My sister’s cancer and the power of prayer in our family
Tricia Tan // October 30, 2019, 6:09 pm
I come from a family steeped in ancestral worship. So when I became a Christian, my parents were understandably very upset and did not allow me to go to church.
One time, my mother got extremely angry. She removed her jewellery and began knocking her head against the wardrobe, threatening to leave home. She started scolding me and begged me to stop preaching Christ to my siblings. That was over 20 years ago.
When my brother became a Christian, things got more serious – my mother wanted to kill herself. The son is very important in the Chinese family. We had to keep praying and putting our faith in God. Over the years, my three sisters and brother have all come to know the Lord and are serving Him faithfully.
Although my parents have yet to receive Christ, they do not stop us from attending church and have even stepped into a church themselves. The immense persecution of our Christian faith has also subsided over the years. God continues to work in my parents’ heart. All glory to God.
You can imagine our excitement when we invited our parents and aunt to the Celebration of Hope (COH) earlier this year and they said yes! We have been praying for our loved ones’ salvation for over 20 years.
But this period ultimately proved to be a season of great trial where God would come through for us. One week before COH, where one of my sisters was due to serve as a counsellor, she suffered heavy bleeding. Her gynaecologist sent her to do a mammogram. I remember the moment when she sent those words to the siblings’ chat group: “It’s cancer.”
Her countless tears and trips to the National Cancer Centre (NCC) began. She did a biopsy on June 24 and thereafter, we rallied prayers for her to be cancer-free. When we broke the news to our parents and aunt, they were devastated.
As we kept up our dependence on God in prayer, our parents in turn encouraged us more than once to pray to our God! Who would have expected that this was how we would share the power of prayer with our loved ones?
It is just as Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God’s ways are always higher. Holding on to this hope, we continued praying.
On July 11 my sister was slapped with bad news. She was scheduled for surgery on August 5.
The Lord kept encouraging her through His Word and meeting her in healing services. My sister testifies that she personally heard His voice telling her: “You will be alright.”
My loved ones witnessed how she had an amazing peace as she was wheeled into the operating theatre. We were thankful, as we knew that her threshold for pain is low.
My sister personally heard God’s voice telling her: “You will be alright.”
Then, after the surgery, while she was still in the recovery ward, she was pushed into the operating theatre again – one of her blood vessels had burst. Ten days later, her wound was infected and she was admitted again.
These unforeseen circumstances threatened to steal our peace – but God’s ways are higher. These pressures became platforms for our loved ones to see God’s hand and peace upon us. Many prayers were answered, and my sister was able to share this with Mum.
On September 3, the oncologist declared that my sister is cancer free!
We raise a hallelujah to the One who does all things well (Mark 7:37). Mum and Aunt said yes again to my sister’s invitation to an evangelistic event held in church. We rejoice and wait upon God’s timing for our loved ones to say yes to Him.
Are you perplexed, baffled or asking many whys in life? Take heart. God knows what He is doing and He does all things well. Trust Him and keep praying. Then watch as His ways and thoughts prove higher than ours.
THINK + TALK
- Is there an area in your life where you’re struggling to trust God?
- What are some of His promises in the Bible that you can cling onto?
- Who could you encourage today?