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Thursday, April 24, 2014

'The Holy Spirit has set me free,' ~ Robert Chan Kian Jack of St Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan

Robert, named by myself at the age of 11 and everyone addresses me as Robert over the years. My surname and family name is Chan Kian Jack named by my parents. I think Jack refers to Union Jack in the British colony. I am married to Genevieve Tay Sung Hiang and blessed with 3 sons namely Oliver, Aaron and Elton with 3 grandsons namely Wilfred, Alvis and Asher respectively.
I studied in Ming Sang and transferred to Cheng Ming Chinese School.   After 3 years of Chinese education, I was put to study in St. Mary’s Primary and Secondary School.   I completed my Overseas Senior Cambridge in 1972 at the age of 17.
Whilst waiting for a permanent job, I worked as a general worker in a wholesale company and later to a construction company as a foreman in the construction site for a year. I joined MAS airline in 1973 as a clerk and promoted as an officer 5 years later till 1984.  In 1985, I was a District Manager in an insurance company and moved forward as a Business Development Manager and Branch Operation Manager till 2010. After retirement, I was contracted as a Business Development Manager. I am currently researching and practicing as a  part time holistic therapist.

After decades of struggling, fighting against odds to look into the well-being of the family and the children's education, I was restless running here and there to search for butter and bread. In the midst of it I was lost in the 'wood' due to my many commitments toward my family. I honestly have to thank God for his mercy, love and protection that has allowed me to move forward together with my wife in good and bad times.  I always reflected, Who am I?  How did I manage as I am just a nobody? By hook or by crook?  Luck?  No…   Someone (Holy Spirit) came to me with answers. The devils had driven me into darkness decades ago which had caused much damage to my life. Thanks again for the Holy Spirit coming unto me to set me free.
Though I was not a Catholic and neither have any religion, I used to ask God for forgiveness and mercy whenever I am in need of HIS grace. I could still remember vividly all that I had learnt from my Scripture lessons in my earlier Secondary school days of how merciful and compassionate Jesus Christ is. Every morning, in my office, before I start work I would always read the Daily Inspirational Quote book with Bible verses for the last 10 years. This has enlightened and given me much confidence.
I also thank HIM for the gift of our grandchildren. This moves our hearts closer to HIM. I was quite depressed after my retirement and these gifts (my grandchildren) have brightened my life. I am confident to face the great challenge ahead knowing that He will continue to guide me.
Prior to joining RCIA last year, I met a few friends and talked about Jesus Christ over tea and coffee. I never missed reading the Catholic weekly bulletin delivered to my house ~ a sign of His call. After much thought and consideration, I finally came to a decision that I should not wait and drag on. It is about time to go back to HIM for much HE had worked in my life.
During the past couple of  years, there were quite many happenings in my family; my children’s business and the illness of one of my grandsons who had since recovered. Yes, I pray every day for God’s grace and mercy to be showered upon members of my family.
Honestly, I am very much grateful to have attended the RCIA process which had enriched me with the knowledge of God, the teaching of Jesus and how we should walk in HIS path of righteousness.  Though I have been to the church services and masses during my early school days, I could not understand the words of God and the homily.  The facilitators  were well prepared and adopted simple interactive approaches which is easily comprehend-able.
I  wish to congratulate all the facilitators who have taken the efforts in good FAITH to take care of our spiritual well beings.  I strongly believe that they will continue the good work to bring God to others.  I believe our faith will be strengthened and deepened with prayers
Brothers and Sisters, fear not and together we shall march to the Glory of God against all evils..

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