The Good News of the Cross

Stephen Chan 01Stephen Chan, Bedok Methodist Church

When my wife and I got married in 1994, we planned to have 2 children, a boy and a girl. However 2 years into our marriage, we were still childless. Each time my wife missed her period, it brought us glimmer of hope only to be disappointed by the “-“ on the pregnancy test kit. Being increasingly anxious and worried, my wife consulted her gynaecologist. The doctor was not overly concerned, but arranged for some tests for the both of us. So in the following weeks my wife and I went for the tests, she at her gynaecologist and myself at my urologist.

We went back to the doctor a few weeks later and received an unexpected diagnosis. My wife’s test result showed an issue with her uterus, which made conception very difficult. The doctor tried to explain it to us by drawing pictures. I didn’t understand her diagrams but I understood the words “difficult to conceive”, which she kept repeating.

Then the doctor went over my test results – they were just as bleak. I had multiple issues that compounded the problem. The doctor was apologetic when she said our combined complications meant that we had less than 10% chance of having a baby. In other words, it was almost impossible. I remember feeling shocked and disappointed. I did not ask my wife how she felt but she must have been equally devastated.

We were offered some treatment options which included surgery. Desperate, we agreed to all the options. I remember praying so hard during those few weeks before the surgical procedures and when it was finally over I had a renewed sense of optimism. But months later, we were to be greeted by that hated “-“ over and over again. We tried using different brands of pregnancy test kit, thinking that perhaps another brand would be more accurate.

The reality sank in after a few months of trying and during the next visit to the gynaecologist, we spent the time talking about various alternatives – IVF and even adoption. But the conversation was making us feel even sadder. We thought we would never have the joy of being parents. Our dreams and hopes of having Calvin and Cally – the names we had chosen for our boy and girl – were disappearing.

We went home that day feeling depressed, disappointed and without hope. For the next few months, we prayed hard, visited the doctor, did tests and tried treatments but nothing changed.

One evening in April 1997, a relative invited us to a prayer meeting. I didn’t want to go but apparently a guest pastor would be praying for couples that were trying for a child. Having nothing to lose, my wife and I agreed to go.

We arrived late and the meeting had already begun. After about an hour, the pastor did an altar call and asked for couples trying for a baby to step forward. At my relative’s urging, we went up to the front of the room, joining a number of other couples there. After praying for the other couples, the pastor came up to my wife and I, stretched out his hand over us and made a simple statement “by this time next year, you will have a child”.

I don’t remember my exact feelings at that moment, but I remember that I didn’t really take it seriously. Neither did my wife and I discuss this prophetic claim afterward. For the next few months we went about our lives, the prophecy forgotten.

Some time later, we went back to the gynaecologist for a follow up test and consultation. According to safety protocol, they had to do a pregnancy test on my wife first because some of the other tests were dangerous if done on pregnant women.

After giving her urine sample to the nurse, we went into the doctor’s office. We had just started talking to the doctor when a nurse came into the room and said, “Doctor, the result looks a bit positive”.

The doctor stopped in mid-sentence in surprise and said, “What do you mean a bit positive? Have to be sure.” We took a look at the pregnancy test kit and sure enough, it was a faint “+” ! “Do the test again”, our doctor instructed.

So we did the test again, and this time the nurse brought back a pregnancy kit with a clear, firm “+”. My wife was pregnant! Hallelujah! We were dumbfounded and ecstatic!

The doctor was completely baffled. All her tests and experience said that we could not have children and yet the nurse held a little piece of paper that contradicted everything. All she could say was “Mr and Mrs Chan, this is a miracle. Congratulations, your wife is pregnant!” The Cross brought mankind Good News two thousand years ago and for us, the little cross “+” brought us good news almost 20 years ago. Truly the Cross is Good News!

It was amazing! I remember praying with my wife outside the clinic, rejoicing and giving thanks! It was a miracle and we couldn’t wait to tell everyone!

The rest of the pregnancy went smoothly, and on 20 March 1998, our son Calvin was born, 11 months after the prophetic word that was given to us.

Since then, we have never stopped thanking God for this undeserved miracle. Even though we didn’t have a second child, we know that God hears prayers, is merciful and faithful, and His plan is good and perfect.

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