Ipoh - the Place where God
began to bless our Family
Ipoh is blessed with one of the freshest and cleanest water supplies in Malaysia. Good water is essential for good health and smooth skin complexion which explains why Ipoh is famous for its beauty queens. Former Miss Malaysia and internationally famous actress Dato Michelle Yeoh was born and raised in Ipoh. Fresh water produces the best "Sar-Hor-Fun" (flat rice noodles) and "Taugeh" (bean sprouts). Ipoh is also known for its "White Coffee". According to some outsiders Ipoh has the best food in Malaysia.
Although I am no longer living in Ipoh (now living in Houston, Texas, U.S.A.) I have always enjoyed its exquisite cuisine whenever I revisit this place. Ipoh has given our family much, much more than its good food and other physical things. Ipoh is the place where the Almighty God had begun to bless our family in many ways, right from the very home where I was born, and right from the time when I was baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ.
Divine Plan of God’s
Blessings on a Family
God promised to bless Abraham, his descendants and the nations of the world through his Seed Jesus Christ, and also because of his faith and obedience (Gen. 12:1-12).Abraham was shown the Place where God’s blessings would begin.“Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah” (Gen. 22:2)“And Abraham called the name of the place YAHWEH Jireh The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided." Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son-- blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." (Gen 22:14-18) The blessings of Abraham and his family began on Mount Moriah, the place where Solomon built the Temple. God made the same promise to Jacob who dreamed of a ladder that began from the place where he slept and stretched up to heaven. “And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you."Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it." And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" (Gen. 28:13-17)God’s blessings begins from "the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!".
”For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:26-29)
God’s Salvation of
our Family in Ipoh
According to God's promise in His Word any Christian who shows great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, his or her family will be saved and also receive blessings.
"So they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."(Acts 16:31) "Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:38-39)
There are two people who initiated God's blessings on our family. They are, first, my maternal grandmother Gaik-Yong Chew, and then my father Zacchaeus Hean-Lin Wong who is also my role model in the ministry. You may read about "My Grandmother, A Woman of Faith" and also my father "A Man of God".
God gave my life back to me in Ipoh
Our family once lived with my grandmother in a fairly large two-storey residence on a three and half acres land that had a prestigious address - 224 Brewster Road, Ipoh, Perak, Malaya. The street name has been changed to Jalan Sultan Idris Shah. That property is currently an expensive commercial real estate.
In 1932 there was an epidemic of diptheria in Ipoh and many children had died from that disease. I was only one year old when I had that sickness, and I was on the verge of death. My parents had sought the best medical treatments that were available at that time but there was no cure.
My grandmother, Gaik-Yong Chew, was the only Christian in our family at that time. She was a member of the True Jesus Church in Ipoh, and had heard testimonies of miracles, signs, wonders and healings by the minister and other members of the church.
She pursuaded my mother to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and to pray for my healing. My mother said that if Jesus could heal my sickness then she would believe in Him. My grandmother then brought several Indian Christians from the church to pray for my healing.
Praise and thank God, after fervent prayers my health condition improved. Through baptism into the Lord Jesus Christ I was completely healed. This miraculous healing resulted in my mother, several relatives and friends to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized into Him. This is the first miracle that God had blessed our family.
God blessed our Family through My Father's Ministry that began in Ipoh
- Although my father had witnessed the miraculous healing of my sickness when I was one year old yet he did not join the TJC until after many years later. In September 1939 my grandmother became very ill. The TJC minister Deacon Yin-Foo Goh came to pray for her. While the minister was still in our home my father talked with him. They entered one of the rooms and my father locked the door. They had talked for quite a long time, and when they came out of the room there was a heavy thunderstorm.
- My father announced to the family that he was going to be baptized immediately. Although the minister told him to wait for the heavy rain to stop, but my father insisted that he had to be baptized immediately. He could not wait to have all his sins washed away as soon as possible (Acts 22:16). While it was still raining very hard my father and the minister rode their bicycles to the Kinta River for the baptism.
