Meet Lego enthusiast Gene, the man behind the David and Goliath comic book characters and setting pieces. Read how his passion for building Lego started. Be encouraged by his journey to reach others through his gift.
“When I see an object, I know which Lego parts to use to build it.” But it was only later on in life when 37-year-old Gene Tan was asked to conduct workshops for children that he realized his ability to build anything he wanted from Lego pieces was not something everyone had.
Today, the private tutor is affectionately known by one of the schools whom he has customized Lego pieces for as a “master builder”—a term used in the popular Lego movie last year to refer to creative individuals who can build detailed sculptures.
Gene’s love for Lego pieces started as a child after his dad introduced the popular line of construction toys to him. Without needing to follow the instructions, Gene was able to build spaceships and space shuttles from individual pieces effortlessly. His very first customization of a Lego piece happened in his childhood after he watched a show called “Renegade.” He ended up painting his white Lego bike black with flames to mimic the main character’s mode of transportation.
It was a passion that continued well into his teens and adulthood. He has since customized miniature figurines and building sets for school anniversary events, as well as miniature models of iconic places in his country in his own attempt to “rebuild history.”
One day, God impressed on him to build the battle scene between David and Goliath using pieces from his existing Lego collection. His photographs of the iconic scene on Facebook caught the YMI team’s attention and Gene soon found himself invited to collaborate with YMI on a David and Goliath comic book project. It didn’t take much persuasion. Gene saw this as an opportunity to spread God’s Word. “He has given me all this talent to do what I’m doing, this is a way I can give back, besides tithing,” he shared self-effacingly.
Despite having achieved success and recognition for his work, Gene shared that his life had not always been smooth-sailing. Having had to face financial difficulty in his earlier days and later on sleep deprivation and exhaustion in a bid to meet the demands of his clients, Gene considers his life “blessed” but not without hardships.
But he is not complaining. Gene firmly believes that challenges are important components of life because they teach us to depend on God.“I rather this life be a struggle, than to have it smooth,” he said without any hint of bitterness.
As to his end goal in life, Gene’s simple wish is to continue down the path he is currently on. He said: “Personally, I do hope I can continue to build memories for people, and connect somehow with them, to bless them. I wish to continue to build impressions that God has placed in my heart.”
Download the David and Goliath comic HERE!
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