I Would Have Perished


Brother Charlie Tan

I Would Have Perished - The Testimony of Charlie Tan

"I would have perished" are the words that Charlie Tan would use to best describe his life.

A lover of the outdoor life, Charlie picked up fishing and hunting from his teens. So great was this love that for a period of time he chose employment as a mines administrator in the virgin land of South Johore rather than staying in the urban city of Singapore.

Clear in his mind are the many times that he escaped death. How his life was spared on these numerous occasions are in themselves a miracle.

During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, Charlie was in his early twenties. During that time people would be cautious about going outdoors but not him. He recollects that one day, he went out fishing as usual. As he was returning home, he met a group of Japanese soldiers who stopped him and accused him of subversive activities. The soldiers did not believe that he had just gone out for fun; fishing. One of the soldiers took out his sword as Charlie knelt helpless in front of him. Before the soldier could use his sword, however, a car with an officer pulled up beside them. The officer immediately recognised Charlie whose grandfather was a very influential businessman. He stopped his soldiers, apologised and let him go. What a chance coincidence that was. Just as the soldier was about to use his sword an officer intervened.

A second incidence which "Uncle Charlie" as he is fondly called by members of the church was the time when he went hunting with some friends. During the hunt, members of the group went in different directions within the same vicinity looking for their prey. As he was lurking among the bushes, Charlie not only heard a gunshot but felt a jab of an object hitting his chest. Momentarily stunned, he looked down and found that a bullet which his friend had fired had hit the bullets which he had strung across his chest with a belt. His friend had mistaken him for an animal. The belt of bullets had saved his life. Another coincidence?

When he was administrator at the mines. Charlie had a boat provided for him. He would often take the boat out by himself. He will go from one location to another in the boat looking for fish. On one occasion, Charlie recollects that as he was about to start the outboard engine, the rope by which he will start the engine all of a sudden swirled around and hit him unconscious. He was not sure how long he remained unconscious in that boat. He said that it could be for hours. The boat could easily have been swept into the open deeper waters. He would then find it impossible with the amount of fuel that he had to return to land. Yet another coincidence?

We think not. The Bible says that God does not want any to perish eternally. The Word of God says that all men are sinners and the penalty of sin is death but God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. During the time of the incidents, Charlie was indeed a sinner who would be lost for eternity for he had yet to believe in Jesus Christ. 

All those have however changed. About two years ago, Charlie accepted Jesus into his life when the gospel was shared to him. Today, he can indeed say "come what may, I know I will never perish." Brother Charlie had since gone to be with our Father in heaven. Amen.