BY BENNETT ROLAN | BSF BLOG EDITOR
Forgetting what lies behind
BY BENNETT ROLAN | BSF BLOG EDITOR
I n the 90s, Maureen Wong was part of an elite team assigned to promote confidence in Hong Kong as the territory made a historic shift from British to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. After 150 years under British authority, tensions were at an all-time high as negotiations between the two political powers escalated.
“It was an exciting time,” Maureen said, “but also demanding and challenging.”
In 1996, just a year before the transition, Maureen and her family moved to Hong Kong where she played an integral part in the territory’s new administration.
On the outside, Maureen had it all together. She was competent, successful and on the administration’s fast-track. But at home, Maureen’s life felt chaotic.
In this season of turmoil, Maureen discovered Bible Study Fellowship. During a pilot study of Philippians, God gave Maureen what she needed most: spiritual confidence rooted in God’s Word.
“Looking back, it wasn’t easy,” Maureen said, “but God provided for me and protected me through His love. I found joy and peace, and I had energy to do the things I had to do during that time. I couldn’t have done that without God’s strength and the constant awareness of His presence and Holy Spirit.”
With a renewed focus on Christ, Maureen committed her gifts and abilities to promote God’s glory. Though He didn’t change Maureen’s circumstances, God transformed her heart.
“Not that I have already gained this or am already perfect…But this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14
Pressing on toward the goal
In 1998, Maureen had a difficult decision. She could continue her career, earning status and high income, or leave the field altogether by moving to London with increased time for family and God.
She chose the latter.
“Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” – Philippians 3:7-8
“I had no plan as to what I was going to do,” Maureen said. “I knew that I needed God’s Word to guide me, and I prayed that BSF would be accessible somewhere in London.”
In answer to her prayer, BSF was launching a Day Women’s Class in London and needed a class administrator with Maureen’s skills.
“I became CA straight away,” she said. “They (BSF leadership) said I was God’s answer to prayer because they didn’t have anyone in London who was familiar with BSF. But I knew this was God’s answer to my prayers as well.”
Maureen was essential in establishing London’s BSF program and helped to start an Evening Women’s Class. But with time on her hands, Maureen was willing to serve the Lord beyond BSF.
The upward call
While filling her time with family, church friends and BSF, Maureen believed God could use her skills in a broader way.
“I came back to London and had nothing to do. I was attending church meetings, going to church, hanging out with friends and enjoying the good life,” she said. “In studying God’s Word, I learned to be open to whatever ministry God gave me.”
When a former colleague asked Maureen to help establish a struggling non-profit, she said yes immediately. Founded by former gambling addicts, The Christian Centre for Gambling Rehabilitation provides emotional support and life-skills training that begin with the gospel.
“I initially thought it was a short-term role, registering the organization as a charity,” she said. “I quickly realized that they needed someone to help them with administration and government compliance. They didn’t know how to manage an expanding organization, and they just didn’t have time.”
In this new volunteer role, God used Maureen’s skills and previous professional network for His glory.
“God made use of my past experience, enabling me to do the work He had called me to do at that time,” Maureen said. “I was privileged to see first hand the people who had been helped, their desperate lives turned around and rebuilt. These people began to flourish, and I saw God’s hand over each one of them.”
Working for a fledgling ministry meant budget constraints and uncomfortable working conditions in an unfamiliar London neighborhood.
“We don’t have a bright air-conditioned office,” Maureen said. “And I must admit, these were not the people I was used to hanging out with.”
But God called the woman who once worked among Hong Kong’s top officials to serve the broken men and women of London.
“Serving God in the ministry He calls me to is miles better than the one I would have chosen using my head,” Maureen said. “Whatever achievement I see is not mine, it’s God’s. It takes a lot of patience, even a lot of time, but to see God change people’s lives so dramatically is most encouraging and rewarding.”
Maureen doesn’t describe her move to London as a sacrifice. Instead, she says, “It was true that I had to give up certain material things, but when God opens a door, responding positively turns out to be the right thing to do.”
Like the apostle Paul, Maureen is simply an ordinary person with faith in an extraordinary God. Her story is a beautiful testament of how God’s plan reaches beyond our own understanding. When we trust the Lord with our jobs, families and circumstances, He is faithful to make our paths straight. For Maureen, that path led in an unexpected direction, but delivered deeper joy and intimacy with Christ.
When we say “yes” to God, His path may seem unconventional, but we never have to walk it alone.
