I get to hear many interesting stories about what’s happening in the house churches by reading the shepherds’ reports or when I visit house church meetings. I’d like to share a couple recent ones.
The first is about the miraculous power of prayer. About a month ago, a non-believing woman visited a house church meeting. She had come from Hawaii to receive treatment for stomach cancer at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. In Hawaii, her cancer was diagnosed as being in an advanced stage. A team of six doctors at MD Anderson concurred with this diagnosis and made a treatment schedule. She would start receiving radiation therapy the following Thursday and would stay at the hospital for an additional month for chemotherapy. Her friend brought her to the house church meeting on the Friday before her radiation treatment began.
In the previous month and a half she had been unable to eat and lost 11 pounds. Even with her favorite foods, she would vomit after just a few bites. But a strange thing happened that evening. She ate as other people did and was able to keep it down. Even though the most of the house church members met the woman for the first time that night, they cried to God in prayer for her healing.
The following Monday she visited a doctor at MD Anderson in preparation for her coming radiation treatment. After examining her for some time, the doctor seemed perplexed. He could not find her tumors. Further investigation showed that there were no cancerous tumors left. He could not but declare the previous diagnosis wrong and cancel the entire treatment schedule. God answered the fervent prayers of the house church members and healed her completely!
The second story is about a shepherd’s wife. Her husband had not held a stable job for some time and she urged him to take courses at a community college to become a registered male nurse. Until he received his license, she promised to support the family, including a son in college, by running their small sandwich shop without her husband’s help. The following is an excerpt of a conversation I had with her:
“Yes, it is difficult to support the whole family by running a small, labor intensive sandwich shop alone. But I never complained. I am just thankful that God has given me good health to be able to do this. My only regret is that I am unable to find time to serve in other ministries besides the house church. I go to work early in the morning and prepare the shop for customers. After the shop closes I need to clean it. Then I go to Sam’s Club or some other wholesale retailer to buy supplies for the next day’s special. I usually get home at around 7 or 8. After dinner I get so tired I go directly to sleep. I cannot find extra time to do ministry outside of our house church.
“Then one day this thought occurred to me: if I want to do extra ministry why don’t I minister to my customers? So I began to take a more personal interest in my customers. When I found that they had been having difficulties I offered to pray for them. I was surprised to find that many people who looked fine on the outside were far from fine on the inside. They usually appreciated my offer to pray for them. Nowadays, some of them even come to me on their own, for example with a prayer request for an upcoming surgery. The reason I don’t feel so tired may be that I have made my shop a place for ministry.”
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