Two Chinese medical doctors discover God’s love and power during a time of great adversity
I DISCOVERED A GREAT CHANGE IN MY wife, Jenny, when I arrived in the States in December 1993. She had come alone to the States a year earlier as a visiting scholar at a medical school. With the help of Christians in a Chinese Bible study group at the medical school, she accepted Christ as her personal Savior shortly after her arrival.
It was a great joy for me to be able to join her after having been separated for over a year. She had become very confident in all her endeavors. With only a little effort she always seemed able to solve problems. She would comfort and encourage me saying, “God will take care of this. All we need is to exercise our faith in Him and be willing to fulfill His good will.” This was not her! She used to rely heavily on me. But now our positions were just reversed. Not having the faith that she had and being new in these surroundings, I had to rely on her! I respected her and gladly followed her …
But because of decades of atheist education, I still could not accept many accounts in the Bible, especially the miracles. Furthermore, having gone through years of turbulence in China, and knowing the continuing restrictions on religion, I thought I had better avoid additional problems that becoming a Christian could bring. Although I admired Christianity and considered it to be a noble faith, I did not want to embrace it.
Struck With a Crisis
Suddenly Jenny and I were thrown into a real crisis … At 3:00 a.m. on March 14, Jenny suddenly had unbearable pain in her right leg. We knew it was from severe pressure on the nerves caused by herniated disks in her lower back. Being doctors ourselves, we knew very well that in this situation only surgery could relieve her pain.
As her husband, I knew I should be sending her to the best surgeon I could find, but I had no resources for considering surgery. The $560 monthly allowance, which had been granted Jenny as a visiting scholar for 12 months by the Chinese government, had ended in February. I had come on leave without pay. During this transition period before Jenny was to go on to another program arranged by a foundation, we were taking a short vacation and staying with a Christian friend in another area. Having left the medical school and being far from our home in China, we had no income, no savings, and no medical insurance. We also had no neurosurgeon friends in America who could operate on Jenny at low cost.
Watching her clenching her leg in great agony, I felt hopeless. For the first time in my life I truly prayed, silently asking God to relieve her from pain.
Devout Christian friends came to us as soon as they heard of our plight. “Don’t worry about medical expenses. God will take care of that. Jenny needs immediate medical care.” They made the decision for us and right away brought us to a Christian family physician. A shot was given to relieve the pain and arrangements were made with his colleagues to do the operation as soon as possible. A leading neurosurgeon and an excellent anesthesiologist, who is a Christian friend of those helping us, agreed to do it at no cost. Also the lady at the hospital who discussed finances with us was very kind and told us there were ways that financial help might be found.
God’s Blessing Obvious in Our Trial
In the emergency room while waiting for the doctor to arrive our friend suggested we pray, telling me that my prayers as Jenny’s husband are the most important ones. So I prayed aloud for the first time, praying not only for my wife but also for God to help me become a true believer. Others prayed as well. God arranged that this ordeal should begin on the Monday of the week-long Bible and missionary conference of a large church, where hundreds prayed. Eight other church groups, located in three different states, in all more than a thousand Christians, also prayed for us, both for Jenny’s operation and for my salvation. And our almighty God answered their prayers in amazing ways.
In the waiting room during the surgery, I earnestly studied the booklet my Christian friend discussed with me that explained how to become a Christian, and then I prayed the prayer. I decided not to announce my decision until after Jenny awoke from the operation.
After a while, the surgeon came smiling and told me that the surgery went very well. Parts of two ruptured disks were removed and the narrow canal in her vertebrae was widened to relieve the pressure. Back in her room, Jenny was alert and joyful. We spent the day in deep gratitude to our loving God.
Although we were strangers and aliens in the United States, God sent His children to surround us with His love. We saw love in each flower and card sent by Christian friends. They warmed our hearts. Later Christian friends brought food to us after she was discharged. We had never experienced such love in China. We were overwhelmed!
We were overwhelmed too by the generosity of an anonymous Christian lady who donated $1,000 to the hospital toward the costs. Then later the hospital learned that Jenny’s previous health insurance at the medical school she had left could still cover all the costs if the additional premium was paid. The hospital said they would pay the premium. I could not believe it! God had first let us experience the love of His people and then provided even the fees of the generous doctors!
The day after surgery Jenny was advised to get up and walk a little, and then to our amazement she was able to go home the same day. Just three days after the operation, with me by her side, she was able to stand before a filled auditorium at the closing night of the large missionary conference where people had been praying, to tell of God’s grace, expressing her thanks and announcing that I had given my life to Christ. She really was a walking miracle! Two weeks after the operation, the surgeon told us that Jenny would be ready in a month to go on to the program arranged by the foundation in another state. In spite of our little faith, God really took good care of us. We rejoiced in the opportunity of bringing glory to God.
Although I had been very skeptical about some of the miracles in the Bible, these miracles I witnessed strongly convinced me of God’s power and love. I admitted my sins and trusted my life to God with deep gratitude for all He had done. This was a great step, which has led me to peace, joy, and eternal life. Jenny and I have decided that for the rest of our lives, we will serve our Lord in our country and will seek to glorify Him in everything.
From God’s Great Love and Power Experienced in Time of Adversity, Ambassadors for Christ, ©1994. Used with permission.
Editors’ note: For a copy of this student’s story written in Chinese, please write Ambassadors for Christ (see address on pages 18-19).