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Enson & Priscilla: A rebellious boy and precarious girl meet a God who never gives up on people

A revolution of rebellion, divine elevator exchange and an unforgettable God encounter would be the perfect way to sum up the lives of Enson Soo and Priscilla Teh so far. 

The married couple, who will be celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary this year, have lived a story worth telling — a testament of a loving Father whose ways are higher than ours, and only in retrospect do we see His gentle hands at work.

“When we got married, Enson was not a Christian and I was a Sunday Christian, very easily influenced by the things of the world,” Priscilla says.

How God brought them together is remarkable in itself, but how God has been working in each of them through the years is where His glory shines brightest. 

A childhood filled with risk, ruckus and rebellion 

Priscilla, who grew up in a Christian home, went through a rebellious phase as a teenager and lost interest in her faith as a young adult. However, she always felt a divine presence holding her back from going astray.

“Looking back, I know it was God who was always with me, preventing me from making even worse choices. I vividly remember one incident: I was out with my girlfriends in Hartamas after a night of partying when we had a car accident at 2 am. The other driver was furious, and it was only by divine timing that passers-by came to our rescue. I know it was God protecting me,” she reflects.

On the other hand, Enson, now 41, was raised in a strict Buddhist family. He recalls faint memories of Christian relatives trying to share the Gospel with his family, but these discussions often resulted in heated arguments.

When Enson was 12 years old, his parents separated, which deeply affected him. His mother, who was now a single mother dealing with her own struggles, didn’t have the time or capacity to handle a confused teenage boy. Enson’s freedoms were restricted, and he was forced to spend most nights studying by his tiger mom.

“I started acting out in school, engaging in smoking, fights, and skipping classes until I was eventually expelled. My mother then enrolled me in SMK Taman Yarl when I was 14, and that’s where I first met Priscilla,” he shares.

Enson’s rebellious behaviour escalated at his new school. 

“There, I started drinking and doing drugs, vandalism, stealing bicycles, and motorcycles, breaking car windows for fun, running away from home, and trading illegal substances to fund my habits. There were a few run-ins with the police as well,” he remembers. 

A rekindled friendship that led to love

Although Enson and Priscilla were in the same school for a period of time, they did not become friends until Christmas 1997, when Enson and his friends decided to visit a church in hopes of spotting pretty girls. 

“I went to church that night and my friend who was Priscilla’s classmate introduced her to me. I called her that very night. We started hanging out at 15 years old, and became good friends over time,” he says. 

However, Enson’s truancy and unruly behaviour at school eventually caught up to him and at 16 years old, he was again expelled. 

“After that, we grew apart and eventually lost contact,” says Priscilla. It was nearly a decade later when a mutual friend from school, Gavin, bumped into Priscilla in the elevator of her office building and casually remarked that he was still in touch with Enson. 

Gavin gave Enson her number, and the couple reconnected. A year later, they got hitched and their firstborn Zachary came into their lives. 

“When Zachary was born, I decided that we have to go to church because I remembered my childhood and wanted to raise our children in the Christian faith,” Priscilla says.

Through a divine encounter in an elevator, Enson and Priscilla reconnected after years and a year later, they tied the knot.

“When Daddy dies, he won’t go to heaven” 

Enson and Priscilla began looking for a church but failed to find one they could call home. They struggled for several years, and Enson’s experiences in the past had also turned him against Christianity so he often had something to say about the churches they visited.

“I was struggling to find a church where I felt a sense of belonging, I was just not getting anything out of the services. It was only when Zachary was around five years old that Priscilla shared an exchange she had with him,” he says. 

“I had a conversation with Zachary, and he was telling me that when Enson dies, we would not get to see him in heaven. “Daddy is not a Christian, but we are all Christians. So when Daddy dies, he won’t go to heaven,” Zachary said.” 

Startled and affected by his son’s remarks, it lingered in the back of Enson’s mind but at the time, he was occupied by challenges at work. 

“One night, Pris just said, “Why not try talking to God?” It had never occurred to me, but I realised that I was trying to fix everything in my own strength and was burning out. So I locked myself in my son’s room, went down on my knees and began speaking to God from my heart. That was the first time I truly expressed all that was within me,” he says. 

After an hour or two, he found himself in tears. It was his first God encounter, a breakthrough for a man whose family did not encourage self-expression, and whose father had constantly admonished him for showing his ‘weaknesses’.

Transformed by an encounter with the Holy Spirit

A year later, Enson and Priscilla began attending Holy Trinity Bukit Bintang (HTBB), an Anglican church in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Enson tried attending the Alpha Series, but nothing stuck. 

In 2016, Priscilla encouraged him to try the Alpha Film series and before he knew it, Enson was looking forward to the Wednesday night meet-ups. 

