ARPeace in the LordHealed from stomach cancerWhat is a miracle to you? Is it a matter of the Lord's healing? Or is there something more to it?Fritz Chen in Toronto testifies of how he endured the trial of having stomach cancer. Four-fifths of his stomach was removed and he could not eat. He was on the brink of death. God comforted his wife through a vision, and the Holy Spirit interceded for him. With the guidance of the Lord, he survived surgery, and now he is a man without a stomach, testifying of the greatness of God.
Hallelujah! In the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ I testify. I am currently a member of the True Jesus
Church in Toronto, Canada. In 1993, when I was still living in Taiwan, I
underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my stomach (gastric
lymphoma). The doctor first proposed to remove my whole stomach and then
have me undergo chemotherapy. But as it turned out, the doctor removed
only four-fifths of my stomach. And to my surprise, I didn't need to go
through chemotherapy after the operation because the tumor turned out to
be benign. Thank God, the doctors told me I was healthy. A year later I
was reexamined, and everything was still fine. About that time, I decided
to immigrate to Canada.
A Difficult Decision
In February 1998 my
stomach problems recurred, and I was sent to the hospital. My condition
was a lot more serious this time. For a long time I could not eat because
the tumor took up so much space in my stomach. I was spitting out
substantial amounts of blood and lost a lot of weight. I was virtually
skin and bones. When brothers and sisters came to visit me, they could not
help but cry for me because I looked like I was on the brink of death.
recommended that I should not undergo surgery because I was too weak and
it would have been too risky to operate. They suggested that instead I
skip directly to chemotherapy. However, I was even too weak to start
examining my reports, the surgeon was convinced that he could successfully
operate on me, despite objections from the other doctors. At first, my
family and I were inclined to forego the operation because it was too
dangerous, and I myself was afraid of going through another operation. But
after our prayers, we decided to hand everything over to God and take the
surgeon’s advice. We believed that the hands of the doctor were under
God's control, as is the life of man.
was scheduled to take place two weeks later on March 16, 1998. But I
thought that I would not last that long because my condition was
A New Realization
On one particular
snowy night, the view outside my hospital window was very beautiful. At
that time I could still walk, so I walked with my wife to the parking lot.
She needed a break after having stayed with me in the hospital for such a
long time. Before she left, I held her very tightly, thinking that we may
no longer have the chance to be with each other. It was one of the most
wonderful moments we ever had. How could I not have noticed or treasured
such moments before?
overlook the happiness that is all around us, finding it only when we are
about to lose it. Jesus said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is
near!"(Mt 3:2). "Near" does not mean "to come,"
but rather that it is already here and right beside you. Jesus once said,
"The kingdom of God is within you"(Lk 17:21).
still neglect this; they choose not to accept and follow the words of God,
and hence lose the blessings of God's kingdom.
God's Grace during Trials
The period of time
just prior to my surgery was the most critical and trying because I was
dying. At times, I would even lose consciousness. But during that time,
many people had wonderful experiences in their prayers. There were
numerous times when my wife was deeply moved by the Holy Spirit in prayer
and was filled with great joy. She could not understand why she felt so
joyful while I was in great pain and at the brink of death. This is the
comfort of the Holy Spirit.
sisters from afar were also touched by the Holy Spirit during their
prayers. In fact, they told my wife with all sincerity that I would
recover. This is the mystery of the Holy Spirit.
evening I considered to be the gravest, I actually finished writing my
will. I had vomited a lot of blood, and I thought that God was going to
take my life back. My wife decided to spend the night with me in the
hospital. By 5 a.m. she still could not fall asleep, when suddenly, she
heard the sound of prayer from my bed. It was tongue-speaking-loud, clear,
and with strength.
this sound of prayer, she felt comforted and fell asleep immediately. She
thought that a person who could pray in such a way must be fine. I really
don't remember praying that night. Again, I believe it was the comfort
given by the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit Himself makes intercession for
us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom 8:26).
I myself also
experienced the great power of the Holy Spirit through prayer. I was
trying very hard to forget the great physical and mental pain I was
feeling and to concentrate during prayer. I tried to make it through by
praying to God and relying on Him completely¡Xbut I couldn't. I was in
great distress. Everything was an obstacle to my concentration and many
terrible thoughts came into my mind. That period was extremely difficult
to go through.
amazingly, once I set my heart to submit to the Lord, I gradually calmed
down. The Holy Spirit interceded for me and the peace of God came into my
heart. I no longer needed to consider how to pray or what to say to God; I
simply said, "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!" with nothing else in
The "Path through the Forest"
God, I was able to sustain myself up to the day of the operation. I
became very bad-tempered and sad during the few days prior to my
operation, but the very day before my operation there was a great
change in me. I became kind and gentle, and according to my wife, my
face looked like that of "an angel." As I was wheeled into
the operating room, she saw me peacefully wave to her, saying,
"Peace be with you," as if we were bidding our usual
good-byes. I did not feel anything special at that time, just that
it was something I needed to do. Nor did I wonder whether or not I
would come out of the operation.
