Business runs in my blood.
My father went through a season of depression due to his business failure. He resorted to family abuse to release his anger and sadness. This was my childhood.
After my father received Christ, God healed his heart and he stopped his abusive behaviour. He went on to do many different kinds of business throughout my adolescence. He began his own durian business in Bedok, and became a well-known figure in bedok central for his presence and his friendliness. His voice would frequently ring through the neighbourhood, garnering the attention of passersby to his durian. “Thick thick flesh, thin thin skin, small small seed, come come and see, price lower already!” is what he would shout in Hokkien.
He also went on to sell drinks and crackers near the old bedok interchange hawker centre.
Now he’s in an apparels business and sells clothing in a small hawker stall in bedok central.
Through his journey in business, I’ve always been with him. Travelling to many different places to source for goods, establishing good relations with business partners, keeping afloat financially, doing market research, competing with other sellers, and the daily grind.
I remember a trip that I made with my father to Bangkok to source for clothing. We arrived in the airport at 2am, and we reached the wholesale center at 3am. We started to source for clothing till the next day evening. No rest, no comfortable hotel to sleep in, no aircon transport. It was tough. (Pratunam has a midnight market that opens at 3am for wholesalers!)
I saw how my father put His heart and strength into his business. He toiled so that we could have a stable source of income. He was a visionary and he looked at the world in the lenses of business. Inevitably I caught his passion and joy in business. My dad would say, “I can’t do other jobs because I have no education, so I do business lo”. But I beg to differ. He was the most effective through business.
I had my own experience in business also. most of it ended up in failure. I do have my reservations towards the risks of business. But God has good plans for me. I thank Him for bringing me through my childhood, and I thank Him for my father. One significant thing that my father imprint in me, is my passion for business.
Since 2014, God has been showing me mental visions of what seems to be my future and my direction in ministry. The various visions has been consistent, and God used various methods to give me very strong confirmations about where He is leading me.
My visions always revolved around youths, missions, and tent-making. In 2017 I received a vision of a restaurant in Thailand that existed to provide job opportunities and training for the needy communities. Shortly after, God used a TV series on Channel 8 to speak to my dad. The TV series was a documentary of a Singaporean lady who owned a restaurant business in Thailand and was serving the Hmong tribal people through the business. My father turned to me and said, “Next time when you are in Thailand you should do this.”. I was shocked, because my father has always been against my plans of serving in Thailand. From then on, my father started to become much more open.
In 2018 I received a vision of a shophouse in Thailand, used for various platforms for reaching campus students. Shortly after, my father asked me to go and find a shophouse in a good location, and buy it over in Thailand. In both occurrences, I didn’t tell my father anything.
God used my father to confirm His leading in my life. Well, I really thought that my father would be the one huge obstacle, but I’m wrong. God is a topsy-turvy God.
Now, I’m trusting God to lead me as I explore business opportunities in Thailand even as I serve Him under YWAM for the next few years. I believe God is doing a new thing in me and through me as well. In 2019, the visions that God is showing me has to do with city-wide impact. I’m so excited with what He’s going to do, and I also feel thankful to be able to be part of this move, regardless in big or small ways.
As I reconcile with my father and forgive him, God shows me my father’s love and his positive influence over me. God wants to use what my father imprint in me. Today, my father is still a very powerful evangelist, sharing the Gospel with relatives and friends relentlessly. His transformation is great, and I give all glory to God.