SHANDONG, CHINA – Ma and Ren are two of the most actively serving members in Hong’en Church (or Abundant Grace) of Shandong Province, China. Beset by severe medical conditions, and driven to despair, both women turned to the Lord. Through faith and prayer, they learnt to put their trust in God. Today, Ma and Ren are healthy and actively serving in the church.
20 years ago, a pregnant 28-year-old Ma received the devastating news that her six-month-old unborn baby would not survive the pregnancy.
Ma thought to herself: “Why would this happen to me? What do I do?”
Ma’s mother comforted her: ‘Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.’ (Psalms 127:3 ESV). As desperation filled her, Ma followed her mother to church. Broken, she surrendered her heart to Christ. Miraculously, three months later, Ma gave birth to a healthy son.
Ma knew God had revealed His grace and faithfulness. She continued to witness His works in her life through her journey in growing in Christ and His word.
Her mother had dedicated Ma to the Lord when the latter first became a Christian in her younger days, praying that she would one day serve the Lord full-time. Ma was very resistant to her mother’s prayer of dedication. “I won’t be able to work and earn a living for my family if I serve God in His church!”. However, in 2008, her resistance slowly gave way to His unstoppable promptings and Word. She promised her mother that she would serve the Lord full-time when the construction of a new family home was completed. Through the Lord’s providence, Ma’s house was completed sooner than she ever thought possible.
To add to her joy, her husband also came to believe in Jesus. The Lord had taken care of all her needs. It was time for her to fulfil her commitment to Him. Ma surrendered and offered herself to full-time ministry as a lay preacher.
Ren had been diagnosed with Dermatomyositis at the age of 11. This rare condition is characterized by chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness. A family member shared the gospel with Ren and her family, ‘…What is impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27 ESV).’ Through the Word of God, in the Gospels, Ren and her family were led to accept the Lord.
Through the Lord’s healing hand, Ren was cured completely of the medical condition, and was even able to continue and complete formal education. She found love, got married and three years later, was blessed with a daughter. Her business venture in the food and beverage industry was successful too. Everything was going well.
A health scare in 2009 shook Ren’s world. She had been diagnosed with colon rectal cancer. At the first consultation, after medical tests and examinations, the doctors suggested surgery to treat her condition. But Ren’s mother had reminded her to first turn to the Lord. Day and night, she and her family prayed earnestly. She sought a second opinion from a different medical team, and miraculously, no trace of cancerous cells was found! Once again, Ren experienced the divine hand of God and His healing.
Eleven years on, Ren continues to give her time to His service in leading the church members in the Word and in praise and worship. She is assured by the Lord of His faithfulness- “You are sound in health, finance and family. I have even blessed you with a child”.
Story: Nathanael Xiao and Elaine Ho
Photo: UBS CP
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