Family, Health, Meaning of Life, Work & Money

At the height of his real estate career, demons tormented him. Then, a miracle saved him

By Janice Tai , 2 January 2024

Though he only entered the real estate industry when he was 30 years old, Melvin Chua quickly rose from rookie to top manager and top 10 leader in sales.

The ambitious man’s take home pay was easily $20,000 to $30,000 – or even $200,000 – a month.

Melvin was no stranger to picking up awards and accolades throughout his career in real estate.

After becoming ERA’s senior executive division director, Melvin eventually set up his own company.

He wanted to conquer the overseas market and made real estate investments in China, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Sunday Christian

His career blossomed, but other aspects of his life took a backseat.

His marriage suffered when he had an affair shortly after he got married.

He spent little time with his three young children, but justified it by feeling proud that he was bringing in the dough.

Melvin and Lily were married in 1996.

Melvin Chua

Melvin incorporated an ERA real estate agency business in Beijing in 2008.

He was also a leader in a faith that he grew up with, and rose from member to chairman of a religious organisation.

“They wanted me because I was successful in my career and had the relevant connections,” Melvin, now 57, said in Mandarin.

“However, I quickly became disillusioned when I witnessed issues like cheating and deception.”

He left the religious body when he was 40 years old. 

“The religious body wanted me because I was successful in my career and had the relevant connections.”

One colleague, who noticed that Melvin seemed to struggle with a darkness, took him to a Christian gathering at the Singapore Expo, where a pastor from overseas was speaking.

Being Mandarin educated, Melvin did not really understand the sermon in English. But he found himself standing up and responding to the call to invite Jesus into his life. 

“I didn’t understand what I did.

“So when my colleague gave me a Bible and said I was now a Christian, I brushed him away. I did not see myself as a believer,” said Melvin.

His wife, who is a Christian, was happy. She encouraged him to accompany her to church.

Melvin on holiday with his family.

Melvin became an occasional “Sunday Christian” who dropped off their children in Sunday School.

“I would go with my wife to church, especially on special occasions like Good Friday or Christmas.

“But I didn’t understand much about the faith,” he admitted.

Miraculous escape

When he was 47 years old, Melvin and his family were involved in a road crash in Malaysia in the dark of the night.

He didn’t see what hit his car. It was a miracle that his family escaped unscathed. 

“A passing car from Singapore happened to pick us up that night and carried us to safety,” he said.

Melvin decided to get baptised after that.

He said: “I knew God had saved us.”

But he admitted: “I also continued living life as if I did not believe in Him.

“I still frequented unsavoury massage parlours, watched pornography and gambled.”

He also continued to throw himself into his career.

Tripped by an invisible force

At age 50, Melvin sold his house and went into a joint venture with renowned developers to set up his own company.

In August 2016, his company hosted an important event to sell property and raise funds for a real estate investment project overseas.

“My blood brothers in my nightmares approached me one after another to tell me to commit suicide.”

When he entered the hotel ballroom for the rehearsal just before the function, “something invisible tripped up both of my legs at the same time”.

“I fell headlong onto the table in front of me. I hit my head and went about the rest of the day in a daze,” he said.

During the event, he went onstage to sign a memorandum, but did not know what he was signing.

Later, he discovered that his father – who was about to drive Melvin’s wife to the event – had a serious quarrel with her at that very same time.

Melvin with his family in 2016, the year he turned 50.

“From then on, I was not myself,” recalled Melvin.

“I couldn’t give instructions at work and was full of fears. I began experiencing demons which disturbed me.

“Looking back, it was the start of a period of intense spiritual warfare,” he said.

Disturbed by demons

Melvin started being able to see into the spirit realm and saw ugly demons all around him. 

When he went to bed, he had the same nightmare for seven nights in a row.

Unable to sleep and tormented by the demons, he was so frustrated that he broke all the furniture at home.

He dreamt about participating in the rituals and processions of his previous religion. In his dreams, they took on a frightening sheen.

“In the nightmares, I saw my blood brothers who had either died early or had committed suicide,” he said.

“They approached me one after another to tell me to also commit suicide.

“In the day, I also heard their voices urging me to kill myself or jump off a building.”

Melvin and these men from his previous religion had established brotherly ties by drinking each other’s blood. 

Melvin often left the house to hide so that he wouldn’t hurt his family and children.

