My name is Stephen Ong, I am 63 years old, married to Vicky with 3 children. I grew up in a traditional Hokkien Baba family. Our home used to be filled with all sorts of idols. In my adult years, I was rather superstitious. I would regularly visit temples, consult fortune tellers and feng shui masters. I was devout and determined in my efforts to seek for divine help, mainly for the pursuit of wealth and prosperity. Despite many years of such searching, I found that there was no result. There was no real peace and I felt lost with no proper direction in life.
The Turning Point:
Almost exactly 1 year ago, I was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive skin cancer, known as melanoma mucosa of stage 2 to 3. It started in my palate. Only 1 in 25 million people contract this cancer in a year. The survival rate is very low, with less than 15% of survivals even after treatment.
The oncologists came to the same conclusion…that I had to go through a very major and complicated surgery. The doctors will need to open up my face and neck area to remove the lymph nodes around my neck and remove nearly the whole of my upper jaw. Can you imagine, the surgeons will have to saw away half my mouth…
My family and I were horrified. We were also told to be prepared for the drastic change in the quality of life after the surgery. I would not be able to eat and speak like a normal person. I would have to rely on tube feeding for many months and learn to speak all over again.
I would have to fit in a plastic mould into my face, which could cause potential problems like infection. The doctors themselves were not even sure if the mould would stay in place. I was very concerned about how terribly deformed I would look. (I’m sure you can all tell by my good looks that I used to be a ladykiller!)
Doctors said that chemo and radiation would not work. We consulted 6 specialists and all said that surgery cannot be avoided. It was the only option. My family and I were very scared and helpless. It was during the Chinese New Year period. I insisted on taking a family photo so that all would remember how I looked before the surgery. It was the most painful CNY for my family and me.
2) Divine Intervention
After receiving such news, I cried to God. Who could help me? Only Jesus. My children encouraged me to seek God and pray. I opened my heart to receive Jesus Christ into my life. My wife did likewise and we were soon baptised.
Within 2 months, with the prayers of the family and church friends, the Lord began to reveal His love and power in many ways:
1. In a vivid dream, the Lord impressed on me that He would MAKE A WAY, WHEN THERE SEEMS TO BE NO WAY.
2. God was good and had arranged for a top surgeon Prof Soo to operate on me at a subsidised rate.
3. Over the months, the cancer did not spread further into my body even though it was known to be very aggressive.
4. In an unexplainable way, God began to put a supernatural peace and courage in my heart. Even on the night before the surgery, I slept very peacefully.
5. On the day before the surgery, to our surprise, Prof Soo noticed that the cancer lesions lightened and shrank. The expected 12 hour operation ended in 6 hours! Out of the 41 lymph nodes removed, only 1 was cancerous. Instead of having to remove my upper jaw, the flesh on my palate was scraped and only 10% of my jaw at the back was removed. The Lord had intervened with a miracle! Praise the LORD!
My recovery was very fast. I didn’t need a feeding tube in me. It has been about 8 months after the surgery. Praise the Lord that today, I am cancer-free! Praise the Lord that I can stand here and talk to you with my mouth intact! Indeed the Lord Jesus has held my hand throughout this entire journey. Life after the surgery has not been easy with ongoing hospital tests, but the Lord Jesus continues to hold my hand and give me peace and courage. May I encourage you today, that if you are still seeking God, His door is always open. Don’t wait any longer. Come to Jesus and let Him hold your hand through life, just like how He has done so for me.
God bless you!