Together in Heaven
Testimony By Lemuel Leong – Sabah, Malaysia
Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His saints. (Ps 116:15)
At 5:00 am on June 21, 2007, Masneh Singkui was admitted to the emergency ward, unconscious and in critical condition. The brothers and sisters by his side immediately contacted other members to pray for him.
That night, Masneh was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, where doctors confirmed that he was brain dead due to excessive brain hemorrhaging.
Concerned members throughout Sabah and West Malaysia offered fervent prayers of intercession, and some even fasted and prayed for God to show mercy on Masneh.
However, on June 23, a Sabbath day, he returned to the arms of the Lord. The grief at his passing was deeply felt by members and relatives alike. Yet, in our sorrow, we accepted that his death was according to God’s will.
GOD’S ABUNDANT GRACE
Masneh was born in September 1978, and was diagnosed with a hole in his heart just nine months later. He received monthly treatments until he turned twelve years old.
For most people, dealing with this condition and the constant treatments would have probably affected their growth and limited their everyday activities, but it was not so for Masneh. He was a dynamic person and diligent worker.
However, after undergoing an appendectomy in January 1999, doctors discovered that the right valve in his heart was badly damaged. It was so severe that doctors predicted that without immediate treatment he would only live for five more years.
In May 2001, Masneh traveled to the National Heart Institute for surgery to replace the damaged valve. During the journey, he decided that if the operation was successful, he would dedicate his life to serving the Lord.
The surgery was a success and he recovered well from it. But in November 2002, he was admitted to the hospital. He was on warfarin, a blood-thinning medication, because of the heart valve transplant, but the amount he was taking was too strong and had caused an overdose.
Doctors warned that he might never be able to walk again because the nerves in his feet had ruptured as a result of the overdose. Yet, by the grace of God, he recovered within two weeks—he had no problems walking and was back to normal.
SERVING THE LORD
Masneh’s promise to serve God was fulfilled when he became a full-time religious education teacher in 2002. He was appointed as a full-time teacher by the General Assembly, serving in the areas of greatest need in Sabah.
Apart from teaching, he trained other teachers, established religious education classes, and assisted in preaching and pastoring. Living and serving God in Telupid and Penangah was difficult because of their isolated locations, but Masneh’s faithful spirit and strong character were gifts from God that helped him overcome such challenges and difficulties.
In 2004, Masneh became a theological student, and the three-year program gave him many opportunities to serve the Lord and visit the churches throughout Sabah.
In June 2007, he was assigned to practical training in Bingkor with Pr. Seraya. Although he had a fever and muscle pain, Masneh did not want to postpone the trip. He followed the itinerary and stayed in Bingkor from June 2 to 16. He returned to his home on the 16th to attend to other matters and traveled back to Bingkor two days later.
He delivered a sermon at the evening service on the 20th despite being noticeably unwell, declining Pr. Seraya’s offer to substitute for him. They went to bed at midnight, but at 3 am Pr. Seraya woke up and saw Masneh tying a blanket around his head to relieve the pain. After they prayed together, Masneh took some painkillers, but instead of getting better, he began to retch continuously.
He became very weak, so Pr. Seraya decided to send him to the hospital. By the time a member was able to come and help bring him to the hospital, he had already slipped into a coma.
COMFORT IN THE LORD
Even though it was difficult for everyone to come to terms with his sudden passing, our merciful Father gave members visions and dreams that brought hope and comfort to everyone.
Lourence, Masneh’s older sister, had a dream in mid-June. She saw Masneh and Pr. Seraya standing at the top of a mountain with a group of people dressed in white shirts and black pants. Some were standing and some were sitting, as if posing for photographs.
Suddenly she heard a voice say, “Brother Masneh has to rest for a while because he is in extreme pain and his body is exhausted from work.” She could not tell who said these words, but the dream ended and she woke up. She pondered the word “rest” and became worried that it meant death, so she knelt down and prayed before going back to sleep.
A few days later, when she heard that Masneh was admitted to the hospital, she immediately thought of the dream. When he passed away, she understood that the dream had been God’s way of telling her what would happen.
During a special prayer session for Masneh at Tinuhan Church on June 21, a sister saw a vision. In the vision, a group of church members visited Masneh at the hospital. He was lying down, covered with a blanket.
After the visitors stopped praying, she saw Masneh’s spirit come out of his body, wearing a long white robe and with a white cloth tied around his head. He was smiling and looking around.
She was filled with sorrow and heard a voice say, “I am going to take him.” The vision ended and she continued praying. She prayed that God’s will would be done but that He would bring comfort to Masneh’s fiancée.
During the prayer after the evening service on June 22 at Tinuhan Church, a sister saw a vision. Masneh was wearing a long white robe and his head was tied with a white cloth. He was sitting on a square cushion with twenty people sitting on the ground around him. Masneh was slowly lifted up to the sky, smiling and waving his hands as he went.
The sister believed that this vision meant the Lord would call Masneh home.
A special service was held at Masneh’s home in the afternoon of June 23. During the concluding prayer, a sister saw a vision. She saw people walking up to a high place that was shrouded in clouds and mist. They were all dressed in long white robes and appeared to be on their way to a wedding. She saw Masneh dressed in a suit, as if he were the groom. His face was radiant and joyful.
She was comforted by this vision because it convinced her that Masneh was in the most beautiful place.
WAITING FOR US IN HEAVEN
From a human perspective, Masneh’s passing ended a life still in its prime and left many loved ones to deal with his premature death. However, we accept the will of God with faith and thankfulness, for His will is good, pleasing, and perfect (Rom 12:2).
Further, we can find comfort in Revelation 14:13:
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on….that they may rest from
their labors, and their works follow them.”
Masneh’s health would not have permitted him to continue serving the Lord as he was enduring a lot of pain. He accomplished the work that God entrusted to him and is reaping the fruit of his labor. Great is his reward in heaven.
God’s grace is abundant; the love that He showed to Masneh assures us of how He loves everyone in his family. We no longer have Masneh with us, but we did not lose him—he just went ahead of us and is waiting for us in heaven.
We can all find hope and strength from the visions that were seen of his joy at being called back home.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom 15:13)