When I was much younger, I was just living life day by day. I did not have much purpose in life and I was just thinking of having fun.

As a result, I did not do well in my studies during secondary school. I also believed I would not have much of a future because of my academic results and my family situation.

I was born into a family where both my parents have hearing impairments. They have stable jobs and provide for me financially.

However, as I do not have any hearing or speech difficulties, and do not know sign language, it was hard for me to communicate with them when I was growing up.

I was alone most of the time and never really had people that I was close to.

I am also an only child, so I grew up in an environment where there was not much interaction in my family. This made it difficult for me to interact with others. 

I was socially awkward around people, as I did not know what to say. Many times, I would just keep quiet.

Due to that, I was alone most of the time and never really had people that I was close to. Even the rare few I could connect with were just passing friendships.

This continued on throughout my life till I was in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). That’s when things started to change.

Austin left ITE a very different person. This year, he also graduated from polytechnic.

I was first invited to volunteer at a community service event organised in Singapore to celebrate the season of Christmas. And I attended out of curiosity and interest. 

During the Celebrate Christmas in Singapore event, one of the other volunteers shared the true meaning of Christmas with me.

He shared about how Jesus was born and how the season was to celebrate the birth of Jesus. After hearing the story, I wanted to find out more.

At that event, I also met another student participant who invited me to his church’s Christmas programme at Hope Singapore, so I decided to go.

Austin with his church friends from Hope Singapore.

During the service, I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I enjoyed the play and the music. There was a moment when the pastor was asking if there was anyone who wanted to accept Christ. 

At that instance, I had lots of doubts and questions running through my mind. If I accept Christ into my life, will something weird happen to me? What will my family think of me?

Hence I did not accept Christ during the service. 

But after the service ended, I was invited to join the group for dinner and fellowship. Interestingly, as I continued to interact with them, I experienced a sense of love from this community that was patient to clarify any doubts and questions that I had.

One thing that touched me the most through my interaction with them was that they were genuine.

I felt that they truly wanted to get to know me and were not just being friendly for the goal of wanting me to come to church. The leaders also shared their stories with me of how God impacted and changed their lives.

After hearing their testimonies, that was when I decided to accept Christ upon their invitation! 

Austin is now actively involved in his church’s youth ministry.

After accepting Christ and become a believer, one of the volunteers whom I had met earlier during CCIS introduced a staff from Singapore Youth For Christ’s ITE ministry (a local para-church organisation).

Subsequently, she went through a series of Bible studies with me to help me better understand my decision and the faith that I was stepping into.

Through the study I got to know more about God, about creation and about sin.

It also got me thinking more about my purpose in life — why I was created and whether there was more to life. 

Having all these thoughts, I started to attend more Bible classes and gatherings to further grow in my knowledge of God and his Word.

I also started joining the campus prayer group. Through that, I got to know believers from other churches, and we learnt and grew together in our faith.

I was also given the opportunity to serve and reach out to my juniors from my school.

Through that, I learnt more about outreach and had opportunities to share the gospel at SYFC’s evangelistic events. 

Austin with other volunteers from Singapore Youth For Christ.

I experienced the love of God through community and also by being personally touched by Him. As a result, my life has changed so much!

After experiencing the love of God, I was motivated to step out of my comfort zone to grow, knowing that this will please God.

I’ve grown to be someone who is more loving and understanding of others. I’m also more outspoken now and even willing to reach out to strangers and initiate conversations with them.

This was such a huge contrast to my life before I believed in Christ! 

After seeing how coming to know God has changed my life so much, I wanted to share this joy and love to the people who have yet to come to know Him.

Because of this passion, I decided to continue reaching out to youths and volunteering in SYFC. I am also actively involved in Hope Singapore’s youth ministry. 

One thing that I want to share with those who might have been through difficulties similar to mine is: Do not give up, persevere in God to constantly seek Him and His purpose (Galatians 6:9).

As I think back to my past, I see how God has really transformed me.

My relationship with my parents has gotten better, and I have begun to have deeper friendships with people.

I have also learnt many things. One value that I hold firmly to is faithfulness — that in whatever you do, be faithful to do it.

Even though there are times it is not easy being a Christian and serving God, knowing that I am not alone encourages me to press on. Knowing that God is journeying with me and growing me also motivates me to continue this work!

No matter what aspect of my life, may I live out God’s purpose to share and display the gospel to the people around me. 

  1. Are you growing in Christ? In what ways is God challenging you to step out of your comfort zone? 
  2. Is there someone whom you can share God’s love with this season?
  3. How has accepting Christ into your life changed you? Share your stories with us at [email protected]