The young man sitting in the middle is Elliot Soh, very close friend of my son Aaron, thus he was part of our small party of five at this year’s Chinese New Year reunion dinner at their favourite Chinese restaurant, Gold Mine in Bayswater, London. He was very cheerful, always had a big smile on his handsome face, always polite and respectable too. Above all, he loves God and spoke passionately about his faith and his witness. Elliot (an Anglo-Chinese School Barker boy, 12BR boy of the Boys’ Brigade and naval diver with the Naval Diving Unit of the Singapore Armed Forces) lived with sarcoma cancer for nine months, suffered excruciating pain from the treatment received, yet lived life to the full, enjoying friendship with God, with his remarkable group of fun yet no-nonsense, uncompromisingly Bible-believing friends from St. Helen’s Church Bishopsgate, sharing his faith in Jesus wherever he went with as many people as he could and eating all the good food he desired because he was not only an honourable Jesus freak, a generous friend but a passionate foodie – this is abundant life, this is God’s grace extremely well demonstrated! Last Saturday (Sep 28, 2019), Elliot was called home to be with the Lord for his work and witness were finished and he was only 25 years of age. Then again, don’t we all know that life is not about how long, healthy and wealthy you live but how well and faithful you finish? Elliot, you have certainly finished well leaving behind a godly legacy and an example for all of us to follow. I can almost hear the applause of heaven when you entered into the eternal presence of our Almighty God and loving Saviour.
Allow me to quote what Elliot had written: “This is where my personal experience comes in. I have suffered immensely for the past nine months, and one of the worst sufferings is to go through chemo. The bitter metal taste in your mouth cause of the chemodrug is so horrific that it makes you super nauseous and it weakens your whole body. (Its like licking a melted aa battery that has leaked in your alarm clock) and whats worst is that i had to go through it 6 times over four months and my chemodrugs were super strong. (Im sure there are alot more cancer patients who go through worst and longer periods) but just experiencing this, has made me think about how hell would be a place where the chemodrugs are going to taste alot worst and its going to be forever. And just having this thought alone has really made me want to share with everyone about God and how Jesus can save us from this if we believe.
It saddens me that I have to say goodbye to everyone that I have known and been close to, and while you can be sad for me, I hope it will not affect you negatively in anyway because I have been experiencing great joy amidst all this suffering for the past nine months and never had any doubt towards God or any worries for the future, and I will now be resting till Jesus comes back to welcome us into His kingdom, a much much better place than this current world. So please feel at ease for me and I am sorry i have left a memory scar in your life, but also hope it is a meaningful and encouraging one. I’m sorry i cant see you singaporean peeps again in Dec or anytime soon but you know where to find me if you want to see me again! I am resting peacefully with God because of what Jesus has done for me and I really hope I see you there with God when the day comes!
To non-christians, my desire is for you to give some thought about God, to explore more about Him through the Bible (Gospel of John is a good start), and to understand the gospel message and what Jesus has done for us.
To christians, my desire is for you to continue prioritising gospel work over all other worldly things, and doing that involves commitment to faithful bible teaching to shape our mindsets and to continue standing firm in our faith in Jesus because we have full assurance of faith and instead of focusing on our worldly pleasures, we should be reaching out to people who need to hear the gospel so that they can be saved too.”
When I started writing this post, thinking about Elliot, interestingly this song in my Spotify worship playlist played – and it seems to express so well how Elliot must have felt. Thanks Roma Waterman for the beautiful song.
After that, this song by the Parachute Band played and that really sealed it for me.