He became a regular and over time, strong connections were formed. The day came, when Wei Da popped the question to invite Jian Zhi to a church service. Having built friendships with the soccer guys, on top of his past experiences of church services in his schools, he was open to attending his first Sunday service in TJ.
The service was nothing like what he had experienced. The atmosphere was different; he could only describe it as a spirit of faith and a sweet presence of God. Though initially put off by the extravagant worship, it was precisely that which led him to the presence of God – he received the Holy Spirit in that very same service and his journey with God began.
Unlocking the Bible (UTB) laid the foundation for his relationship with God. Towards the end of UTB, Jian Zhi earnestly prayed to God with a desire to be used for His Kingdom. The week he finished his UTB, he was asked to be a connector for another UTB class. To him, that was a sign and an answered prayer, and so he accepted the role wholeheartedly! It was not long after, that Jian Zhi had his first opportunity to be on a mission trip to Sabah. In Sabah, he witnessed hundreds of people receiving the Holy Ghost in a single service, the healing miracles of God and the presence of God in a powerful manner. This was a spiritual milestone for him. Jian Zhi recalls that whenever he would feel lost and helpless, he would look back on that mission trip and it would encourage him that with God, all things are possible.
BECOMING A BIG BROTHER
In the early period of his Christian walk, Jian Zhi eagerly sought God’s purpose and will for His life. He served in the church in any way possible. He actively participated in Next Steps classes and continued diligently strengthening and deepening his relationship with God. Soon enough, God led him to his first ministry of service – the Joy Kids Ministry. He found it meaningful, being a part of ministering to and training the future leaders of the church. He assisted in object lessons and facilitated games. But most importantly, he played the role of a big brother to the children, a role he remembers being on the receiving end of.
Jian Zhi attributes his journey of growth to many significant brothers in the church. The first being his blood brother who was the main connection to his salvation. Along the way, brothers older in the faith were also instrumental in discipling him. They invested time in him, encouraging and helping him in his spiritual growth, modelling what it means to be a disciple.
Growth and maturity knows no other way of expression apart from doing for others what was first done for them.
Spending time with them not only made Jian Zhi a disciple but eventually a disciple-maker. In his opinion, there is always a time of maturity whereby one takes up the role of a big brother and helps to take care of the younger ones. He couldn’t help but naturally feel drawn toward caring for those younger in the faith and while he was at it, found his calling.
Slowly but surely, the heart of Jesus found its way incarnated into the tender and willing heart of Jian Zhi. Jian Zhi now serves as an Assistant Care Group Leader in a group of young single men.
CONNECTION BEGETS CONNECTION
Paying it forward, Jian Zhi invited his cousin to soccer. Remembering his own journey, Jian Zhi prays that his cousin forms those connections that first drew him to Jesus, and eventually find Jesus the same way he did.
A BROTHER TO OTHERS
To anyone who wants to be involved in The Great Commission, Jian Zhi has this to say, “We need to be open to any role that God calls us to. Even a mundane thing like living our daily life the way God wants us to live, can help point others to God. We might not always see immediate results in our work, sometimes we might just be the one sowing the seed, and it will take time before someone else comes along to water and reap the harvest. But as long as we strive to be sensitive to God’s leading, and do what God has prompted us to do, we are already doing what a disciple should be doing.”