I’m just going to share about how God has been working in my life since I came to Ablaze. I was born in a Christian family and would attend church every Sunday, but I never know what the preacher was speaking about, so I always got bored. I attended Sunday school but as I was really shy back then I didn’t talk with the other kids except my sister. Over time, my family and I stopped going to church. However, after some time we found another church and attended their service for about half a year. But then again I still did not understand what the pastor was sharing and would tend to fall asleep in service. I hardly know who God is and neither did I have a relationship with him. However, things started to change when I joined the Ablaze service in June last year.

Ablaze is the first youth group I have been to. Previously, the churches that I use to attend, most of the members were either very much older or younger than me and I found it hard to relate. I am glad to have met this bunch of people who are about my age! Interestingly, before I came to Hope Church, I had a dream of a building that has just finished construction. I saw the entire building in my dream; I also saw the doors, the set of stairs and children playing. It took me some time to realise that it was God who gave me that vision, and it was God who brought me to this place for a reason.

As my relationship with God was really poor, I didn’t know that He was changing my heart. I felt really happy and had a great sense of love when I came to Ablaze. Everyone was so friendly and it felt just like a family. I gradually begin to come out of my shell and started talking to people. I guess the turning point was when I responded to God during an altar call that really struck my heart. I remembered the song, ‘With Everything’ was the worship song and the lyrics of that song really spoke to me. I was crying, yet I still didn’t know what God was stirring in my heart. A leader came to pray for me, and told me that she saw a box – that God was slowly unpacking the box which was filled with new things. The words spoken really struck me because it was the first time I was told that God was doing something for me.

Since then, I have responded to most of the altar calls because I could relate to the things that Torch or Lisa (Pastor and spouse of the Ablaze service) shares. It wasn’t easy at first, as I struggled to find the courage to step up and respond to him. I wouldn’t go up wholeheartedly to respond because I was afraid that I would be judged or laughed at for crying. However, I overcame my initial fears and my relationship with God started to grow! Lisa lent me a book called ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ and it really revealed so much about God’s purpose for me. I could see that God is slowly changing my heart, in terms of loving and forgiving people – even though I still struggle with it today.

Lastly, I just want to encourage all of you to really start drawing closer to God, even if it is five minutes of your day, begin to build this relationship with Him as there are extraordinary things that God wants to do in your life. I just want to end of by saying: My life purpose is to be a member of Christ’s family, a model of His character, a minister of His grace, a messenger of His Word and a magnifier of His glory.

Josephine Tiong
High school student

IGVO, Ablaze Service