This wonderful testimony teaches us that when God brings it to us, He will see us through it; He doesn’t call us to what’s easy. Thanks you for your willingness to serve.
When the Lord calls He has a purpose for you n He will give his spiritual support to see it thro. Continue ask for His guidance n wisdom to solve any obstacles along the way.Mauren’s experience gives us a good insight of God call on her and how God guide her in her quest.
Maureen and her story are inspirational ~ beautiful testimony!
Thank you Maureen for sharing
She was meant to be there.All of the skills needed were possed by her.I am happy that you shared it with us.Lottie
We need more testimonies like this.
God works for you if the heart opens up for the Invitation.
Prayers can be heard by God. All you have to do is be willing to receive the answer then go out and make a difference to others.
Thank God for Maureen”s story. May God’s name be praised.
Maureen Wong was part of an elite team assigned to promote confidence in Hong Kong…it seems like more importantly Maureen Wong was and IS a part of an elite team assigned (by her Creator God) to promote confidence in GOD and HIS work on earth. All praise to God for that focus shift!
Grateful to be part of His team!
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…”
Very timely placed by our amazing and loving God, thank you
Thank you for sharing. I’m encouraged by how you responded to His call- what a God ordained plan all for His glory.
What a great encouragement! Indeed, “… He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ “… God Bless You!
What an inspirational story. I pray to God to give me faith to step up and serve without fear.
The testimony of Maureen is so encouraging and also challenging to me, that when I give up my life to serve God, He will use me in ways that He knows are for His own glory. How I pray and desire that I can truly say “Let His Will be done in my life”
It is such a blessing to read this! God is always working in the most amazingly perfect ways. What a wonderful God we serve! Thank you for sharing it with us.
Praise and bless our Lord ! Thank you for the encouraging words and motivation for making Christ Jesus the center of our lives!
Thank you for this encouraging testimony.
A good lesson on: “straining forward to what lies ahead”.
Thank you Maureen for a such an inspirational testimony, am indeed blessed and humbly pray the Almighty God
will enable me let go of my past so that I may walk in his foot step and do his will.
The Lord is great. This is a wonderful testimony. My prayer is to trust and obey Him as He leads me.
Wow!! Being able to take that first step knowing that God walks with us and beside us is what most of us struggle with even as believers. I am encouraged by Maureen’s message, she trusted God completely and He took care of everything else!! My prayer is to grow in faith of that kind with the things I am trusting God to see me through. Indeed BSF teaches us to trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus
Gladys as you quoted! “My prayer is to grow in faith of that kind with the things I am trusting God to see me through” God has heard your prayer and has given you the gift of growth, continue to read his word, believe his Word and operate in the promise of Philippians 1:5-6 Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:5-6
Beautiful , thanks for sharing
BSF teaches us patience and that all of us has a purpose. It is great that Maureen was able to discover hers and in the process help many other children of God. Thank you for being selfless, for fully depending on God for provisions and for reaching out to the neglected people
A real lesson in the contrast between trusting God and relying on human wisdom. Thank you for sharing
Dear Susie Rowan I thank you greatly for your encouraging message of truth.To forget the past and to soldier on in life by looking upwards to unstoppable God towards the goal of victory.Maureen testimony was empowered by God’s spiritual confidence and prayers gained through BSFers fellowship.Indeed God’s plan and Salvation are acclaimed and proclaimed in Bible and this empower us to discover God’s truth and to gain confidence in our lives and grow in faith and prayers.Yes I am encouraged to join you in prayers for the fame of our Lord Jesus.
What a wonderful God’s guidance and Maureen’s obedience to the call.
It suits very in the assertion recorded under proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding , In all your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight” He did it to Maureen.
Thank you for sharing your testimony. It encourages us to put all our hope and trust in Jesus Christ. To allow Him to guide us. Our Lord is mighty.
What a powerful testimony by Maureen. I have learnt in BSF that God works in ways we cant tell.
Thank you for your testimony that really powerful and strengthen my confidence to share His Word to people.
It is not about us but about God’s work through us.
Thank you for the great testimony.
Thank you for sharing Maureen, it was really a beautiful and a great testimony, s o encouraging, may the Lord continue to use you to touch others lives and to fulfill His Greatest commission.
