New Creation Life EFC (NCL) became the 15th and newest member of Evangelical Free Church of Malaysia (EFCM) in 2012. Founded in 2009 by Chris Victor and wife Sarah with some 10 people, the church initially met on Saturday evenings at the premises of another church in Sunway, Petaling Jaya.
When the Victors launched the first few services, it was their friends who were already worshipping at other churches who came to help make up the numbers. As the group prayed for more people to come and for openings to reach pre-believers, the sick, broken-hearted and oppressed, the Victors eventually met a family where the husband, Philip, had been suffering different types of ailments that affected his muscles and heart. Philip was half his former size, bedridden and could barely open his eyes. Chris and Sarah prayed for him, and as prayer followed obedience and faith, healing came as well. Philip, completely restored, his wife Grace and their two children, became the church’s first converts. For the last three years, they’ve hosted the church’s Friday cell group meetings and provided food for church fellowship.
Visits, prayer and healing also brought in another member, Su Anne, who had suffered a stroke. Her miraculous healing led to her salvation and baptism and her husband, Goh, followed suit. During Goh’s baptism, his good friend, Paul, also became a Christian and was baptised too. Su Anne’s brother, who was battling cancer at that time and has now gone home to the Lord, also received Jesus and was baptised together with his wife, son and wife.
And so it has been for other members who have joined NCL, born into a new spiritual family because Chris and Sarah trusted the promptings of the Holy Spirit and obediently entered the homes of strangers to pray and to preach.
NCL now occupies a first floor shoplot premises in USJ21, Subang Jaya. A large, plain cross stands at the top of the stairs and dominates one’s vision on the ascent
up the staircase to the first floor. Shoes are left at the door on the landing and inside, thick carpeting cushions the feet. It is a bright and cheerful space divided into a sanctuary with stackable plastic chairs and a pantry for Sunday School and after-service coffee fellowship at the rear. Worship services are held on Sunday mornings now and the regular congregation stands at about 20 people with a handful of young children.
Ripe for the picking
Opportunites to reach more souls await as directly across the street from the church is a high-rise apartment project. Construction, abandoned a decade ago, resumed just one week after NCL started meeting at its new premises.
“All the while, we know the Holy Spirit is leading and working for His purpose. As we prepared to move here and saw the abandoned project opposite, the Holy Spirit prompted us to pray for its revival so that we would have more people to reach out to. When the project restarted, we saw it as yet another confirmation that God has plans for our church in this location,” Sarah enthused.
“Another confirmation of God’s purpose for our church is the finances that flowed in to repair and refurbish the new premises in USJ21 as it was bare and needed much work,” Chris marvelled. “We had no funds and resources but it all happened for us. The cost came up to over RM30,000 but the church didn’t have to spend a single sen. All was taken care of by the Lord.”
A promise and a call
The Victors were not born again Christians when they met and married. A co-tenant in the rented house they shared attended a Baptist church and was instrumental in bringing them to Christ.
“The most amazing thing for me was to know that I am forgiven in this life, and not have to wait to receive forgiveness only in the afterlife, after purgatory,” said Sarah, who is from the Philippines. She met Chris in Malaysia while working as a singer.
The couple grew in their faith in two different Baptist churches before they eventually left to pioneer NCL. In between, they attended EFC Gospel Centre where they met former EFCM chairman Dr Chan Ah Kee, whom they consider a spiritual mentor.
At First Baptist Church and then Cornerstone Baptist Church, the Victors grew spiritually as they served in the worship and youth ministries. At that time, Chris was working at an engineering firm while Sarah kept busy with church work. In 1997, Sarah, in a half-sleep state, had a visitation in which she heard voices singing and praying in tongues and saw a hand filling bright precious gems into two bowls. A revelation she received later said that the two bowls were her life and that of Chris.
The same year, a mysterious disease struck Sarah, which caused her extreme abdominal pain. She was unable to move, eat and drink and survived on intravenous drip. Doctors couldn’t diagnose the actual disease and put it down to a viral infection. As costs ballooned from her stay in a private hospital, she moved to a public hospital.
The first night at the public hospital, she felt an overwhelming desire to pray for all the patients in the ward around her, despite her own condition. She spent the night in prayer – and was healed the next morning. She was able to eat, drink and move again without any pain. The doctors couldn’t explain it. She had to go for a procedure and felt
“cold and fear but Jesus came and held my hand”.
Another healing miracle occurred the following year. Sarah was not a diabetic but her blood sugar level shot up so high that “it went off the chart”. “Normally the reading is 5 or 6, but that day, my reading went to 400. The doctor was shocked and when they told me, I cried and almost lost hope but Jesus came and held my hand,” Sarah recalled.
The doctors pumped her with insulin but it failed to bring the blood sugar down. Desperate, Chris sat by her hospital bed at midnight and prayed, “God, I will do whatever you call me to do if you would heal Sarah.”
Miraculously, her blood sugar level came down the following day. Though still on the high side, she was out of the danger zone. At the same time, their pastor from Cornerstone Baptist Church came to visit and pulled Chris aside after visiting Sarah.
“Chris, as I prayed for Sarah’s healing, I also felt the Lord asking you to prepare to serve Him full-time one day,” the pastor said.
Sarah fully recovered but the episode damaged her eyesight which required an operation that they couldn’t afford. The exact amount needed came in from love gifts from friends and relatives. “God always gives just enough, no more, no less, so that we will know it’s from Him,” Sarah said.
Still, for the next 12 years, the Victors did not do anything to respond to the call Chris had received. It was hard to leave their comfortable lives with so much invested in their respective ministries at the Baptist church.
Then, a door closed in 2009. Chris had to stop work when his boss at the engineering firm decided to end the business. It struck the Victors then that it was time to do something about the promise Chris had made at the time when Sarah lay almost dying.
With no income and no clear plans, they began a new journey of faith. After exiting their ministry roles at Cornerstone Baptist, they began attending EFC Gospel Centre and started a weekly prayer meeting with Pastor Dr Chan Ah Kee to seek the Lord for a new ministry. They still meet weekly with Chan to pray.
The Victors also began studying for a Bachelor of Ministry at Tung Ling Bible School in 2009. As news of their intention to go into full-time ministry spread, their landlord, a Christian, changed their tenancy into a rent-free contract. In a myriad other ways, the Victors learned that God would provide for those He has called.
Friends began referring to them their pre-believing friends who needed prayer for healing and deliverance. The seeds of a new church were planted as Chris and Sarah worked hard at house visits along with much prayer.
“We just do the work and trust the Holy Spirit to bring in the people for us to bring to Jesus,” said Sarah.
Chris nodded. “The church’s vision is to bring healing and salvation to the nations through faith in Christ,” he added. “We have seen, first from Sarah’s own experience, and then from others who are now members of the church, that it is because of God’s healing power that this church was born.”
“Every day is a new day of trusting God as we go out to bring His Word and healing to people. We cannot wait and sit around on Sundays for people to come. We bring God’s presence to them and pray they will come to praise and worship Him,” Chris smiled, full of hope.