By 2015, I had been in the United States for 13 years and a Christian for the same amount of time. In 2006, my wife and I married and like many other Chinese couples, we had every intention of building a family. In 2015, however, we also approached 10 years of bareness. We wanted a child, but we simply could not have one.
We realized something was wrong when we were not getting pregnant without prevention. From 2010 to 2014, we attempted in vitro fertilization (IVF) five times. Top medical professionals were treating us, but all our attempts failed. When we tried Chinese herbal remedies, they too were fruitless. I hit my lowest point when our doctor announced we would never be able to have a baby though natural means. Our doctor assured us that the only way to have a baby was through an egg donor. In desperation, we tried an egg donor too. I felt completely hopeless when our egg donor bailed at the last minute.
As a Christian, the only thing I knew to do was turn to God. This was not always my approach to life, however. I am Chinese and was born and raised in China to a family that worshiped Buddha and other gods. My father was an atheist, my mother was a devout follower of Buddha, and my grandparents worshipped another local idol. Even our house was built on a former Buddhist temple. Before I came to the USA, I met the Lord during my first year of graduate school at London’s School of Economics. Shortly after, I bought a one-way ticket to the USA and this began a new kind of life for me.
When my wife and I reached the point of hopelessness, I began to consider that maybe the Lord had another way of fixing our barrenness. I decided that I would pray every day until God healed us. I desired supernatural healing and to hear prophetic words, but up until this point in my life, I had not had many encounters with miracles or prophecy. In fact, I only knew of such things because of an encounter I had years before where Jesus appeared to me in a vision during a conference and told me he would return after the body of Christ had been built up. I later came to understand this meant Christ intended for the gift of prophecy to continue.
For many years, though, and like many other persons in evangelical churches, my wife and I had no interest or knowledge in these Pentecostal or Charismatic things. We had general impressions or thoughts about Pentecostals such as, “speaking in tongues may be from the devil,” “false prophecies,” and “deceived by evil spirits.” I even heard accusations about the prophetic movement that said prophecies catered to self or ego. As in, these so-called prophecies make someone feel awesome about themselves but are from the soul or even of devilish deceit. They promote a believers’ ego but do nothing beneficial for a person’s spirit and may even harm one’s spiritual growth.
My wife and I were content in our denomination where love, holiness, and knowledge of the Word of God were the focus. My perspective changed, however, when I decided to reach out to the older, more experienced believers in my denomination to help us receive a miracle. Our elders spoke kind words to us and showed concern for our situation, but they did not receive a vision or a prophetic word from the Lord to give to us. Some members said that it was the Father’s will for us not to have children, and we needed to accept it. Others said that it was God’s wisdom for us to have more time to serve Him. With all their biblical knowledge, my church elders could not prophetically nor supernaturally minister to us. I came to understand that they could not do this because they did not believe in these practices. However, I was desperate to hear what the Spirit of God was saying about my situation, so I started to search on my own.
I gradually began leaving my denomination and turning to other churches to seek help. I began listening to Pentecostal and other healing evangelists of the past and today, and I attended as many healing services as I could across the USA. In October 2015, my wife and I went to New York to attend a healing service. Though skeptical as a medical professional, my wife assured me that if her name was called out, she would believe she would have a child. That day, the minister did call out a word of knowledge that a lady would have a child, but to our dismay, the minister said a different woman’s name. Although reluctant, I still persuaded my wife to stay until the end to receive prayer. When this did not result in anything miraculous, my wife further doubted these healing services.
However, I still believed God would give us a miracle. In another crazy attempt to get my wife healed, I flew to Kentucky to a healing conference where I had the minister pray over an airplane pillow to heal my wife. Needless to say, nothing happened, but I persisted.
In October of 2015, I convinced my wife to join me for another trip to North Carolina to receive prayer from a well-known healing evangelist. I had read an article that this man once prophesied to a woman, and that woman conceived a year later. This man even jokingly says in his own preaching that when he comes to town, every woman gets pregnant! At the conference, both a prophetic and healing team prayed over us. It was at this meeting that a lady saw a vision of the Lord using a sword to cut off a dragon in my wife’s family line, removing ancestral curses. Later, the two main evangelists prayed over us with anointing oil. Interestingly, the prophetic lady said that whatever needed to be taken care of in the spiritual realm was complete, but that it often took ten months to a year to manifest in the physical realm.
