Xiaolian is a member of the church choir, taking piano and vocal lessons. When the vocal music class graduated, the teacher asked the students to record a graduation speech. On 8 August 2021, Xiaolian sat down at the piano, opened her heart and spoke. In her seven-minute graduation speech, Xiaolian thanked her teacher, teaching assistant, and class leaders for their dedication and spoke about the grace she experienced during her voice and piano lessons.
It was this video that made Xiaolian's experience known to a wider audience. Xiaolian was a serious cancer patient who was twice refused admission by a hospital. She was still undergoing chemotherapy when she started taking piano lessons and during her vocal studies, she was tested for the spread of her cancer. In the midst of her crisis, she prayed: "O God, you have kept me alive and I will come to praise you. Give me the time and opportunity to come and glorify you and bear witness of you." After the operation, she felt so strong and had so much energy that a patient in her ward teased her: "You are not here to be hospitalized, you are here to be healed."
When the video was submitted, the teacher and class leader were moved by her story. Xiaolian later found out that many of her fellow students were also ill. She felt enlightened: "No wonder I wanted to be a witness! Many people later added her to WeChat and she used her experience to encourage them to trust in God without wavering."
Since she was a child, Xiaolian had wanted to believe in a god that would protect her. At first, she did not want to be bullied by children at school; later, she was looking for a god to rely on. The first god she found was the Monkey King (Sun Wukong), who was feared by all the monsters in the “Journey to the West”. After growing up and joining the labor force, she worked in sales at the cosmetics counter in her hometown mall and heard about Jesus from a janitor in the mall. She went to a meeting place and began to believe in Jesus together with a group of ladies in their 70s and 80s. It was 1989, and the old ladies could not read or write much, so she taught and sang praises for them while growing in her faith.
Later, Xiaolian started a family, went to Beijing to start a business, and bought a house, but she cut contact with the church for more than ten years. In 2008, when her new house was renovated and she moved in, a church was located only one stop away from her home. She therefore again began attending meetings regularly. She gradually became involved by serving and volunteering at the church. "It was at the beginning of 2017 that I got sick and was still not relying on God, I was relying on myself. But my health deteriorated seriously and I was completely broken."
At the beginning of 2020, Xiaolian's illness got even worse, but for nearly two months, no hospital was willing to accept her. It was a tense time in the national fight against coronavirus and medical resources were scarce. Because she had terminal cancer and a malignant tumor, hospitals did not want to accept her. Haunting hospitals like in the “parable of the desperate widow”, Xiaolian finally found a hospital willing to admit her.
Soon, Xiaolian was released. She had become the last patient and the hospital was about to close. The Holy Spirit reminded her of the story of the widow in Luke 18 who pled with an unjust judge. God instructed her to ask for a doctor, and so she returned to a hospital.
The process of convincing the doctor was a battle of wills: "Director, please save me, I am only in my forties and have only just begun with my new life. My son is not yet married and I have not seen my grandchildren. I’m unwilling to leave."
“I cannot save you in this condition, so do not make it difficult for me."
"Director, I'm not asking you to save me, just stop the bleeding first." At that time, Xiaolian's tumor was so big and frightful that blood kept seeping through her clothes.
The director was sitting inside and she was sitting on the floor in the hall. Neither of them spoke. After about five minutes, the director said that he could only try to stop the bleeding and asked her if she was willing to take chemotherapy. She said “yes” and got her hospital admission slip.
After she was admitted to a new place, the whole hospital did much to save her and she was given infusions from morning to night. Weighing only a little over ninety pounds (41 kilos), Xiaolian's whole body was deformed and when she went for a scan, she was taken to be pregnant.
After surviving six rounds of chemotherapy, she was re-examined and the cancer had metastasized. The hospital said they would not take her back. Believing that God would get her through, Xiaolian searched for a hospital again for nearly two months.
At another hospital, a full body check-up was done for seven days. The doctor said it was risky, but she assured that she could handle it and would cooperate fully. She was allergic, and on the day she was hospitalized, a rash broke out all over her body. She prayed for herself and asked the sisters in the church to pray for her. The rash went away before she arrived at the operating table. "It was indeed amazing".
God's word was with her throughout the surgery. There were sisters from church who kept watch and prayed for her outside the hospital.
When she was hospitalized in the second hospital, Xiaolian was taking vocal lessons and needed to practice and hand in assignments. "I got up for that at once and told myself: ‘How can I have faith and strength without praise? Sometimes the words of the Bible do not make much sense, but doesn't strength come through praise?’"
Hence the scene at the beginning of the article in which Xiaolian recorded her testimony. After experiencing grace, how could she hide it? After sharing, she realized there were many people in the same situation as she. She had received grace first in order to be a comforter and helper to others.
People came to confide in her because they had edema, were nauseous, and could not eat because of chemotherapy. She used her own experience to exhort patients to trust in God and believe that His grace is sufficient. She had had a 40*60 tumor and the blood had been flowing so strongly that the nurses were afraid to change her dressing. She was hospitalized alone and so she had gone to the bathroom by herself to change the dressing, which spilled all over the floor. The nurse hired by the patient could not bear to watch and had helped her secretly. Another nurse in the ward, a pastor, helped take care of her for a week.
In October 2022, Xiaolian had her second check-up for the year, the last one being in January. For ten months, she had taken no medication and received no injections. The results were the most satisfactory in her five years of illness. The attending doctor was surprised to the point of disbelief! When she heard the good news, she told her brothers and sisters at church. "Without their prayers and God doing His work, how could there otherwise have been such good results?"
After being in the hospital frequently, patients who are hospitalized together communicate with each other on occasion afterward, and they basically all know each other. Patients envied her: "You are not here to be hospitalized, you are here on vacation." The nurse admitted: "When you came through the door, I really did not think you would leave alive." The director took his students to Xiaolian's ward every day for practical studies. She had become a case study for the oncology department.
"What should I do? I will hasten to preach about my God." But to preach the Gospel, the words must be appropriate. Throughout her years in hospitals, Xiaolian has seen all kinds of patients. There were those whose families worshipped idols, those whose mothers believed and they themselves did not believe. There were also those in high positions of authority who despised her, and she would respond with appropriate words.
Xiaolian experienced grace and witnessed God because she had an intimate relationship with Him. Her relationship with God could not have existed without her daily devotions. During her years of medical care, Xiaolian had never stopped her morning devotions.
When she was in the hospital for chemotherapy, she wore headphones and knew that God was with her even if she only heard one word. "Where does my strength come from? It comes from the word of God. God's word is power, is it not?" Empowered by God's word, she was able to comfort other patients and preach the Gospel to them even when she was in extreme distress and did not want to speak.
Xiaolian is a member of the church choir and takes piano and vocal lessons. What was meant to be a way to better serve God has in turn become strength in her fight against illness. Her studies have continued and she is now an advanced student. She has no problem playing and singing the usual songs. Xiaolian speaks with a loud, mid-range voice and has dark, thick hair - the result of her prayers to God. Her hair had fallen out during chemotherapy, but it has grown back and now there is more of it than ever before. prayers to God. Her hair had fallen out during chemotherapy, but now it has all grown back and there is more of it than before.
- Translated by Nonye Nancy