Healing in China
Among our earliest friends in Ch’en-cheo was one young woman to whom I was specially attracted. She was quiet in manner, and very pleasing in appearance; tall, slender, and reﬁned. She came regularly to the meetings, always accompanied by her little boy, a bright child of about twelve years old. I soon found that they were deeply interested in the Gospel, and was the more surprised when suddenly they ceased coming, and we saw them no more. Upon inquiry about this unexpected disappearance the other women said:
“Oh, do you not know? Mrs. Uen has gone to live in the country. She has become a Christian, and wants to lead a Christian life.”
“But why,” I questioned, “could she not live a Christian life here in the city? Where she has gone there will be no one to teach her, and no services to attend on Sunday.”
“Ah,” was the reply, “you do not understand. Her life has been very sad. She could not be a Christian in the city. The only way was to break with it all, and leave her bad companions. Happily her husband has consented, and let her go to his people in the country, where she will be all right.”
Seeing it was wiser to ask no more questions, I let the matter drop, and Mrs. Uen was lost sight of for a time, though we continued to remember her in prayer. At last, some weeks afterwards, her husband unexpectedly appeared, with a message from his wife in the country.
Could we send someone out to their village at once? So many people there were inquiring about the Gospel. His wife had taught them all she knew herself, but they were not satisﬁed, and wanted to learn more!
This was good hearing, and we at once sent off a Christian man, and our dear Bible-woman, to visit the village. And what a story they brought back of the wonder-working power of God! Later on we went ourselves, and found it all true. The inﬂuence of the life of that young woman had been wonderful.
When she ﬁrst went back to the country, people began at once to notice the difference in her appearance and manner. “How changed young Mrs. Uen is!” became the general comment. “How bright her face has become! And she does not worship idols, or burn incense any more. Yet she is quite well, and seems peaceful and happy! What can be the meaning of it all?”
When questioned, Mrs. Uen was quite ready to answer, and told her neighbours simply and clearly of her new faith in Christ. They had never heard the Gospel before, and were deeply interested. When she spoke of Jesus and His love toward men, of all the wonderful things He did when on earth, and His present power as a Saviour, they questioned:
“But can He do such things now? You say He is still the same, and that He ﬁlls your heart with joy and peace. Can He heal the sick now, and cast out devils?”
With no embarrassment or sense of difﬁculty, the young woman answered at once: “Why, of course He can! He is the very same as ever. You have only to believe in Him and to ask Him now, like people did long ago. He has the same heart of love; the same touch of power.”
And then she had to teach them to pray as best she could, and explain how it was that she could not go and fetch her new-found Saviour and bring Him to the little village, as they wanted her to do; that He was really there and could hear all they said, and see their hearts, although Himself unseen.
“But,” they said, “can He really heal the sick, and cast out devils now? Because, if so, there is an old lady here, close by, who is very ill, and has been for months. She is in great suffering. If Jesus can make her well, why do you not go and tell her so?”
Soon Mrs. Uen was by the old lady’s bedside, lovingly and patiently explaining to her, with the most simple faith, all about the power of Christ to save and heal. The old lady had never heard such things before.
“But,” she said, “if all this is true, I want to believe in Jesus. Take down my idols, I never knew before that they were false, that it was wrong to worship them. You kneel down there and ask your Jesus to make me better, and forgive the sins of all my life.”
So the idols were burned, and Mrs. Uen knelt down in that little Chinese cottage to ask Jesus to make the sick woman well. Do we doubt the presence and power of the living Christ? Do we question His willingness to answer the cry of need to-day? Do we say the age of miracles is past? Oh, brethren, where is our faith? I only know that far away in that little Chinese village the young woman’s prayer was answered. She probably said some such words as these:
“My own dear Saviour Jesus, Thou art everywhere, and knowest all things. Thou hast almighty power. We are full of sin, and yet Thou lovest us. I beseech Thee, Lord, pity this old lady who is in so much suffering. She has a heavy burden of sin. She did not know, had never heard before, Thy precious Gospel. This is the ﬁrst time she has ever prayed to Thee, Lord. She is quite willing and determined to give up her idols, never again to worship them, only, in future, to serve and worship Thee. I beseech Thee, Lord Jesus, enlighten her heart. Pardon the sins of all her lifetime. Wash her heart clean in Thy most precious blood. And, oh Lord, please make her illness better. Thou canst heal the sick. Lay Thy hand on her now and make her strong. And help her from this time forward, only to serve and follow Thee, that she may obtain eternal blessedness in heaven.
"I venture thus to pray, trusting in no other merit, but only in the precious blood of Christ the Son of God."
Then and there the old lady was made better. She was soon completely well, and became a sincere Christian. And seeing this, others began to turn to Christ. Many came to be prayed for—old and young, men, women, and children; and numbers were healed of various troubles. One or two, even, who were possessed by devils came to Mrs. Uen, and besought her to help them. She told them she could do nothing, but that her Saviour was able still to cast out evil spirits, and in the name of Jesus she commanded the demons to depart and trouble the poor sufferers no more. And from that moment they were free, healed, at rest. Why should these things surprise us, brethren? Has the name of Jesus lost any of its ancient power?
And so a little Christian church was formed, without any outward organization, but with true life at heart. The young believers met regularly on the Lord's Day for worship in Mrs. Uen's little house. When we went out there some months later we found about twenty Christians meeting to worship God in that little village where a foreigner had never been seen before. Mr. and Mrs. Uen had a little cottage that consisted of only one room, but this they had given up for a chapel. They had screened off a narrow strip at one end, not more than six feet wide, in which they lived and slept, did their cooking, and kept all their belongings; and the main part of the room they had made into quite a comfortable little meeting hall, with a table and some benches, and on the walls a few texts and scrolls, hymns written out on large sheets of paper, and even the Ten Commandments!
One other instance I must mention of healing in that little village, as it was rather out of the ordinary, and a practical instance of the power of prayer. An old woman in the neighbourhood was suffering severely from toothache; she had had it for weeks, and was almost in despair. She could neither eat nor sleep, and had made up her mind to commit suicide. Just then she heard reports about young Mrs. Uen, and determined as a last resort to go and see what she could do. The Chinese have no dental forceps, and know nothing about the extraction of teeth. They just have to suffer all life long, with no hope of relief. I have myself seen a man knocking his head against a stone wall to try and stun himself, because the pain he was suffering from toothache was so great. Well, the poor old woman made her way into the village and found out Mrs. Uen, who was full of ready sympathy. Not only did Mrs. Uen promise to pray for her, she explained to the old woman fully all about the Gospel and got her to understand, as well as she could, how much Christ could do for her soul. Gratefully the old woman listened, and then said:
''Indeed, if He would cure my toothache, I would willingly believe in Him."
Seeing that this must come first, Mrs. Uen knelt down with the old woman and prayed earnestly that the Lord would take away the pain, and save her soul. Immediately, as they rose from their knees, the pain left her, and the old woman was perfectly relieved! I do not wonder that she became an earnest Christian.
To the present time that little village is the centre of a bright aggressive work, carried on through Mrs. Uen and those brought to the Lord by her means. Several of the Christians have been baptized, and the regular Sunday gatherings number about thirty people, still meeting in the Uens' house. Now that all the missionaries have been driven away from Honan, and the Christians are suffering so much persecution, the Uens specially need our prayers. It is several months since we last heard of them. Will you not join us in praying for them and their work at T'ang-li-ri?
Taken from a book by Geraldine Guinness