We returned encouraged from this conference, but we were still a little hesitant. That is until we began receiving more prophecies. One Sunday, a couple months later, the senior pastor of the church we were visiting suddenly became filled with the Holy Spirit while preaching and stopped to prophesy a line of Psalm 127 over us. He said, in reference to children being a heritage from the Lord, “your quiver is full.” Not knowing our situation, he told us that God was going to give us children.
Again, I was greatly encouraged, but I desired to hear God personally speak to me that this was true. A final visit to a conference in Oregon in January of the following year sealed the deal for me. There, a well-known prophet spoke to the crowd and said, “Today, you come here not by coincidence. It is God who leads you here, and from today on, you will hear God speaking to you like you never have before.” I believed and during the lunch break, I wandered near a store and entreated the Lord to speak to me. When I sat down in a chair outside of a Christian bookstore, my eye caught a Peanuts calendar in the display. The cover said, “Peanuts 2016 Family Planner.”
Suddenly, God spoke clearly to me: “2016, plan your family; you will have a child this year.” I was astonished! I had never heard God speaking to me so clearly, and He just said I was going to have a child that year! I immediately called my wife and she encouraged me to buy the calendar as a memorial. Filled with joy, I shared with the cashier what God had told me. I cannot describe that dear lady’s face, but she must have been thinking, “This crazy Chinese man thinks God will give him a baby through a calendar!” I could totally sense the unbelief in the air.
Meanwhile, I went back to China to visit my family in February 2016. My mother, who still worshiped Buddha, had been desperately praying to all kinds of idols to help us to have a baby. I had been trying to preach the Gospel to her since 2003 but with trivial effect. Since I heard God’s voice clearly saying I would have a child that year, I boldly told all my family members. I even prayed for my two cousins who could not have a baby. My mother, displeased with my behavior, commented that I should not share such nonsense with others since I could not even take care of my own family matters. I, however, guarded what the Lord said, and I continued to believe the Word I received.
Months later back in the USA, we continued waiting for our miracle, but I admit I began to get discouraged again. One day in desperation, I prayed, “Dear Holy Spirit, those people in Pentecostal churches always teach that we should have an intimate relationship with you. Now, I have prayed to both the Father and Jesus many times and I don’t know when this [pregnancy] is going to happen. Can you ask the Father and Jesus for me when this will happen?”
That night, shortly after this prayer, I had a dream. A woman (representative of the Holy Spirit) pointed to the back of a male figure (Jesus). She said to me, “Did He not tell you that you will have a child next month?” I woke up the next morning and told my wife about this dream. By this point, however, my wife had a tough time believing a pregnancy would ever happen. Shortly after, we ended up in quarrel that left us on non-speaking terms for two weeks. During this painful time, I remember worshiping the Lord one day with my arms raised while my computer screen played Chris Tomlin’s song, “Good Good Father.” With tears in my eyes, I reasserted my love and commitment to God whether I received my miracle baby or not.
My wife and I continued on non-speaking terms until it finally happened. One day I received a text from her that read, “You have won the lottery!” We reconciled when she found out she was miraculously pregnant on May 28, 2016. Our miracle baby girl, Elim, was born in early 2017, healthy and beautiful.
What’s even more amazing is the way God personally spoke to us with the word “peanuts.” In 2010, during our first IVF attempt, we were incredibly hopeful to have twins. My wife and I jokingly named our would-be twins, “peanuts” per Chinese and Taiwan translations of the word. When this IVF failed, my wife was devastated. Naturally, when I saw the word “Peanuts” and two small figures on the cover of that calendar, I could not help but remember our traumatic experience. Only God and my wife knew the secret meaning behind “peanuts,” and He used the very words of defeat to deliver a prophetic word that would become our miracle victory. I have come to see that God not only speaks powerfully, but he speaks intimately.
As for my family, this event became a turning point for their salvation. My older sister confessed belief in Jesus Christ. My mother was stunned and decided to turn away from her idols that she had worshipped her whole life. When I asked her why she was willing to believe now, she commented, “Isn’t the truth right before me? Your God is real.” Ten years of persuasion and preaching could not change my mother’s heart, but prophecy turned things around. In 2018, I visited China again and had the privilege of baptizing my parents into the family of Christ. Through all of this, I have come to fervently believe in the gifts of prophecy and healing, and my wife and I gladly congregate and fellowship with the “crazy” Charismatics and Pentecostals that I have now consider ourselves two of.