Around 10 a.m. the
doctor, sweating profusely, emerged from the operating room. Anxiously,
he informed my wife that I was in a very critical state, completely
beyond his expectations. The tumor was quite large, and it had swelled
to a point that it was impinging on my liver. If he tried to remove the
tumor, he might hurt the liver and quite possibly kill me. But if he did
not remove the tumor and instead just sewed up the incision, I would
have at most only two or three days to live.
had no confidence in proceeding with the operation, so he came out to
consult with my wife whether or not he should continue. Thanks to God’s
grace, He gave my wife the confidence to say, "Do what you can, and
we will pray and rely on our God for everything else." The doctor
then went back into the operating room.
operation, my family continued praying and singing hymns to pass this most
critical time. A minister and a brother from the Toronto church showed up
unexpectedly, and they offered much comfort. The operation continued until
around 4 p.m., when the doctor came out again and said to my wife,
"Your God has saved him!" He described the operation as
"searching for a path through the forest." He did not know how
he managed to complete the operation, but his face showed that it was
The Lord's Continued Guidance
The surgeon had
removed all of my stomach and spleen, and parts of my pancreas and
intestines as well. My entire digestive system was reconstructed. In spite
of all that, thank God, my recuperation was very smooth and quick.
Gradually, I could eat and absorb nutrients very nicely. After the
surgery, I went through six sessions of chemotherapy within six months.
Those also went smoothly.
When I left
the hospital in April, I weighed 99 pounds (45 kg). The dietitian at the
hospital told me that while I would gain some weight, it was unlikely that
I would reach the weight of 132 pounds (60 kg), since I no longer had a
stomach. But thank God, just three months later, my weight reached 136
pounds (62 kg) and has remained stable ever since. Now, I go back to the
hospital for regular checkups but am no longer on medication. Everything
is back to normal.
When I went
back to Taiwan in February 1999, I visited my brother-in-law and a sister
from our church, who is an anesthesiologist. They told me that there is a
concept in surgical circles called "open and close." If a doctor
realizes that the situation is out of his control or that there is only a
slim chance for success, he does not have to continue the operation. He
can simply close up the incision, without consulting the patient's family
or taking the risk of continuing with the operation. My doctor could have
done it that way, and I believe my family would not have blamed him. But
he didn't. I believe it was God's guidance. Through the hands of the
surgeon, God showed His power.
Peace Surpassing All Understanding
I often think about
how common such a miracle is in our church. To God, it probably was
nothing extraordinary. Jesus can raise the dead; so what is healing
physical illness? But to man, this is a great blessing that goes beyond
human ability and understanding.
blessing that God gives us, however, is not the healing of our physical
bodies or the blessings of this world. No matter how healthy we are, one
day we will die. This is the limitation of the flesh. However, the
greatest blessing that God gives us is peace in our heart and the hope of
eternal life. These are the things that are real. If we seize the
opportunity in our short and uncertain lives to seek true peace and
eternal life, then our lives will be valuable and meaningful.
How does God
make us realize this value and meaning? Through spiritual peace. When
Jesus was born, a great company of heavenly hosts appeared, praising God
and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good
will toward men" (Lk 2:14).
descent to earth is most glorious to God; and the most precious gift He
brings to man is peace. True peace can only come through Jesus Christ.
That is why Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to
you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid"(Jn 14:27). The true peace from
God is not of the world, it surpasses the world. "The peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus"(Phil 4:7).
A person is
saved because of his faith, not by the miracle itself. For that reason,
after Jesus heals a person, He always says, "Your faith has saved
you." Now I am healed. God has shown me a great miracle. But the real
miracle did not occur during the operation or after it. For me, it was
just before the surgery, when my heart was filled with the peace of God
and I was no longer worried about what would happen to me—that was my
When Paul and
Silas were in prison (Acts 16:16-40), the actual miracle happened not at
the moment that the prison doors opened and their chains came loose.
Instead, it was the moment when they were praying and singing hymns to
God, and later when they could have escaped but did not, so that the whole
family of the jailer could be saved.
like these, the peace and freedom from God accorded them the spiritual
power to overcome all physical boundaries so that they were longer chained
to anything anymore.
is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Heb 11:1). May all glory be unto the Lord Jesus. Amen.