My father was baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ on September 23, 1939. As new Christians both parents had some knowledge of Christianity yet they did not have much relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. After they received the Holy Spirit, kept God's Commandments and read God's Word their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ became stronger. My father was ordained a deacon in the TJC on April 5, 1941. He took over the Ipoh church ministry after the death of Deacon. Yin-Foo Goh.
Here are two articles on my father's ministry.
1. "A Man of God"
2. "God's Protection of His People".
God had blessed Our Marriage in Ipoh
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Cecilia Wai-Chung (Joan) was on vacation from Hong Kong when we first met at the Ipoh Golf (Country) Club. It was love at first sight for both of us. We began to see each other every day except Friday evening and Saturday, and she understood later that I was a TJC Sabbath-keeper. We spent some time praying and studying the Bible together.
- Praise and thank our Lord Jesus Christ she was obedient and accepted the truth. She was baptized by my father in the Kinta River and became a member of our church in Ipoh before we got married. Our wedding took place on October 31, 1965 and it was attended by about 600 guests. We went on a cruise ship from Singapore to Hong Kong and Japan for our honeymoon.
- God had blessed our family with a large new home that is on an adjacent street from my parents' home. It was rented from a wealthy client and it also became my architectural office.
Our Family Home and My Architectural Office in Ipoh, Malaysia
Our two sons Ken-Shin and Ken-Lin were both born at Our Lady's Hospital that was very close to our home. Praise and thank God our family had lived comfortably in Ipoh. The Lord Jesus Christ had revealed to me His will for our family to move to the United States of America.
- Our family continued to live in Ipoh until the beginning of 1970 when we moved to Taichung, Taiwan for my ministerial training. We passed through Japan to visit the churches in Osaka and Tokyo, then took the inaugural flight of the 747 jumbo jet to Honolulu, Hawaii. We arrived in San Francisco, California on July 31, 1970.
God blessed our Family
in the Ipoh T J Church
- The first minister of the True Jesus Church in Ipoh was Deacon Yin-Foo Goh who had received the truth from Elder Philip Foo, and he was baptized in the correct mode on July 31, 1926. He had worked as a court interpreter before his retirement and consecration to the ministry of the church in Ipoh. He spoke several languages fluently. In addition to English and many Chinese dialects he could also speak Malay and Tamil. He had preached to the Indian people and helped many to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Indian Christians had prayed for my healing when I was one year old. Deacon Goh baptized my grandmother, parents and the whole family. He was a good, kind and humble Christian minister who faithfully followed the teachings of the Holy Bible. He loved us and all of us loved him.
Throughout the years when Deacon Goh and my father were together they had joint research Bible studies, and they also studied the Bible independently. They followed the principle “We speak where the Bible speaks, and are silent where the Bible is silent.” "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20)
Please go to this Web Site concerning their position on:
“Biblical Truths on the Salvation of Christians in the TJC, those of other denominational churches and the Messianic Jews”.
It is a blessing to learn from these two men of God who practiced Christian love toward Christians of other denominations. Deacon Goh and Reverend Horley, first pastor of the Methodist Church in Ipoh, remained good friends and respected one another although some of their religious views may have differed from one another. After my father was baptized and joined the TJC he was still teaching in the Anglo Chinese School (Methodist Mission), and he continued to have a cordial relationship with Reverend Ralph Kesselring, the school principal and pastor of the Methodist Church. Both Deacon Goh and my father have been highly respected by Christian ministers of other denominations in Ipoh. I am truly blessed and thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the opportunity to learn from His two faithful servants in the TJC Ipoh.
