Sai Kung’s new minister, the Reverend Chris Ponniah, is a laid back character. His New Zealand influence shows. He arrives at Starbucks in jeans, trainers and an Adidas sport shirt. His hair is longish, his smile broad and he laughs a lot. Soon his passion for Christian ministry becomes apparent and he says some startling things.
Born into a Christian family and brought up in Singapore, he said he never doubted the faith, “but I have a lot of questions. I experience God in so many ways. I know He exists.” The priest says, “Call me Chris. We are so casual from New Zealand.” He has lived there for 16 years with his wife, Joy and three children.
“I encountered God at a public meeting led by a very spiritual man, Rev. Trevor Dearing, who is known as the Exorcist Priest. I believe in the spiritual realm, I encountered God. I saw a man writhing like a snake on the ground, people were shouting, there was a lot of chaotic behaviour. Demonic spirits were being cast out.” Chris said, “I went to the front. Reverend Dearing didn’t touch me. He blessed me. I fell to the ground. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, that God loved me. This is what underlies my ministry. Too many people don’t feel God’s presence in their lives.”
Resurrection’s new minister said there is a battle going on between the evil realm and God’s realm everywhere including Sai Kung. The evil realm “is manifested by alcoholism, adultery, drug addiction and broken lives. My role is to help people come out of the mess they are in, to find the life and wholeness that Jesus offers them.” Chris arrived from New Zealand with Joy in the middle of March. Already he said he is helping two Sai Kung families “in crisis, because people have high-powered jobs and bring the stress home with them.” He is also ministering to three men with alcohol addiction. “I help them bring Christ into the recovery, help them see God as the way of relieving the stress and bringing healing.”
Exploring his thoughts on faith, SAI KUNG BUZZ asked him about pantheism, where spirituality is seen in everything, particularly nature. “Nature is the handiwork of God,” Chris replied.
What does he say to people who can’t make the leap to faith because of, for example, wide reading of subjects like cosmology and biology? When you realise there are billions and billions of galaxies out there it may be hard to believe that God created us in his own image and put us on a tiny planet that is insignificant on a cosmic scale. “I totally agree. What is humanity when you look at the galaxies, stars, the universe? If God created billions of galaxies I am blown away that God is still interested in me. I challenge people to come and experience God for themselves. We have an open door policy at the Resurrection Church.”
To hear Chris speak and meet him, show up at the Pak Sha Wan church at 10am on a Sunday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 64643606