If you’ve not read Pastor Lip’s write-up last weekend (13 Oct 2017 – http://www.cscc.org.sg/pastors-blog/a-sign-and-wonder-in-our-midst), I want to encourage you to have a read. It’s liberating and very apt especially for the times we’re living in. Towards the end of his article, he gave some solid biblical life values which when applied in your life, will not only bless you, but also positively change your marriage and children.
Riding on that write-up, I want to give you another side of Pastor Andrew Yeo which many don’t get to see, much like a “behind-the-scenes” peek into his life. While we now know of the many achievements and great exploits which God has accomplished through him, I’m also privileged to see the transforming power of God’s Word manifested through a surrendered life. This will answer some of your queries like, “What made him so successful since he had many disadvantages in life?”
Having known him for many years, here are three intrinsic qualities I’ve observed from his life:
The first is Gratitude. In the story of the 10 lepers (Luke 17:11-19), Jesus’ first response to the only one who came back to thank Him was a question asking, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” Being grateful means a lot to God. I’ve never seen a grateful person not being blessed by God, in big and small ways. Being grateful is powerful – it’s a declaration to the world and spiritual forces that God is still in charge over your life! And in Andrew’s own words, “Where I am now is because of the pastors and leaders of my church who loves me, believes in me, coached me, trained me, taught me, rebuked me, inspired me to be who I am today.”
The second is Attitude. I’m often amazed at his stories of how he had lunch with bishops one day and the next day he was out in the street counselling some youths till 2am in the morning. The rich and the poor are equally comfortable with him. He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty in any situation on any occasion. You can ask him to do anything in the office and he’ll try his best to get it done, any time of the day or night. I’ve spoken on the subject of “Excellence” on many occasions and here’s a man who personifies that. Excellence is not just about skills, it’s about attitude. Colossians 3:23 reminds us that whatever your task may be, work at it with all your heart, put in your very best effort and let it be as a worship unto God, not unto men.
When it comes to raising our children, our challenge is not so much of pursuing good grades, but of instilling in them the value of diligence and taking ownership of their assigned responsibilities (e.g. education, housework, etc.) so that they can be the salt and light in their schools and community. What Andrew lacked in aptitude for some areas, he made up for it in his attitude towards learning. In other words, “Your Attitude determines your Altitude.”
The third is Fortitude, which is having the courage to overcome pain and adversity. Despite not having a good head start in terms of academic qualifications and still battling some health issues and regular visits to the hospital for medical reviews, Andrew didn’t let these affect him from serving God wholeheartedly in Singapore and in the nations, but he kept pursuing God’s vision for his life. He didn’t wallow in self-pity but turned every setback into a comeback for the Lord.
One of our favourite worship song goes like this: “All that I am, all that I have, I lay them down before You. All my regrets, all my acclaims, the joy and the pain, I’m making them Yours. Lord, I offer my life to You, everything I’ve been through, use it for Your glory.”
In my recent trip to visit our Cornerstone churches in Karimnagar, which is a 4-hour drive from Hyderabad, India, we drove past a huge expanse of rice fields and cotton fields. In the midst of the fields stood an old, abandoned church building built years ago by foreign missionaries. It was a poignant picture to behold. It was then I felt the Holy Spirit impressed upon me, “You can either be a monument of the past or a movement for the future.”
Like Andrew, I choose to be in God’s movement for the future. Will you? I pray Ephesians 6:10 over you, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Have a powerful week ahead!