Melvin also felt angry and violent all the time.

“I could not control myself from being violent. It was as if I was possessed,” he said.

Unable to sleep and tormented by the demons, he was so frustrated that he broke all the furniture at home.

Horrified by his own behaviour, Melvin often left the house so that he wouldn’t hurt his family and children.

He also tried to numb his fears with alcohol.

Melvin and his family on a holiday a few years before he started being harassed by demons.

When Melvin did not return home for several nights, his wife called the police.

Melvin’s father and two policemen went to look for him at the HDB coffeeshop that he frequented.

“My father could not see me. It was as if I was isolated in another spiritual world.” 

“I was sitting at my usual corner, drinking, when I saw them,” recalled Melvin.

“So I shouted for my father but he walked past me as if he could not see or hear me.

“When I went back home later that night, he said he could not find me at all.

“It was as if I was in another spiritual world or I was isolated by some power.” 

Strangle and struggle

Noticing that he was not his usual self, Melvin’s wife took him to a psychiatrist.

The doctor, who had more than 40 years of experience, told Melvin’s wife: “If he isn’t admitted to a hospital immediately, he is going to hurt himself.”

Hearing this, Melvin ran to the toilet to hide.

“I know I am not mentally ill or depressed. Doctors assumed that I was experiencing hallucinations caused by high work pressure or trauma.

“But I was very aware that the oppression was spiritual,” he explained.

Melvin was admitted to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in September 2016.

However, his wife persuaded him to have himself checked into hospital to have himself checked out.

On the first night of his stay in hospital, he saw a horned demon coming to take his life.

“I felt the attack physically and knew it was not a hallucination.”

“I could only see it in the mirror and it strangled my neck. I could not breathe and started to struggle in my bed wildly,” Melvin recalled.

Nurses heard the commotion and four of them rushed in.

They were afraid by what was occurring but could not see what was terrorising him. They tied up his limbs and confiscated items around him that he may have used to hurt himself. They also strapped an oxygen mask on him to help him breathe.

After a week, Melvin’s condition did not improve. He was given anti-anxiety medication and discharged.

“I felt the attack physically and knew it was not a hallucination.

Nurses were afraid by what was occurring but could not see what was terrorising him

“I have never experienced anything like that in my life. It was very scary and disturbing.

“I knew that the idols I once believed in wanted me to go back to my previous religion, or they would harass me until I died or took my own life,” Melvin said.

During this period that he was oppressed by demons, Melvin was unable to go to work as he could not function well. His businesses, however, continued running as usual.

Day and night, Melvin drove around aimlessly. He was traumatised by the spirits he was seeing and did not want to them disturb his family at home.

A rainbow at 4am

On the 48th night after the oppression first started, Melvin was at his breaking point.

He was hiding out at East Coast Park when he saw a row of demons taunting him to drown himself in the sea. 

Desperate, he rushed back to his car.

He was hiding at East Coast Park when he saw demons taunting him to drown himself in the sea.

Shouting to God repeatedly from the driver’s seat, he said: “If you are real, Jesus, please come and save me.” 

He couldn’t remember what happened next. But when he woke up, he found himself on the sandy beach. His clothes were wet.

He reached for his mobile phone and saw that it was 3.30am on September 22, 2016.

It was then that he became aware that all the oppression, hatred and anger that he felt in his heart was gone.

In their place was peace, love and calmness.

“I felt a peace, and God spoke to my heart in that moment,” said Melvin. The voice came as impression.

“It said: ‘Go to the sea and be baptised again’,” Melvin recalled.

He obeyed and walked into the water and leaned forward, immersing himself in it.

When he stood up from the water and looked at the dark 4am sky above, he saw a bright rainbow. 

When it disappeared, the rainbow was replaced by an English word that he was not too familiar with: Justice.

“It was not a vision. It was so real and beautiful,” recalled Melvin.

He became aware that all the oppression, hatred and anger that he felt in his heart was gone.

“I didn’t know what it all meant but I just enjoyed those moments in God’s presence. I felt really blessed that God met me in this way.” 

Then, he heard God speak to him for the first time. It came as an audible voice.

“You can go back home now,” God said to him.

He returned home and told his wife all that had happened.

Looking at his wet clothes, she assumed that her husband had tried to commit suicide and was simply relieved to have him back.

What truly matters

That night, Melvin had the best sleep in months.

