God’s grace on my elderly parents
Ann Yeow – Singapore
This is about my elderly father. In October 1995, my dad was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. The cancer was already between the third and fourth stage(an advanced stage). The doctor prescribed 35 sessions of radiotherapy for him, from late November to first week of January 1996. The doctor also warned us that from the third week of the therapy onward, my dad would not be able to take any solid food, he would have to be fed intravenously. Moreover, they might have to make an opening at the base of his throat for him to breathe. My siblings and I were very sad that our dad, who was in his eighties, had to suffer. We were not sure if he could take the pain.
I thank God for answering my prayer. My dad did not suffer any side effects.
In my sadness and worry, I asked the church to pray for my dad. I did not inform my parents of my request because they were idol-worshipers. I prayed to God to have mercy on my parents and let them receive His salvation. I also prayed that my dad would not have to suffer the side-effects of radiotherapy. I was told by many that these could be terrible. For instance, patients would have difficulty eating. Even soft oats had to be pureed. My sister-in-law’s uncle, who suffered from an early stage of cancer, refused to go for therapy after the fourth session as it always gave him pain. But I thank God for answering my prayer. My dad did not suffer any side effects. At home after each therapy session, he could still potter around his plants. Sometimes he would cross the overhead bridge nearby his house to go shopping, or take strolls around the town centre with my mum. He did not look like one suffering an advanced stage of cancer.
After completing the course of therapy, the doctor examined him and found that the growth had become dormant. It was then that I told my parents about the grace and love of God and how He had helped my father even though my father did not know Him. However, because my siblings and I never told him the seriousness of his illness, my dad was a little skeptical that it was God’s grace which had helped him. I then told him the truth about his illness. He was very quiet for a while and then he started asking about God.
My siblings and I speak English at home. Though I’m a Cantonese Chinese, I have limited knowledge of my own dialect. I knew that sharing the gospel of Christ with my parents was going to be quite a task for me. So I prayed. I asked God to be my spokesperson and to guide me as I preached to them. Thanks and praise be to our Lord, I was able to explain how God created the universe, why He had to incarnate as a human being and why He had to suffer and die on the cross. My parents started attending Sabbath services with me. However, I could see that my dad did not totally believe. In my parents’ house, there was an altar for my grandfather. My parents felt that converting to Christianity would make them unfilial. I realised that years of upholding the Chinese tradition of ancestor worship could not be so easily discontinued. So I prayed again. This time I told God that there was only so much I could to explain about His gospel and saving grace. Furthermore, my mum, who is in her seventies, is illiterate and so cannot read the bible. I asked God to show them that He exists and that He is the only one and living God.
I asked God to show them that He exists and that He is the only one and living God.
After every Sabbath service, a few members and ministers would approach my dad and inquire about his health. On one particular Sabbath service, when members inquired about his health, my dad answered that he was feeling very well. He continued to explain that ever since he started drinking the “Lingzhi” herbal drink, his coughing had stopped and he was able to sleep well at night. Each time a member asked about his health, he would give the same answer. But that night, he coughed so much that he could not sleep. The next day, he could neither eat nor sleep. His throat was very swollen. He could not even drink water. My parents began to wonder why this problem had cropped up now when it hadn’t during the therapy, despite the doctor’s warnings. They finally realised that it was dur to what my father had said the day before. Instead of giving glory to God, he had given all the credit to the “Lingzhi” herb. My parents then knelt down to pray and asked for mercy and forgiveness from God. They prayed for about five or six times that day. The swelling subsided and my dad was about to eat and drink. I was unaware of the whole incident until my mother telephoned me that evening. She explained what had happened and that they now fully believed that God truly exists and that He is true. I then told her how I had asked God to show them that He exists. Thanks and praise be to God my parents received baptism on 30 June 1996.
However, after his baptism, my father had a relapse. The doctor advised that he undergo surgery to remove the growth as well as his larynx. This was to ensure that the tumor would not spread. Thank God, depsite my father’s age, the operation went smoothly and during this difficult period, my father experienced the warmth and care of our members. They would visit him at the hospital and pray for him. These made him realise the goodness of being a member of the household of God. Thank God, gradually my father recovered from his operation and regained his health.
Before I end this testimony, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those brothers and sisters who have been praying constantly for my parents; the ministers who visited and are still visiting them and especially the brethren who drove them to church when I had to work. Help from other brethren is very important when we want to share God’s salvation with others and bring them to church. We must work together in the name of our Lord.
May all glory and praise be given to our Lord. Amen.