Hallelujah, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I would like to testify about our family's experiences of God's great love and power.
Stricken Suddenly by a Rare and Life-threatening Disease
In June 1991, my fourteen-year old daughter, Grace, suddenly felt tired and became pale. Since she had always been healthy and rarely fell ill, I was surprised by her condition and took her to see the doctor. The doctor found that her blood count was dangerously low and he immediately transferred her to the state medical center for further tests. The test results showed that Grace had aplastic anemia. This is a rare disease that occurs mostly in young people between the ages of 15 to 30. Even though medical science has attributed the major causes of this disease to chemicals, radiation and viruses, in over 80% of the cases, the exact cause cannot be identified. This disease suppresses or even completely stops the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow, creating severe anemia. This disease is not cancer, but the decreasing red cells in the blood makes it equally, if not more, life-threatening. The doctor explained that although treatment was available, its effectiveness in children was much lower than in adults (approximately 10% to 20% versus 50% respectively).
A Bone Marrow Transplant Was Needed
Nevertheless, Grace remained in the medical center for treatment and the doctor told us that the outcome would be known within two to three weeks. At the same time, a bone marrow match test was conducted on my family members and close relatives in preparation for a bone marrow transplant in the event that the treatment failed. A bone marrow transplant is one of the most expensive and painful medical operations, requiring six months of painful recuperation. At the medical center, Grace's blood had to be extracted daily to test for her response to the treatment, but six weeks later, her condition did not improve. We even consulted the world's leading medical authority in this field, but he could only give us a 50% transplant success rate.
The Calling of God's Love and Mercy
Since Grace had always been very healthy, we believed that her illness might have come with God's goodwill to call us back to Him and to His church. When I came to study in the US, our church had not been established yet. Even now the nearest church is three states away from where we live. So during my stay in the US, I had not been regularly attending church services. In addition, although from time to time we had Bible studies and prayers at home, the rest of my family members had yet to receive baptism and become part of God's family. This in itself was a transgression against God's love and glory. We knew God is love and would forgive us if we sincerely and deeply repented of our transgressions. So during Grace's illness, we prayed long and hard to God daily for His forgiveness, and my family members resolved to receive baptism in His holy name. At the same time we also asked our relatives and church members to pray for us.
Fasting Prayers and the Brethren's Love
At this time, a church minister invited us to attend the forthcoming youth and spiritual convocation in our church in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Through the help and arrangement of our ministers and relatives, we were able to attend despite the doctors' reservations on Grace's condition. At the convocation, we were deeply touched to learn that during the two weeks preceding our arrival, the church had been fasting and praying for us. With so many loving brothers' and sisters' intercession, we believed God would answer their prayers of faith and love. Not only did God not reject us, we also received showers of blessings beyond our greatest expectations. My wife received the most precious Holy Spirit during the first day of fasting prayer. On the second day Grace also received the Holy Spirit. The night before my family was baptized, many church members remained in church after the evening evangelical service to pray beyond midnight for the baptism. During the baptism, both my wife and Grace saw the vision of the blood of Jesus Christ. After the baptism, the paleness in Grace's face and the coldness in her hands disappeared.
We had to return to Mississippi the morning following baptism because Grace still needed weekly transfusions of blood at the medical center. From the airport, we went directly to the medical center for the pre-scheduled test. Miraculously, Grace's blood count actually increased! God had restored her bone marrow's normal production of red blood cells. Having seen God's power, our faith grew stronger and Grace stopped taking the prescribed medicine. Instead, we relied on praying harder everyday, knowing that many brothers and sisters in Christ were doing the same. We continued with our morning fasting prayer for three months. Thank God, Grace's blood count continued to increase and now she has completely recovered.
By the love of God, during these past five years, Grace has been leading a healthy life filled with physical activities. She has also participated in numerous spiritual convocations and seminars, and visited many churches in Taiwan and Hong Kong. She is currently pursuing her university education at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
God—the Greatest Physician
Though we had a belief in God in the past, through Grace's illness we have experienced Him. From this extraordinary incident, there are several points deeply felt by us that we would like to share:
- Our God is the sole source of life. He is also the greatest physician. He created not only all life in the universe, but every cell in our body. Only He has the absolute power and authority to heal all diseases and restore health and life. Believing in Him is the foundation and the beginning of all healing (Jn 11:25; Mt 8:14-16, 9:35).
- Deep and earnest prayer is the foundation of our daily faith and spiritual strength.
- The greatness of God's love and power is beyond human comprehension. If we come to Him with a repentant heart and a sincere, humble faith, He will eventually shower His mercy and grace upon us (Mt 7:7; Lk 15:17-32).
- Our health, peace and achievement come from His blessing. Without it, humans labor in vain. The world's knowledge, wealth and fame are temporary and cannot help when real trouble comes. God and our life of faith are most fundamental and should take priority over everything else (Mt 6:33; Ps127:1).
May all glory, power, and praise be given to our Lord forever. Amen.
Note: The name of the medical center is the University of Mississippi Medical Center Children's Hospital. The doctors are Dr. Jeanette Puller and Dr. Gail Megason.