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Not Ashamed -- Rachel Chua -- Living a Transformed Life

Grace News writer Neo Yi Ling caught up with Rachel Chua who grew up in GBC. Rachel, now a 24-year-old public servant, shared her thoughts on how coming to know Christ had impacted her and what it meant to be unashamed of the Gospel. Here are snippets from their conversation over a cup of teh tarik.

Rachel Chua photo 1 web

How did you become a Christian?

When I was six years old in Sunday school! I remember learning about Jesus saving me, and saying the Sinner’s prayer. However, it wasn’t till I was 11 that I got baptised as a step of obedience through faith in Christ.

How has the gospel affected your life?

At every new phase in life, I have had to ask myself how my faith matters and what it means to be a Christian in each context. For example, while sitting for my ‘A’ Level examinations, I asked myself what do school grades – good or bad – mean in light of Christ and His salvation? Not very much apparently!

How does your Christian identity translate into daily life?

Having spent most of my life attending church, I didn’t question the reality of Christ outside of the usual “Christian” routines very much until I faced people very different from me. In the workplace after graduation, I encountered colleagues who were accustomed to a lifestyle of partying, drinking and casual sexual encounters. When they heard that I am preparing to get married at the age of 24, they were curious about my decision to settle down so early. Their curiosity helped me realised that my romantic relationship is one area where my faith has led me to make very different choices from people around me. Thus, even though it is not my nature to share openly about personal matters, I took the opportunity to share sincerely with my colleagues about my trust in God to bring two imperfect people together in a committed journey of marriage.

As for marriage itself! When I first went out with my now-fiancé, then-boyfriend Jing Ren, I had in mind a mental checklist of the ideal Christian boyfriend. The criteria included: regular church-goer, served in two ministries or more, involved in a community that affirmed him, and so on. However, in the course of the relationship and through conversations with him and other mentors around me, I realised that it isn’t bible knowledge or outward actions that are indicative of a true follower of Christ, but a transformed heart. This has led to open conversations as we both seek to lay the foundations of our faith, and understand together the foundations in preparation for marriage.

Being part of a community of God’s people has made a difference. Growing up in GBC, I’ve had older ladies such as my former Sunday School teachers, come alongside me to mentor and look out for me. For about a year, a few of us would gather with Aunty Nee Kiah once a week to study the Bible over a stretch of 2-3 hours each time. I also did an internship in GBC with Pastor Ollie, and that equipped me with Bible reading skills and – more importantly – better understanding of the faith. All these had been particularly helpful to me in learning to be vulnerable with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and sharing my life with them. More recently, I have been touched by those who approached J and welcomed him when he visited GBC.

What does it mean to you to be unashamed of the gospel?

It means going against my natural inclinations to keep to myself and openly sharing Christ with others wherever, whenever. Sometimes the opportunity comes up during taxi rides – I remember a taxi driver sharing with me his opinion on religion being about doing good deeds. At the end of the conversation, I told him I am a Christian and that I didn’t agree with him entirely but respected his opinion. Being unashamed also means having an answer for why I do what I do in obeying what Jesus calls me to, when questioned by my friends who are mostly Buddhists or atheists.

What are your hopes for GBC?

Over the years, many times I have felt like I didn’t fit into this community. This has given me a burden for those who left church or those who feel like there is no group they belong to in church. I have also been challenged by older Christians who have asked me, “How are you mentoring others?” This has gotten me thinking about how I spend my time. An intergenerational church community is very, very valuable – it provides a setting where people who don’t fit into their age group can still find a group of people to connect with. I anticipate how different and counter-cultural GBC would look if everyone embraces the Gospel that crosses all barriers.

Rachel Chua photo 2 web

Rachel (second from left) currently attends the Young Adult Care Group, and these are her fellow small group members.


Read the full issue of Grace News.

You can follow our sermon series on Not Ashamed and watch videos of GBC members sharing how they have experienced the power of the gospel in their lives, and are not ashamed of the gospel.