How could I define hope and purpose in my life if after death I would simply not exist?” Eric Lee asked himself.
Uncertain health and a sisterly
challenge drove Eric Lee to seriously investigate if the Christmas story is
fact or fraud
Born into a Malaysian family, Eric Lee cannot remember a time when spiritual
beliefs were not important to him, and this was first evident in his childhood
ambition to become a monk.
“I had always wondered where I would go after death, and searched for
spiritual fulfilment,” he says.
At the age of 15, he moved to Melbourne to study. He continued to be a devoted
to his religion, but he felt strangely empty, like something was
“I knew there was something lacking in my life — I just
wasn’t sure what it was,” he explains.
One Christmas day, when Eric was 22, he sat down to watch a Santa movie on TV.
He ended up watching a documentary that claimed to prove that Jesus was only a
“I was happy to watch it after my many bitter experiences with
Christians trying to convert me,” he admits. “I concluded the
documentary to be informative and utterly truthful.”
Two weeks later, he went home for a visit. His sister, who, he found out, had
only just become a Christian, gave him a Bible to read.
“I rejected the idea firmly, with no hesitation,” he says.
“But before she left me alone, she said, ‘You should not judge
anything before investigating it yourself.’”
Her words stuck with him.
returning to Australia, a few months later, a doctor informed Eric that he had
a potential health problem, and would need to undergo some tests. In the end,
everything was fine, but the period of waiting all alone in Australia for the
results was very difficult and depressing for Eric. This started him
“I started asking questions about life and, in particular, death. As an
adherent of an Eastern religion, I’d learnt of reincarnation and karma.
To be enlightened and in order to obtain inner peace, I would strive to do
good deeds and abolish selfish desire. However, I knew that something was
lacking,” Eric explains.
One evening, while watching some religious teaching, Eric was struck by
something. The founding spiritual teacher of his religion had never proclaimed
to be the creator of the world.
“If this revered teacher was not the creator,” Eric wondered,
“then who was? How could I be assured I would be reincarnated after
death? Or should I accept the view that there is no creator and no life after
death? How could I define hope and purpose in my life if after death I would
simply not exist?”
Eric met up with a Christian friend the next day.
“She had never tried converting me, so I thought it
would be safe to ask her why she believes in Jesus,” Eric says.
“Her eyes sparkled and she replied promptly, ‘I believe because I
know He is the God who created us and loves us.’. It was a simple reply,
which I did not understand, but I saw something in her faith that gave her
hope and strength that I had never seen before.”
Eric began to think that maybe his sister was right, and he should investigate
Christianity. A few weeks later, he went on a Christian camp. Preparation for
this camp required the camper to read one of the books of the Bible.
“It was my first time reading the book,” he admits. “And I
felt that God was speaking right into my soul! I started to read other books,
and the more I investigated, the more I was convinced that Jesus is God the
Son, who died on a cross, and was resurrected from death to set us
A few months later, Eric knew he needed to surrender His life to Jesus Christ,
to trust in Him as the one who was the substitute for the penalty of his sin
After this he says he felt God did not want him to just keep quiet about his
new life, but share it with others by being involved in missions.
In 2006 he moved to Melbourne, to take up a position as an assistant director
at Monash University.
Eric found a church there where he could serve and grow, and ultimately began
to be involved in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to international
“Life takes many unexpected turns,” Eric says. “Around that
time my parents informed me that they too had become Christians and we took a
very special trip to Jerusalem together.”
Courtesy Warcry magazine of the Salvation Army