The TJC in Ipoh held evening worship services from Monday through Friday and Sabbath Services on Saturday morning and afternoon. Every Friday evening we had a special prayer for the Holy Spirit. It was during one Friday evening Prayer Service in 1948 that when Deacon Goh and my father laid hands on me I was baptized with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. Praise and thank our Lord Jesus Christ for His blessings of the Holy Spirit who has been comforting and guiding me for more than sixty years. Many family members have also received the Holy Spirit.
After Deacon Goh went home to be with the Lord Jesus Christ my father "picked up his mantle" and continued with the ministry of the TJC in Ipoh. I drove him whenever and wherever the Lord wanted him to go. My father baptized my wife and two sons.
It is because of the kind and loving attitude of my father towards all people the church in Ipoh grew to become the largest congregation of all TJ churches in Malaysia. God had blessed TJC in Ipoh.
Every year from 1966 onwards the TJC Church Council in Ipoh had nominated me for ordination, but I declined to accept it at least twice. In the beginning of 1968 during the Friday evening prayer service I saw a vision during my prayer. I saw many people falling down into deep trenches. Then in the dark sky I saw a light with four beams radiating from its center that formed a cross. I asked the Lord what was He trying to show me. Who were those people falling into the deep trenches? The Lord told me, "They are the people whose souls have been lost because there are too many Christians like you who are not doing anything to help them get saved." I began to cry out, "Lord, send me!"
Two weeks later the Ipoh TJC Church Council nominated me again for ordination. I did not decline the nomination that time. On August 17 1968 I was ordained a minister (deacon) of the True Jesus Church in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Praise and thank God for opening the way for me to do the Fatimah Hospital Project in Ipoh Garden. At the end of 1968 I was sent to Germany to meet the clients Brothers of Mercy Mission and also do research on the project. I paid the extra air fare to complete the round-the-world trip visiting our churches in Europe, U.S.A. and Asia.
God has blessed this ministry that began in Ipoh, Malaysia in 1968.
God blessed our Family's
Education in Ipoh
There were three outstanding schools in Malaysia during the time I was a student. Penang Free School (PFS) for academics, Victoria Institution (VI) in Kuala Lumpur for sports and Anglo Chinese School (ACS) in Ipoh for acedemics, sports and character building. Since ACS is a Christian school (American Methodist Mission) it also trains and molds the moral character of every student in three aspects of the body, soul and spirit, thus giving him a much more complete education than the other two schools. Attending weekly chapel services and classes in Christian Ethics has been part of the school's curriculum while I studied there. The ACS motto is "Bene Orasse Bene Studuisse" (Latin) that means "Pray Hard Study Hard". There was a biblical inscription over the school assembly hall: "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth - Ecc. 12:1". The school gymnasium has this inscription: "The glory of young men is their strength - Pro. 20:29".
During my Junior year in school I had spent too much time in sports and had neglected my studies, so my grades dropped badly. My father handled the situation very well. He did not scold me but sent me to see the school principal Reverend Kesselring who gave me very sound advice. He said I had great potential to succeed but did not set my priorities right and also did not do my best as I should. He pointed out that a successful student must have a balanced life. Man is composed of body, soul and spirit, therefore we must have good health in sports, good mind in studies and good relationship with God. I took that advice seriously and not only bounced right back in my studies and got good grades, but also followed it for the rest of my life. To me ACS Ipoh is the best school in the world because God had blessed me with the best father who is a teacher in the school, and the best school principal who cared for me. Both of them are kind and gentle educators and also loving ministers of God. Having studied in ACS Ipoh is truly a great blessing to me.
