My name is Sai Kit Lo (Last name Lo). I am a Chinese Canadian who sometimes live in Hong Kong, but most of the time in Canada. I grew up in Hong Kong and had spent my first 17 years of life over there. The spiritual battle over my soul started way before I was born. When I was 3, I consciously decided to become a bad guy, because according to the TV, bad guys don’t play by the rules, have more freedom, and have an upper hand since they don’t follow the rule. Things got worst from there—my relationship with parents went down, I exhibited ADHD like behavor, my temper became worst, and teachers from kindergarden thought I wasn’t cute anymore.
My family had a lot to do with funeral homes, and folks religions in that region, because they made money by performing ceremonies and rituals for the locals. As a result, I saw death, idols, and religious rituals a lot, which made me think about life and death. My mom told me there was heaven and hell, and good people went to heaven. I knew in my heart right then that if there was heaven I would go to hell when I die, because I was a naughty boy. I was very scared of Hell, so I started asking question about afterlife.
Some adults told me there was no afterlife, and there was nothing left after a person dies. Some told me there was reincarnation. Some told me different races went to different heaven or hell according to their religions. As for the origin of life, different people said different things as well. It became clear to me that these adults had no basis whatsoever behind their belief other than wishful thinking and out-of-thin-air belief. Being a rational young boy, I knew instinctively that if one believed in any of these things such as evolution, and he might as well believe that human baby get hatched from an egg shaped stone.
From observing the world, the beauty of life, the well-organized systems of the Universe, the symmetry of human structure, and so on, I knew in my heart that there must be a God, and He must be all powerful and good natured. Polytheism, atheism, and agnostism didn’t make sense to me at all because each of them had inherited and obvious flaws in their belief system. But who was this God?
One day, my mom brought me to a folk temple. Again, the setting of the temple, and the abundant number of evil looking humanoid gods that resided in that temple as lifeless statures simply perplexed me. In my heart I asked God, “Who are you? There are so many religions in the world, so which one is the real you?” Troubled by that question, I finally decided to pray in my heart, “God, I know you can hear me. I also know you are all powerful and good natured, so please make sure you use your power to make sure that I can know for sure who you are. Tell me what your name is and make sure I make the right choice. If I fail to do that within my life time, then it is you who are at fault, so don’t punish me if you don’t help me. Deal?”
Within months (could be within a month since a month could seem very long for a child), I became 100% sure that Jesus Christ was the One! I believed Him as my personal Savor, but the concept of Him being my Lord was not clear. For the next 8 to 9 years I lived through the horror of worrying about my salvation because I worried about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and the security of my salvation, and this fear wasn’t resolved until I went to my first church.
During the next 8 years I mainly felt most at peace in schools, because spiritual atmosphere at home was quite oppressive and abusive. The was no peace in there night and day. When I went to school, at least there was time of peace when we sang worship and recited the Lord’s prayers. There was one godly lady who taught kids how to pray, and shared her spiritual experiences with us. Her experiences were so real because she genuinely loved the Lord, so it was enjoyable for me. For the rest of the time, school was a mediocre experience, and for the days when I tried to reckon what I actually learned, there was nothing worthy to recall. It felt like I learned so little for an entire day worth of time.
I had some positive changes, but authorities figures in my life criticised me a lot still, due to my pre-conversion past. After conversion, I was still not able to totally focus on my work, not good at paying attention to directions, and not good at being silent (could be ADHD). Teachers picked on me a lot. At home it wasn’t much better off either. I could only find forgiveness and refuge in God. When I messed up big time, I would pray to God and He would make sure that I got rescued, which included corporeal punishments that I thought I didn’t deserve. (Now that I think of it, maybe I don’t deserve any at all, if I asked God to spare me from them all, maybe He would)
Socially, I knew only what I learned from the adults figures in my life, so I used everything I learned, and the results were not good. Although I was always a people person, meaning I loved people a lot, I wasn’t well liked by peers most of the time. I was totally sincere in trying to be friends, but my social skill was totally pathetic. Thank God I did make a couple of very good friends who looked out for me, and maybe that too, was a result of answered prayers. I am sure I was bored enough at the time to cry out to God for friends.
During that 8 years, I made it a point to read a couple of chapters of Bible per night, and I had been doing it on and off until I walked into my first church for the first time, and continued to learn more about the Bible from there.
At age 15, a girl from my class invited me to her church (An Assembly of God church), so I went with her. The church gave me a very good impression because of the spaciousness, cleanness, and the cool air condition. Hong Kong is very humid and hot! People can pray in the Church anytime as long as it’s opened.
The church had over a thousand members at the time. The vision and dream of the senior pastor of the church were to see a hundred of thousands of church members in the near future. 11 years later, I visited the church again when I went to Hong Kong, and it had over 10,000 members.
I stayed in that church for 2 years until I immigrated to Canada in 1998. The pastor was a charismatic man. As a young man, I was fascinated by the church’s culture and everything the pastor stood for. I wasn’t very knowledgable about the Bible, and I couldn’t see the difference between the Bible and his teaching, so I totally bought into it.
I dedicated my life to Jesus Christ from the very beginning with that church. Following the teaching of the pastor to the tee, I prayed hard everyday. I had a lot of youthful faith and energy back then, and believed God would use me very soon, because the pastor said that to me, and he commended me a lot about my prayer life, so it fueled my passion even more.