“Pris and her grandmother had told me about praying in tongues before; I was curious but didn’t really believe such things could happen,” Enson says. 

But God was working in the doubtful heart. At the Alpha Weekend Getaway, the worship leader encouraged those in the room to trust in the Holy Spirit and pray from their hearts. 

“Before I knew it, I was praying in tongues and worshipping. Again, I started crying and broke down. It was one of the most powerful encounters I have had with God. I had never really believed in all these things, but God became so real to me. I could sense chains being broken within me, a feeling of release and the sense of God working in me. I felt His love that very day.”

Since then, Priscilla has observed a big change in her husband. 

“He used to rage about everything — hungry, tired, even just a car parked at the side of the road he’d rage over. You say one wrong thing, he raged. But now, he doesn’t rage anymore. There’s no need for me to watch what I say, we’re all more comfortable around him,” she shares.

After meeting God in his son’s room, and then encountering the Holy Spirit at an Alpha Weekend Getaway, Enson experienced freedom. His marriage and relationships with his children began to improve.

Parenting deepened their relationship with God

The couple’s journey back to God was catalysed by the birth of their son, and today, they realise how much the parenting experience has been a part of their faith journey.

Priscilla remembers being so unprepared for motherhood despite the many books she devoured prior to Zachary’s birth. Her pregnancy journey (for all three children) was marred by constant mood swings, affecting her relationship with Enson. 

“It hadn’t occurred to me that my life [as I knew it before] was really over. The house was tense; Enson and I argued often,” the mother of three shares. 

It’s been a long journey for Enson, who grew up in a strict household that did not tolerate tears and meltdowns. He remembers how Zachary’s cries would stress him out, and often used work as an excuse to stay away from the home. 

“I wasn’t prepared to be a father when Zachary came, and because of my strict upbringing, I found it difficult to be open and vulnerable,” Enson says. Priscilla’s mood swings also meant a loss of intimacy on every level.

But with a newfound desire to know Jesus better, Enson began studying the Bible and spending time in God’s presence in search of ways to be a better father. With Zander, it was easier and when Zara came along, he found the journey much smoother. He candidly says he’s now more patient, loving and unafraid of allowing his children to be a part of his life. 

As for Priscilla, she’s learned simply to let go of the desire for control. 

“I very much like to be in control; when I fold paper, the lines must meet. Parenting has taught me not to expect perfection, and that things are beyond my control. It has taught me to depend on God more than ever before. I’m much cooler now, listening first before reacting, not jumping the gun so quickly,” she says with a laugh. 

Only God can turn lives around for His glory

Enson and Priscilla’s lives can’t help but point to Jesus. It is a story of a redemptive God who kept a girl — drawn to the ways of the world — set apart for His purposes; and of a broken, rebellious boy He simply never gave up on.

Today, Enson runs a business in the firefighting industry. From a young man who entered seven tertiary institutions and “still came out with nothing”, God has restored him to a place of fulfilment and dignity. 

“God caused this change [in me],” Enson says firmly. “I speak to Him throughout the day, I see Him as a father and good friend. We’re still human, prone to temptations and sin, but now whenever I want to react negatively, I hold back and remember that my Father is watching me. I’m not here to please anyone, just my Father in Heaven. The fear and love I have for Him is what drives me today.”

In the past, Enson would strive to solve business problems by himself but now leans more on God. “Being still and knowing that He is God (Exodus 40:14) helps me. When we’re so restless, we tend to make wrong decisions. Now, I’m learning to pray, surrender and let Him take charge,” he reflects. 

Priscilla is currently working with St. Paul’s Theological College and clings to Philippians 4:8 as a guide in life. It’s a checklist, she says, to keep her mind clear and focused on the things that really matter. 

“When I face struggles, I tend to mentally escape. I read fantasy books, just to not be here. But now with Philippians 4:8, I check every thought against it. Is this thought true? Is this honourable, or right? If I hit a no, I stop thinking about it. It helps with my mental health, knowing I can still be present in my situation and be alright.” 

Asked how they would like to be remembered, they pause for a few minutes.

“The person who loves God with all her heart,” says Priscilla finally, looking at Enson. “For me, it’s that I was someone who was lost, but then I was found,” he says.

Today, Enson and Priscilla love the Lord wholeheartedly and hope to live their lives for His glory.

Alpha is an effective form of evangelism when done by and through the local church. By focusing on the essentials of the Christian faith, it opens the door for Alpha to be used in almost any context so that everyone has the opportunity to see their friends’ lives transformed by the gospel. Churches are now able to run the Alpha sessions online through various video conferencing platforms. To find out more, click here.

You can also watch Enson & Priscilla’s story by Alpha Asia Pacific here.

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