Many Chinese Christians begin their journey of faith by seeking medical treatment, just as the protagonist of this testimony does. Healing is never the end of faith in God because the greatest gift our loving God gave us is himself.
Song Qinghua used to work in the Logistics Department of the Baoji Petroleum Company in China's northern Shaanxi Province. Her daily work was to sew work clothes for the company's employees. If it had not been for her son's sudden illness 30 years ago, she might not have known Jesus Christ and have a happy and blessed spiritual life today.
"Thank God, God cured my son's disease, and I have witnessed his wonders. Therefore, I believe in the Lord," she said.
In search of medical treatment, Song found the one true God.
One day in the fall of 1989, during a routine examination for her son, the doctor told her that her son had hepatitis B. The news shocked her mother like a lightning bolt from out of the blue. Another blow came when she ran around with her son to seek medical treatment. In 1991, Song's son was diagnosed with a minor stroke which caused the corners of his mouth to be crooked, thereby affecting his speech. Doctors had no countermeasures, saying that only conservative therapy could be done to stabilize his condition and prevent it from spreading.
In the days that followed, the helpless and desperate woman and her husband took their son to seek medical treatment when they were not working. After a month, they had been to various hospitals all over the city, but it was fruitless. When she became helpless and hopeless, a Christian woman went to her house for her clothes to be sewn. She told her, "God can cure diseases that people can't cure". Then she asked Song to go to church with her and believe in Jesus.
Without saying a word, she followed the sister to a church near her home and began to "believe". At that time, she had just come to the church to get a cure for her son's disease and she participated in all activities organized by the church with other believers: prayer, Bible reading, and singing.
After a hazy journey of believing in God, she gradually felt that she had slowly learned the basics of Christianity. During prayer, she spoke to God from the depth of her heart, and then when reading the Bible she seemed to feel God speaking kindly to her ear. After some time, when she heard the church members sing praises on the stage, she would involuntarily burst into tears while she sang along. On a Sunday, there was a sermon titled "God's Grace also Thrives in Adversity" and she felt that this sermon was specially made by the pastor for her. At that time, she firmly believed that God would heal her son.
From then on, she persistently got up early every day, knelt quietly, and prayed to the Lord, asking him to heal her son. God finally listened to her prayer. One day at noon, one of the sisters introduced a private doctor who practiced traditional Chinese medicine. His specialty was in treating various difficult diseases with acupuncture and moxibustion.
Early the next morning, Song couldn't wait to take her son and found the clinic at the end of a secluded alley on Renmin Street. While waiting in line, she heard the doctor say to a girl in front of him that her disease was difficult to cure, suggesting she go to another hospital. But when it was his turn to treat her son, the doctor said nothing. He simply asked her about her son's condition before and after his illness and began to treat him. The doctor took out the silver needles in the wooden box in front of him, sterilized them on the alcohol lamp, and tied them one by one on her son's head and between the back of his head and the neck. Half an hour later, the doctor pulled the needle out of her son's head and said to her, "your son is well now." Her son's mouth was no longer crooked, he took her hand and said, "Mom, let's go home." Then she put her hand over her chest and muttered to herself excitedly, "Thank God!"
On the way home, she secretly said to herself that from now on, she must serve God well and give herself completely to him. She also continued to say in her heart that she must bring her entire family to the Lord and preach the gospel to others.
Since that day in April 1991, after being completely cured of her son's illness by God through the doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, she was baptized on Christmas day that year and joined the choir. She served in the choir for 26 years until she quit four years ago because of her age.
Song has now fulfilled her original wish to God. Her husband, son, daughter-in-law, daughter, and son-in-law have been baptized into Christ. Even her grandchildren who are now grown have become Christians. For thirty years, she has also taken advantage of the fact that she sews clothes to tell biblical stories to people and share her testimony of believing in the Lord to guests. She is confident that today, more than 20 people have become Christians and been baptized as a result of her preaching the gospel.
Since she followed the Lord to this day, when her monthly salary is paid, the first thing she does is to offer one-tenth of her salary to God, in return for his grace. She also knows the importance of serving in the "tiniest" way in the church. Whenever she knows or hears that a sister or brother is ill in the hospital, she will ask several members to buy gifts to visit, and every time she insists on paying out of her pocket.
Now, at 72, Sister Song still keeps serving in the church logistics department. Every Sunday, Easter, and Christmas, she helps in the kitchen. She especially loves working in the church communion preparation ministry and has done so for more than ten years. On the day of the church communion Sunday meeting, she would get up early and arrive at the church around 5 a.m. to prepare the bread and grape juice for the communion party with several believers.
She said that her happiest days now are the monthly Communion service. When she sees the brothers and sisters eating the bread and drinking the grape juice prepared by her, she feels full of the Holy Spirit, happy and satisfied. She also said that as long as she is in good health, she will carry on with the work of the ministry until the day she goes to heaven.
(The author of this article is a staff writer for the Gospel Times in Northwest China.)
- Translated by Nonye Nancy