In my father's family all the three boys went to Anglo Chinese School (ACS) and all the five girls went to Anglo Chinese Girls School (ACGS).
|There were five men in ACS, Ipoh that had a big part in affecting my ministry and professional career:|
| || · My father Zacchaeus Hean-Lin Wong who taught me at home and in school on how to be a good Christian by imitating the Lord Jesus Christ, to place Him first in my life, and be victorious over adversity. As a teacher of art and carpentry in ACS he has given me the basic knowledge and foundation for my chosen career in architecture and the building industry. He also taught English that helped me in my writing skill. Most important of all, he was a model father and teacher. |
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| || · My uncle Stephen Kee-Onn Chin (married my mother's younger sister) who taught English in ACS for a short time; author of "Malaya Upside Down" and "MA-RA-EE, Malayan tennis champion in 1933, 1934, Malayan High Commissioner to Australia. He was also a minister (deacon) in the TJC. His writing skill has helped me in my ministry. He took me in his car to the ACS Primary School during the first year. |
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| || · My uncle Khoon-Sen Foo (my mother's younger brother) was tall (5'-11"), dark and handsome. He was the Victor Ludorum (Champion Athlete) in ACS sports for two years 1937 and 1938. He held the 100 yards and 220 yards sprint records in track for more than ten years. A leg injury prevented him from further track competition. He became involved in the building industry and built our family residence at 10 Voon Thian Soo Road. He commissioned me to design his family residence at Jalan Lasam. It is the first split-level residence in Ipoh and was copied by his neighbor. He helped to launch my architectural career in Ipoh. He was a popular uncle in our family. |
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| ||· Reverend Ralph Kesselring was the ACS school principal and pastor of the Methodist Church in Ipoh. He preached during the regular Friday morning school chapel services and Christian Ethics in the weekly classes. He was a strict disciplinarian who taught truth, honesty and integrity are more important than high marks in examinations. He maintained a good relationship with my father who had joined the TJC. He was an honored guest at our wedding.|
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| || · Harold Wakefield, retired professor in English at the University of London, United Kingdom, joined the teaching staff of ACS, Ipoh during my final two years in the school. He also co-authored the Dictionary published by London University. It is truly amazing how I had the opportunity to learn how to speak, read and write proper English from such a distinguished professor. He is a Christian gentleman who is soft spoken, mild mannered, polite, good natured and having qualities in character that we can all copy and improve ourselves. |
Please click here: Distinguished "Old Boys" from ACS Ipoh
Blessings of Good HealthPraise and thank God our whole family in Ipoh had enjoyed good health. It is a blessing that God had guided me, even as a child, to eat nutritious foods in order to acquire good health. My parents had always encouraged me to follow the Biblical teaching to eat nutritious foods. Please read article "Prosper in All Things and be in Health".
through Nutrition and Sports
for our Family in Ipoh
After my father's retirement he spent a lot of time tending the garden in our home. My mother also enjoyed gardening which not only gave my parents a good hobby and recreation but also provided them a form of exercise that promotes good health.
My father liked sports. He played soccer in his youth and became a coach for the ACS soccer team. Since my father knew the benefits of sports in gaining good health he had encouraged me to participate in sports since I was little.
When I was in middle school (Junior High in U.S.) I became interested in different sports like soccer, swimming, table tennis, basketball and even horseback riding. A classmate got a retired racehorse as a gift. He lived behind ACS, so after school I used to go to his home every day and rode on his horse. One time the horse, while trying to chase after a mare, suddenly jolted and threw me to the ground. Thank God I only had bruises but no broken bones. No more horseback riding for me after that accident.
One of my favorite sports was gymnastics and I was one of the participants in the school gymnastics team. Unfortunately an accident resulted in the fractured bone on my left arm, so I gave up this sport altogether.
I received inspiration from my fourth uncle Khoon-Sen's success as a track champion athlete in ACS, so I trained hard for the school sports. I did win a race in track but not many so I did not continue in it.