The LORD be praised. A wonderful testimony!! The LORD our Gracious God Loves each of us, and by His Amazing Grace, has a good and perfect Plan for each of our lives. It is a great Blessing when we not only hear, but listen to the prompting of The Most Holy Spirit, allow Him to Lead The Way, and recognize that we are going in the direction that was meant for our lives, the perfect outcome. By faith, with our trust in Him, we must believe that our LORD has complete Control and we, in turn, gladly submit to His Perfect Will! Thank you for sharing Maureen
Maureen’s story is very encouraging and powerful. I love to learn how God is using His followers around the world to help His people and advance His Kingdom. If you ask for God to use you, be ready for a quick reply….He’ll open up doors for you the next day!!! Thank you for sharing. May God continue to bless Maureen and use her. May God continue to bless and grow this life-changing program- Bible Study Fellowship!
“God honors faith and faith honors God.” Maureen’s story is a testament that God will do just what he says. I’m encouraged.
Thank you , Maureen for sharing your story. I thoroughly enjoyed what you had to say. We never know what God has in store for each one of us. Always have to be willing to let God use us for His glory.
Hi Maureen, I joined with over 300 Christian Nurses from 50 countries in July 1996 , hosted by Hong Kong Christian Nurses Fellowship, in Kowloon to Raise the name of Jesus Christ, the Hope of Nursing. What a privilidge it was to hear praises to the King of kings in so many languages. The Americans joined the “locals” at the YMCA for their Sunday morning service.
God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and forever! So glad to be sitting at the foot of the throne of God, learning along side you and the whole the BSF community. (www.NCFI.org)
Hi Carol, I’m a retired nurse interested in Christian volunteer nursing. Can you tell me more regarding what you did?
What a great testimony. I loved the part, “God didn’t change her circumstance but He transformed her heart.” God is so faithful.
Glory be to God for what He is doing in her life may we continue to live a life that will glorify the Lord
Am grateful and thankful to God for the powerful testimony over there madam Maureen. It’s a bold step and never in vain.
What can be better than serving God with our skills! He has freely given us every skill we use to earn a living and get material things. It is like giving God a tiny fraction back. Glory to God for touching your heart in such a powerful way.
Thank you for this. My life has changed drastically since my husband went home to The Lord. In grief I left as a director of a ministry to sorrowful to continue. I too am waiting on God to use me again while opening my life to small ministry at church & family I am discovering that The Lord is in the relationships not always in big ministry. While I miss the business of leading a ministry & my husband I have found that being just chris has taught me more love in Jesus than a million busy days. BSF encourages me that as David waited praying God was active in his life. May all in BSF discover this wonderous relationship with our Jesus!
Maureen, Philippians 3:13 is my senior verse and by God’s grace, He has helped me live out on a daily basis.
What a wonderful Saviour we have in our lives. Who can make ordinary people into extraordinary with His Wisdoms and plans.. really Encouraging to me and I felt very happy to be part of BSF.Glory to God
This is a good example of the fact that God is after Quality not Quantity and personal availability to serve God.
2very meaningfull things: -all christians may forget what lie behind because God always have news to give to His sons .
-Our friend Jesus accompanies us in our new occupation.
Glory to our heavenly Father
AMEN & AMEN…wonderful testimony Maureen. This one is so for me in this season. Thank you for demonstrating through your own life story, how important it is to forget what lies behind and to look forward to the place that CHRIST is leading me to. No matter how discouraging the task ahead may seem, JESUS promises us that HE will never leave us nor forsake us nor abandon us as orphans.
Thank you X a million times for sharing.
HIS love and mine.
Thank you so much Melody. I understand exactly what you are saying. May Jesus help you feel His presence encouraging you today!
God bless you. When we hold God’s hand and walk He is faithful to carry us through. We are precious to our maker. Amen
It is so encouraging. Thank you. Yes I m stepping out with faith in Jesus too. I’ve decided to follow His will. Though I don’t see dry and safe ground before me I am stepping forward only holding God’s hand. I want God’s blessings on my family. Nothing is more precious to me. Thank you for sharing. God provides and protects as He did for King David because he inquired and did His will.
awesome testimony. Encourages me to push on and wait on the Lord
God is good all the time. Your sharing encourages me to trust Him even more and seek His guidance every step of my way. Thank you !
Great testimony. God’s will is always the best for us. I pray he continues to open my eyes to his will and give me the courage to walk in it.
Praise God encouraged by your testimony Prayers for God to continue to use you for His glory
Powerful and trully encouraging
Great and inspiring testimony, God’s work is on going in believers hearts and lives.
Thank you for sharing. We serve a mighty God! This is very encouragingencouraging, touching the lives of the needy is really fulfilling. God bless you as you keep on with the good work.
Its a wonderful and encouraging testimony.. May the Lord continue using His people for His fame..