Straight A's Weren't Good Enough | Heart of God Church

Synopsis: Joshua and Caleb were estranged brothers who thought they could find fulfillment in success. Journey with them to find out what matters more than accolades.

Joshua: 

Hi, I’m Joshua and this is my younger brother, Caleb. 

Caleb: 

Your FAVOURITE brother. 

Joshua: 

My ONLY brother. 

Here’s our story of how God gave us a purpose to live for. When we were younger, our family moved around a lot because of our father’s job.We lived in Singapore, Taiwan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Each time we had to move, I dreaded it. I had to leave all my friends and start all over. I started to feel that there was no point in building deep relationships, since they wouldn’t last anyway. I chose not to share my struggles with anyone. Gradually, I desensitized myself from my emotions and shut down on the inside. Instead, I poured my time into doing well in school.

Caleb: 

While Josh detached himself from people in school, I made many friends. To them I was always the happy and carefree one. But at home, my relationship with Josh was terrible. We didn’t care about each other at all. We could go up to months without saying a word to each other. We were like 2 strangers living under the same roof.

It didn’t help that people always compared me to Josh. I often felt I was living under his shadow. He was the Head Prefect, the Captain of the Debate Team, and the Editor-in-chief for the school’s newspaper. For his International Baccalaureate which is a university entrance exam, he scored 44/45. That qualified him for most Ivy League universities. I studied very hard too…and I scored 43/45. Josh scored one point more than me. But at least I’m taller than him! My only consolation was that I was the captain of the school’s soccer team but he was not. But no matter what I did, every night before I slept, my heart felt empty. Deep down, I felt restless and purposeless. 

Joshua: 

Yet all this time, God was looking out for us. When I was 19, my friend Qilin invited me to Heart of God Church! On my first visit, I was blown away by the faith and joy in this place. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Even when I went home that day, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had experienced during service. Also, everyone I met in church was so genuine and welcoming. Even though I was so indifferent towards them, they still went above and beyond to include me and love me. I kept wondering how they could give so freely without expecting anything in return. There could only be one explanation for all this — God had to be real. So in one service, I decided to become a Christian! 

Every day, I set aside time to pray, worship and read the Bible. Just like how I had worked hard in school for my achievements, I thought that I had to work hard to encounter God. But once, God spoke to me, “Joshua, there is nothing you can do to make Me love you more or less.” That moment, love flooded my heart. I couldn’t stop tearing. I finally understood I didn’t have to earn God’s love – because He loves me for who I am. The love of God was so real to me that I wanted to bring it to everyone I knew! The first person I thought of was Caleb.

Caleb:

Suddenly, Josh became a completely different person! He was buying gifts for the family and helping with household chores…He even texted me to ask if I needed help with my schoolwork. At first, I thought he was trying to sabotage my work, but he really meant it! What happened to Josh??? He told me he was going to church, and I was curious so I tagged along for a service. When I came, the first thing that struck me was the atmosphere. I had never seen young people so passionate about God before. So I kept coming back to church. I felt the warmth and presence of God in service, so I gave my life to Jesus!

Joshua: 

When I heard that Caleb became a Christian, I was so happy! I had been praying every night that he would encounter God. I dreamt that one day, we would serve God together.

Caleb: 

The first time I heard from God was in a service. God told me that I could be sure of my destiny in Him. That moment, I realised that God is not a faraway figure. He is my Father and He could speak to me!Also, when I saw how our church champions young people, my heart was so stirred. As I began leading and taking care of some 13 to 16 year old youths, I felt so much joy! I want to continue to play a part in loving and building the next generation. Nothing fills my heart more than helping make their dreams turn into reality. 

Joshua:

In one service, Pastor How prayed that Caleb and I would use our talents to do great things for God. Through that, we had faith for bigger dreams and started to serve in church in a greater way. Right now, I’m one of the leaders in the Sermon Design ministry, where we design the slides shown in services. I didn’t have any skills when I first joined the ministry, but Ps Lia personally trained me to lead a team. I also help to run the Heart of God Church Experience, where Pastors and leaders from other countries come to our church to learn from us!

Caleb: 

As for me, I rose up to be a leader in the Photography Ministry and a key leader in the youth zones, leading 50 youths!

I dream to one day lead a zone of a few hundred youths. Also, Josh and I were part of the team that ran our church’s Strong Church Conference Hong Kong. It was so significant because that was the city we grew up in! We shared our testimony in Cantonese to hundreds of Pastors and leaders. We were so touched to see how God could use us to change the world – together! 

Joshua: 

While Caleb and I are so different, we now share the same passion and vision to live for God and others. Our parents are also in church with us, worshipping God! We are so thankful to God for changing our lives and giving us a purpose to live for.

Caleb: 

Now, we’re not just brothers, but trench buddies on the same team. Team Jesus! We know that in God, the future is going to be amazing

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