God began to bless me physically in Ipoh with excellent health through body-building which requires regular training with discipline and eating nutritious food. My fifth uncle Khoon-Chong became the runnerup in the Mr. Perak Bodybuilding contest, and he was my first coach in this sport. When I studied at the Technical College in Kuala Lumpur I was coached by Tan Kim-Bee who was the Light-heavyweight weightlifting Bronze Medalist at the 1950 Empire Games. I was the runnerup in the Mr. Tech bodybuilding contest. Go to: "The Glory of Young Men is their Strength". My other interest in sports is Kung Fu – Chinese Martial Arts. You may read the article: "Kung Fu and the Christian". Ipoh is really the place where my good health began. God’s Blessings of my Career
in Architecture began in Ipoh
After studying Architectural Engineering in the Technical College, Kuala Lumpur I returned to Ipoh and worked for the State of Perak in the Architectural Division of the Public Works Department (PWD) now called Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR). The head of the division was J. C. Todd, a Scotsman architect who married an Ipoh architect Esther Yuen. My immediate boss was Peter G. Morley, an English architect. Both my superiors were impressed with my performance so they helped me in a work/study program in England. Peter Morley wrote to his friend Mr. Martin in London and arranged for me to work in the firm in which he was one of the partners. I left for the United Kingdom in 1955 which was the same year that my father retired from teaching in ACS Ipoh. Our family was very thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the opportunity to work and study in England when my father could not afford to finance my overseas studies.
I worked for Daniel Watney, Eiloart, Inman and Nunn, a very prestigious firm of Architects, Engineers and Surveyors in Charterhouse Square, London, England. I also enrolled for evening classes in architecture at the School of Architecture Northern Polytechnic (now North London University).
After two years of the strenuous work/study program it caused me to have some health problems, so my family in Ipoh agreed to a financial loan that enabled me to study full time. I am truly grateful and thankful to my mother and elder sisters for helping to finance my studies.
Praise and thank God I graduated with a diploma in architecture in 1961, and after an internship at the architectural department of the London County Council and Architects Co-partnership in London, I became a charter member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (A.R.I.B.A.) and also registered as an architect in United Kingdom.
I returned to Ipoh, Malaysia in early 1963. There were not too many openings in employment for architects in Ipoh. One day I met Tan Beng an ex-classmate from the Technical College. He was working for B.M. Iversen who is considered the best architect in Malaysia at that time. My friend was planning to get married and move back to Kuala Lumpur. He arranged for me to have an interview with his boss. The interview went very well. In Malaysia they work 8-5 Monday through Friday and 8-12 on Saturday. I told Mr. Iversen I could not work on Saturday because I observe the Seventh Day Sabbath. We came to a mutual agreement that I could work an extra hour from Monday through Thursday to make up for the four hours on Saturday.
After working for three months Mr. Iversen called me to his office. He said, “I have evaluated your performance and am pleased to let you know that your production far exceeds my expectation. In fact you have produced much more than your predecessor. I am giving you a promotion and increase you salary. Another thing, you have proven to me that working a five day week is better than five and half days. From now onwards our office is going to work a five day week.” In Ipoh God has blessed me for remembering the Sabbath day and to keep it holy (Isa. 56:1-8; 58:13-14).
Together with four other former Technical College students we opened the first Professional Construction Associates in Ipoh; providing services in Architecture (Paul Soon-Lee Wong), Civil Engineering (Yap Lim-Sen and Koon Yew-Yin), Structural Engineering (Tan Hang-Seng) and Land Survey (Sow Tung-Low). In 1964 I opened Architects Incorporated (AI) in Ipoh with a branch office and a partner (Tan Soo-Seng) in Singapore. Yap Lim-Sen became one of the directors of Ipoh Garden Ltd. (now Ipoh Garden Berhad - IGB) and in September 1964 each associate was appointed to do his professional work in the original project of Ipoh Garden (now Taman Ipoh Jaya). This is the biggest breakthrough in our professional careers for each one of us.
My company was commissioned as the architect for all the design and building construction in the new development of the 2,300 acres. God has blessed my professional career in architecture in Ipoh within a very short space of time. Praise the LORD, HalleluYah!
Go to this web site:
Architectural Projects by Paul Soon-Lee Wong (Architects Inc.)