Ching's Story

Ching's Story

Malaysia

I found myself going back week after week because I wanted to get to know this person called Jesus.

I grew up always knowing that there was a God somewhere up above. I didn't know who he is or how he would be relevant to my life. It was my parents who taught me how to love and live. Somehow that was sufficient for me then. 

Being a curious child, I attended church services occasionally and even found myself attending the Overseas Christian Fellowship cell group sessions while I was in university in Melbourne. However, very quickly I came to the conclusion that it wasn't for me as I did not feel a sense of belonging there. I admit that I found it rather inconvenient that the weekly meet up sessions were held on Friday nights, a night meant for socialising at clubs with friends with different kinds of spirits. 

Eventually, I graduated from university and returned to Malaysia. I went through a phase of self-discovery — questioning my values, beliefs and life in general as a young adult. The many unanswered questions essentially began to make me feel lost. It was a rather ugly downward spiral of unstable emotions and sense of loneliness. I found it mentally and physically exhausting having to wake up every morning to go to work without feeling like I had a purpose in life. 

Coincidentally, or at least I thought so at that time, some friends invited me to try Alpha. I had nothing to lose as Tuesday nights were usually quiet anyway. Something just clicked within me, it was unexplainable. 

It got even stranger when I found myself longing to build a relationship with Him so that I could share my burdens and worries with Him. I wanted Him to hold my hand and hear my prayers. He did exactly that and so much more, faithfully.

All the questions and doubts in my head started to clear up, a prayer at a time. Was it possible that I was being taught how to love, care and live by someone I could only feel spiritually? He taught me everything through the people around me, my Alpha friends, whom I now call my family. They have touched my life in ways they don't even realise. 

I knew I had found my home. 

My head believed it and my heart felt it so passionately. 

It has been two years since I gave my life to my God, my closest companion and my guardian. I have never looked back since. He has opened up my heart and mind to involve myself in the things I never thought would matter to me. Emotionally, it has been a roller coaster ride for me learning about myself, my faith and my longing to reach out to disadvantaged young women. God held His hand out to guide me step by step to discover my purpose, all in His timing. Thus, I want to hold my hand out to help others discover Him and bring meaning to their lives. 

I thank God for my renewed life because today I am able to love sincerely, care wholeheartedly and live purposefully.

 

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Sheela's Story

Sheela's Story

 

The idea of running Alpha in the workplace honestly stemmed from a practical reason – late working hours were a barrier to my colleagues being able to attend Alpha at church. It made sense to bring Alpha to the workplace for those who were interested to give it a go.

I remember feeling quite nervous and unsure the first time we ran it back in 2014. I didn’t know what to expect or if anyone would even turn up! ‘Ye of little faith’ I remember a friend saying to me when we ended up with a solid group of about 20 in that first round. Since then, we’ve run Alpha four times - sometimes with larger groups, sometimes with smaller groups - but each experience has never failed to be just as amazing.

The most interesting aspect for me about running Alpha in our workplace was the immediate connection that people made from having something fundamental in common – where they work. There was little need for breaking the ice and discussions took off from day 1 with guests feeling comfortable sharing their thoughts and perspectives.

Alpha in the workplace complements what the church is doing by reaching out to a community that might not have been able to be reached. So many of us know that being out there in the corporate world trying to make it in the great rat race can get tiring and it’s only a matter of time before one begins to ask “Is there more to life that this?” – which is a question that was on the minds of our guests when they came. Alpha provided that safe space for conversations that might not have taken place otherwise.

The most memorable account from a guest for me comes from a guy who had attended our first ever run of Alpha. Post-Alpha, he told us that while was hesitant initially about the whole idea, eventually the weekly sessions became a place of refuge for him in the busyness of work. He said that it was a truly unexpected experience - “Work is what I had associated with stress and a lack of peace but through Alpha, work became a place I found hope, peace and faith.”

It’s not smooth sailing all the time but it is stories like this and many more of that nature that remind me that even if it’s for one person each round, it’s still worth it. And I’d just love to encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to just give it a go! The training and material make the process really simple to get started. Your adventure of a lifetime in running Alpha is just around the corner… trust me, it’s worth it!

Work is what I had associated with stress and a lack of peace but through Alpha, work became a place I found hope, peace and faith.
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