“I understood that Jesus had rescued me from the deep valley of darkness and death and brought me to light and life,” he recalled.

“I had no ability to change my situation or protect myself. But He came when I called upon Him and I am grateful.”

“I had no ability to change my situation or protect myself. But God came when I called upon Him.”

Melvin’s church friends took him for prayers to free him from the demonic spirits that were oppressing him.

“I began to understand how real spiritual warfare is,” he said.

“I also became very excited to share about God’s with my friends, and with the security guards and cleaners in my estate.” 

As he learnt more about the Christian faith, God gave him a vision that he would one day stand on stage to preach His Word to many. 

He told God: “I am not worthy. Who am I, God, to be a preacher or evangelist?” 

Nonetheless, he bought a bilingual Bible and studied God’s Word more seriously.

He drove to the beach – now his favourite place to meet God ­– to read it but did not know where to start.

East Coast Park became one of Melvin’s favourite places to meet with God.

He prayed for guidance and when he opened the book, it opened to the Book of Ecclesiastes.

“Meaningless, meaningless. Everything is meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

He did not understand what he was reading.

“All my previous hard work and yearning to make money and have fame were in vain.”

He prayed for God’s Spirit to help him.

When he read the verse again, its truth began sinking in. Tears flowed down his face.

“All my previous hard work and yearning to make money and have fame were in vain,” he said.

“Only what is eternal ­– our repentance, salvation and Word of God – is important.”

Declaring bankruptcy

Melvin returned to work with newfound purpose.

After his life-changing encounters, he told his employees that his company name MCG – which was short for “Melvin Chua Group” – now meant “Manifest Christ’s Glory”.

Melvin Chua

Melvin’s real estate agency MCG came to stand for “Manifest Christ’s Glory” after divine encounters freed him from dark spirits.

Some of his workers did not take well to the news and left the company. 

They felt that their once ambitious leader was now distracted.

Instead of relying on his talents and cunning to chase after money, Melvin now preferred to spend time praying in office. 

“Having God in my life, I thought my career would go smoothly and prosper,” he admitted.

“Even if I were to lose everything – wealth, connections, reputation and credibility – I still have a true God who would never leave me.”

However, the opposite happened.

Many of his employees left the company, sales and performance plummeted, and Melvin had difficulty paying staff salaries and rental of the office space.

His previous partners whom he had groomed and mentored left him.

In 2020 when the Covid pandemic hit, Melvin closed down all of his 10 companies and declared bankruptcy. His family had to rely on Government and community handouts to get by.

“It was a very difficult time. But I knew that even if I were to lose everything that came with my past life – wealth, connections, reputation and credibility – I still have a true God who would never leave me,” he said.

He believes the significance of the rainbow and the word “justice” that appeared to him on the darkest night of his life was God’s promise to restore all he has lost.

Solace in taxi driving

As he prayed about his finances, Melvin felt God leading him to become a taxi driver.

“I was very unwilling. There was no status in this and I had always worked in an office.

Melvin Chua

Melvin found comfort in driving a taxi for 42 months. 

“Instead, I had to be in the taxi for more than 10 hours a day, earning very little,” said Melvin, who cried every day in the taxi.

But he found that in between ferrying passengers, he had a private space to pray, sing worship songs and read the Bible.

Melvin Chua

Long hours in the cab meant that Melvin had a private space to spend more time with God.

“It was a training ground for me. Being a taxi driver humbled me and also gave me the opportunity to share my testimony and about God with my passengers,” said Melvin.

During his three years as a taxi driver, his sharing moved three regular passengers, whom he drove every weekday. They became Christians.

In 2023, he stopped driving the taxi in order to attend Tung Ling Bible School.

He hopes to further his studies in theology so that he can be better equipped to share God’s love with others.

He has since gone to the jungles of West Kalimantan to help the children there.

Melvin prayed for a boy in Indonesia to be healed before giving him a massage to ease his pain.

Upon his return from Indonesia, Melvin has been visiting nursing homes and hospitals with a pastor to pray for and share the good news about Christ with the elderly and the sick.

“Even though I have lost everything, I have gained Him and a new dream,” said Melvin.

“After what I have been through, I hope to share about God with people overseas through mission trips.”

This is an excerpt of a story that first appeared in Salt&Light.

If you would like to know more about Jesus, click here to find a church near you.


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