Anthony Cheok

Dear brothers and sisters,

When Fr William Goh opened the retreat, he mentioned that we are all here by God’s grace, and not by chance. I am here to testify that what Fr William Goh said is very true.

I am going to give you an account of the events that took place long before the commencement of this retreat (which started on 28 Jan 2010). Sometime in 2009, God prompted a family friend to contact my wife to register for this Conversion Experience Retreat.

God knew that our marriage would be in jeopardy. Without prior discussion with me, my wife agreed to participate in this retreat. (God works in mysterious ways indeed). I was informed about it only about 2 weeks before the retreat!

On Tuesday and Wednesday before the commencement of the retreat (the retreat started on a Thursday), my wife and I were having a very serious cold war. It was so serious that we even talked about engaging lawyers. It was that serious.

I realized at the conclusion of the retreat, that without God’s grace and His love for us, and His divine intervention, we would not or might not be able to get back together. On the eve of the retreat, my wife asked me, “Do you want to go for the retreat?” My reply was, “Ok lah”.

The moment we stepped into the CSC auditorium on the morning of the 28 Jan 2010, we were greeted with warmth and love, and we both felt the same way, although we did not communicate with each other yet. (We started ‘real’ communication only on the 3rd day of the retreat.) Both of us felt the start of a healing process within us.

The first talk was about Love. As Fr William preached, we looked at each other in the eyes, and non-verbal messages were sent between us. We (at least for me), already knew in our hearts that God loves us and was talking to us through Fr William.

Then came the second talk on the 7 Capital Sins. Again as Fr. William preached, more non-verbal communication was relayed between us as we looked at each others’ eyes and conveyed our sins of Pride to each other. At the end of the second retreat day, we started to feel an atmosphere of love around us. We knew in our hearts that everything would be alright. Praise the Lord!
From then on, we started to surrender everything to God and we simply soaked in all the joy, love and happiness around us. I realized that I was not sent here by chance but by God’s loving grace.
I have attended many retreats, healing masses and conversion retreats. But it was at this CER that I received Fr William’s message about letting go and surrendering myself. The message I got was that I was not able to reap the benefits of God’s grace because of the sins within me. Once I let go of all the sins within me, I found myself rolling my tongue during the praying over sessions and was slain twice during the retreat.

During the Praise and Worship sessions, I found myself raising both hands above my head as if to ask God, “Papa, hold me close in your arms”. Usually, the most I would do was to raise my arms below my shoulders, and also only half-heartedly.

Then came the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The little book on examination of conscience given to help us look deeper into ourselves and make the “confession of our life” was very helpful. I did a good
confession. The feeling of being free is truly great. I felt a great load was lifted off my shoulders. I am FREE!

One more thing that I experienced during this CER. Usually, when I attend a talk or retreat, I would put on my $9,000 hearing aids and even so, I could only hear about 60% of what is being said. During
this retreat, I came without the aids. And I was able to hear about 98% of what Fr William said. Praise the Lord!

God’s Love is Great.

Anthony Cheok
CER 16
Jan 2010