At 17 I met my first spiritual failure. My dad was still a priest, and he and my mom were very much opposed to everything that had to do with that church. The atmosphere at home was very oppressive. I got attacked almost everyday. My eyes health quickly deterioriated due to the stress.
My dad had a very bad idea. He wanted me to help him in his “business”. That meant desecration! For a year, that fear of moral compromise loomed over me, and haunted me often, and my vision worsen. I used my school work and study as excuse to prophone the inevitable, but after the public exam (a major exam for grade 10 equivalent in Hong Kong), I had to find a summer job to stay away from home. One day my dad finally asked me to do that, and I knew it was time for courage, but after a year of reinforcing my fears in the head, I had no courage at all, and I compomised.
It was a major spiritual wound that didn’t completely recover until 2006. I knew in my heart that I was a coward since. I kept asking God the secret of courage, but it wasn’t until almost 8 years later did I have a satisfying answer to that.
Also, at 15 I prayed that God made me a man who are always in sync with His words, whether I think or talk. The answer of this prayer has been manifesting slowly and gradually, and only until recent year did I start to see it unfolded visibly in my life.
Living in Canada was a good change in my life, and the first 3 years over there I was nursing my wound from that spiritual failure. I also spent that time to read the Bible more consistently. I brought the Bible with me to school everyday and read it whenever I had the time. Life was peaceful and quiet. The school I went to was a good school. People studied hard. They read during recess!
I caught up on my English during that time, and met Gary in a summer school, who turned out to be a student in my high school too. We read the Bible together after school everyday since, and that fellowship turned out to be one of the most beneficial time I ever had. It was more significant than any conference, or any loud and fancy gathering that I have ever been to. Other Christians met in school, however, thought I was a modern Pharisees. I didn’t know that until one of them told me later when we met in the same University that we attended. It was a hurtful revelation and everything bad that happened during high school suddenly made sense (they pretty much triaged me and excluded me from their fellowship). The explanation that guy gave me was that they thought I always talked about the Bible and not the trendy subjects they liked to talk about, so I must be a hypocrite. Ok.
He apologized and turned out to be one of my most vocal supporter in University, but the fruits he beared in his life were still mostly similar to that of the typical institutional church goers, which actually created plenty of troubles to the ministry, instead of adding to it.
Knowing what I know now, it no longer suprises me that institutional churches going Christians are like that, because their pastors are like that! Like teacher like students! If this happens to me today, I would brush it off instantly, knowing that the reasons behind their passive aggressiveness and bad fruits were because they are part of the human driven churches (not biblical churches). They don’t really know what their Bible is talking about, nor do they care to take it literally, so they think their churches and the human doctrines are the truth. It is everything but the truth!
It doesn’t make sense, why would you boyscott a Bible reading Christian and point your fingers at him for talking about it?
I slowly improved in school as I continued to read the Bible with my friend Gary, and we both entered the same University (of Waterloo). I think God blessed me and helped me. I wouldn’t have been able to enter a good University (that school was quite renowned) with my previous intellect, but my grade improved significantly as we were studying the Bible (a few chapters each day and a brief sharing of what we had read afterward).
By the way, if I can travel back to that time with a time machine, I would warn my younger self of the local churches I had been to (and all institutional churches). They are big problems to God, but I was not aware of that. See my article, “How Do You Know When It Is Time To Leave Your Church?“. Being deceived by human-driven churches has been a major regret of my life. Their subtle errors had made me lost so much blessings in life. If you are a church goer, my strong suggestion for you is to quit now and start a home-based, biblical church right away.
The first year in University went well. I got good grades, and made friends who had helped me through many tough assignments and exams for all the years I had spent there. Mathematics was so challenging that it had slowly become a mental torment in my senior years in that University. In my article “Why Do I Hate Math?” explains all.
I became so lost and depressed, and no matter how much I prayed I couldn’t seem to find out the meaning of the torment I had to put up with the entire time. It was only when I started using the logic I learned from my study to debate with atheists on the Internet did I finally understand the beauty of math, and why God chose Math as my major, but not theology. (I thank God so much about this now, because most people who studied theology actually learned to misinterpret the scripture and over complicate it, instead of obeying obvious meanings of the words.)
I didn’t realize that I had Seasonal Affect Disorder, and the seasonal depression actually became regular depression that had haunted me for the entire time I spent in that school. It was very painful, and the level of pain progressed as the years gone by.
Before graduating from the University, I knew very clearly that God was calling me to start some sort of full time ministry. But the vision was still vague at the time. My major focus would include: Christian leadership, Christian relationship, worship music, and Bible study.
I thought I might be able to get on with some jobs, save some money, and choose a seminary to study because it was how things usually were for other full time Christian ministers.
As graduation drew near, I campaigned for an executive position of the student union and won. It was a major leap of faith in my life. I was the underdog because: English was my second language; I was a new immigrant (in Canada for 7 years); and I lacked experience (Other candidates were way more experienced)
Within 12 months, I graduated from the University successfully, quit the executive position 3 months before the end of my tenure due to conscience (A spiritual victory. I will talk more about it in my future posts), and started off a long anticipated adventure in the real world.