Having become fast friends in secondary school over common interests like anime and arcade games, Adrian Ng (41) and Patrick Ngo (41) had a strong friendship spanning nearly two decades.
But when Adrian shared the Gospel to Patrick, a 4-year long debate over religion was sparked that almost ended their friendship.
Having first shared his story on One For Jesus, Thir.st caught up with Adrian to find out more.
Having dabbled in various beliefs throughout his teenage years and 20s, Adrian was no stranger to religion.
But at 31, Adrian encountered Jesus Christ, and he became compelled to tell Patrick about God.
Adrian shared that it all began when he followed his then girlfriend to church, where he felt offended by what the pastor was preaching about Jesus.
It was then Adrian posed God a challenge: “If you’re the one true God, then show me you are the one true God!”
Just two weeks later, as Adrian sat in church service — he experienced a miraculous healing that shook his entire world.
“I had this scar on my foot since young. It’s a big scar, the kind that really eats right into your flesh. It never healed all these years. But it suddenly disappeared,” he recounted.
“I was touching my feet because I was wearing slippers. And I was like, wait a minute, where did the scar go? I had brand new skin. I was freaking out. What just happened?”
This was the first time he had ever experienced something like this, and he remembered speaking to Jesus after that.
“Jesus, is that You? Did You do this to me?” asked Adrian. “If You really did this to me, then I have to know who You are.”
It was this life-changing miracle that saw Adrian accept Jesus into his life.
“That kind of fired me up and was the start of me preaching to Patrick, because something crazy had happened to me,” said Adrian.
However, Patrick’s “stiff resistance” proved to be a difficult obstacle to Adrian’s evangelistic efforts.
As Patrick had grown up in another religion, he was extremely averse to the idea of Christianity.
“He told me that he was so devout in his faith that nothing in this world was going to break that from him. Nothing. He was prepared to die for it,” Adrian recounted.
Over the years, the two would often fight over their differing religious beliefs; Patrick would ask difficult questions disputing Christianity that Adrian could sometimes not answer.
“He tried to show evidence and articles that discredited Christianity,” shared Adrian. “This made me have to really dig deeper into my faith.”
As such, Adrian turned to various apologetics books and sermons to help him wrestle with tough questions about Christianity.
Doing so, however, sparked in him a greater hunger for the things of God.
Though sharing about Jesus with Patrick was still a big challenge, Adrian persisted in doing so out of love for his friend.
“Sharing about my faith with Patrick was not easy,” said Adrian.
“But I did all I could, because more than me loving Patrick — God loved him even more.”
Things were still rocky, however, as the two friends continued to clash over religion for several years.
After the fourth year, Patrick was so offended that he threatened to end their friendship if they ever debated about religion again.
“Don’t talk to me about Jesus anymore,” said Adrian, recalling what Patrick had told him. “If you talk to me about Jesus again, that’s the end of our friendship.”
At that ultimatum, Adrian agreed to stop debating. But he encouraged Patrick to challenge God for himself.
It was a challenge that Patrick would take up seriously.
In the meantime, Adrian began earnest praying to God to somehow reveal Himself to Patrick.
“I started praying for him: Jesus touch him, Jesus go and see him, challenge him, whatever,” Adrian shared.
Just a few months later, God responded.
Patrick met Jesus in a dream. This personal encounter with Jesus was what gave Patrick the conviction he needed to embrace Christianity.
Accepting Jesus into his heart, Patrick dedicated his life to Him. Patrick’s salvation also led to a domino effect, as he in turn began sharing the Gospel with his entire family and all around him.
Hungry for more of God, Patrick also enrolled into Bible college together with Adrian.
Sowing the seeds
While Adrian was overjoyed at Patrick’s salvation after his personal encounter with God, he initially questioned whether there was a need for his evangelistic efforts over the years.
“I really felt like, God, why didn’t You do this earlier?” was Adrian’s gripe.
In time, Adrian came to see that those four years of evangelising were not a waste, but a season of sowing seeds of the Gospel.
Indeed, Adrian realised his role in Patrick’s salvation was to sow scriptural truths into Patrick’s life over the years.
“Seeds are very important… Maybe when he finally opened his heart, one seed went in,” he mused.
“I’m glad for the four years spent praying, learning, explaining and working things out with Patrick.”
Through this experience, Adrian has learned that evangelism is really just as simple as helping our friends to open their hearts to God by creating an opportunity for them to question Him and begin thinking deeper.
“Just that little moment, and let the Holy Spirit do His thing,” reflected Adrian. “When we share about Jesus, we don’t have to go and argue with our friends.”
Just as Adrian faithfully and patiently sowed the seeds of the Gospel for four years to bring his friend to Christ, how far are we willing to go to bring our friends to salvation?
Trying to figure out the whole evangelism thing just like Adrian did? Thir.st and Cru are hosting a Zoom webinar where you can learn strategies from world-renowned apologist Sean McDowell and hear how young adults are sharing the Good News online. You can register for this free event here!
- What challenges have you faced in evangelising to your friends?
- What is the most difficult question about Christianity someone has asked you?
- How can you help others to see the reality of God in your life?