Having to return to Singapore at short notice due to the pandemic, Christine thought that she would no longer be able to reach out to classmates and friends she knew in Australia. But God remembered the vision He had put in her heart, and He was not done yet.
By: Christine Teo
In February 2019, I had flown to Melbourne, Australia to begin a Master’s degree. Besides pursuing further studies in alignment with God’s call for my life, I entered this season with a wholehearted conviction that the Lord had revival on His heart for Australia and that I was to sow into this. Initially, I found it more challenging than expected to settle into Melbourne life; I struggled to adjust to living with my new flatmates, keeping up with the intense workload in my programme, and finding a suitable Christian community to plant myself in.
The second semester of my first year was particularly difficult as I felt very homesick. God, however, began reminding me of the vision with which I had started out. This place of struggle, loneliness and dryness set the stage for God to move. Friends began opening up to me about their academic struggles, and I had a subtle sense that this was an opportunity for the gospel. In a counterintuitive move, I compiled all my assignments from my first semester on which I had received a first class grade into an email, and sent it to my friends with a personal prophetic word for each, and how much God loved them and wanted a relationship with them.
Friends began opening up to me about their academic struggles, and I had a subtle sense, “this was an opportunity for the gospel.”
Emboldened by the openness I saw, I increasingly pushed aside my fear of man and learnt to take risks for the gospel. Thus began the semester where I saw God move more powerfully than I ever did before. With numerous opportunities to talk to my friends about Jesus and pray for them, I shared how He had moved in my life and how He could move in theirs to heal and transform their lives.
I brought my friends to church and the pastor would preach a message tailor-made for them. One of my friends followed me to church, hoping that Jesus would help her do well in her studies as He had done for me. Instead, she received an encounter with a personal, loving God she had never known. This came in the form of a prophetic word that described all that was on her heart, all that happened in her life, and she was deeply touched.
In this season, I also prayed for friends to receive their physical healing and they did! Two friends who had skin conditions, and another who had a cyst, experienced miraculous healing through prayer. Doors were opened for me to pray and minister to other friends, and there were some that invited Jesus into their hearts, while others came with me to church.
While I witnessed the Lord moving powerfully, I also encountered intense spiritual opposition as I felt discouraged. None of the friends I had reached out to became a genuine disciple of Christ.
While I witnessed the Lord moving powerfully, I also encountered intense spiritual opposition and I felt discouraged. None of the friends I had reached out became a genuine disciple of Christ. It seemed like I had failed the Lord as I did not have any “tangible fruit” to show for all my efforts. A certain jadedness hit me. But I continued sharing my faith and praying for pre-believing friends with other Christians in my group. of friends.
In March 2020, Victoria declared a State of Emergency due to the worsening pandemic. As such, I had to return to Singapore on extremely short notice, full of uncertainties and misgivings. I thought I had completely failed and would no longer have any opportunities to minister to my friends in Australia. How completely wrong I was. Inspired by my friend Andrew Scarborough, who works for Youth for Christ Australia, and who initiated the Hope Story Movement, I posted my one-minute testimony on Instagram. This turned out to be one of the final seeds before I saw a breakthrough.
A week later, one of my friends, Han, whom I had sent my “model essays” to almost a year ago, messaged me. She said she had experienced a miracle from God. Over a video call, she told me of the encounter with God in her home and how she had heard His voice during the lockdown. There and then, she repented and invited Jesus into her life.
She told me that it seemed wrong to go back to her Buddhist prayers after the encounter as she felt it would be unfaithful to God. Since then, we began studying the Bible together over Zoom. Our mutual friend, Huyen, joined us on our second Bible Study session and after the session, she spontaneously invited Jesus into her life. Both of my friends are now happily planted in a local church in Melbourne and growing steadily in their relationships with Christ. This year, they even got baptised!
Back home, I reached out to a friend who had returned to Singapore from Melbourne after graduation. Through our conversations and friendship, he finally decided to commit to a local church.
Lastly, upon reconnecting with a Melbourne classmate whom I had not spoken with for a while, he shared that he had been reading the Bible and was keen to visit a church because he believed God was real. This was especially encouraging for me as I had been keeping him in my prayers all this while despite feeling like I had lost all opportunities to minister to him.
When I had thought that the story was over, He met my situation with His resurrection power and did what only He can do; sometimes, fruitfulness is found in the most unexpected season.
I had initially imagined revival to involve packed stadiums and anointed preachers, filled with dramatic signs and wonders. This year taught me that even when God can move through large and dramatic crusades, He is also working when all hope seems lost and nothing seems to be moving. God had heard my prayers and was faithful to send others to reach my friends when I was unable to.
Even with international borders closed and cities on lockdown, the Holy Spirit can quietly meet an individual and transform a life. When I had thought that the story was over, He met my situation with His resurrection power and did what only He can do; sometimes, fruitfulness is found in the most unexpected season.