank you VLCS students and I believe all of you will do greater works in the days to come, being a people prepared for the Lord!
An encouraging note of thanks and appreciation from Terry and Linda Thompson, who hosted our mission team in Thailand:
We believe the team was ordained by God and was very successful. Everyone handled themselves well and Christ was uplifted by their actions. Everyone was good examples of Christian men and women. The impact on our students and staff will be felt forever in their individual lives. We thank you for your sacrificial gift of funds but more importantly for the lives you sent to us. Personally it was a great joy to interact with each one of the staff, parents and students to help encourage us in the Kingdom.
Terry & Linda
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are parents of Timothy Kwang, a student in Victory Life Christian School. I just want to testify of God’s goodness in healing our son in this school.
Timothy fell very ill at the beginning of this year, and we had to take him out of the GCE ‘O’ level race. We were prepared for him to just stay home and miss the ‘O’ level exams. He could perhaps sit for the exams next year, or the year after, as a private candidate when he recovers.
However, God intervened and we heard of Victory Life Christian School, where the curriculum is self-paced. Our concern was the school fees. We were expecting to hear of something like over a $1000 per month. This is what a private school offering three hours of ESL Monday to Friday would charge. But thanks be to God, the fees turned out to be below the norm of the commercial world. We could take the school on. Especially when we save on private tuition fees.
After four months of immersion in the presence of God in this school, soaking up God’s words in his PACE lessons, and surrounded by spirit-filled Supervisors who have been very patient with him, prayed with him and for him, and who gave him Godly counsel, he is now healed. The infirmities have lifted! Last week, for the first time in seven months, he was well enough to attend school every day – Monday to Friday, and even Saturday! (because he had to go back for the Victory Nite rehearsal). We can now save on medical fees too!
I am sure many of you too have a similar story of triumph and victory of your children in this school. Won’t you join me in thanking God for raising such a school for such a time as this in our hours of need? I would like to exhort you to give generously to support and to boost the academic and Kingdom work that Victory Life Christian School is doing in our children and for our Lord God.
Samuel and Winnie Kwang