The story behind Jairus and Jairus Bible World Ministries
Jairus means “Jehovah who enlightens”. It is not a commonly used name and I wanted to share how it became meaningful to me and why I chose to use it for our ministry.
If you have read my testimony, you will be aware that my wife and I struggled with infertility for over 10 years. We married in 2006 but were unable to conceive. We had tried every method available to us including Chinese herbs and numerous IVF attempts but nothing worked. On May 12, 2016 God spoke to me in a dream and told me that my wife would become pregnant the next month. To her surprise my wife found out she was pregnant with our miracle daughter on May 27th, 2016! We now have a healthy, beautiful one-year old girl named Elim.
Though our hearts are now filled with joy, during this ten-year process there were many dark days . When I look back I can see that God tried to speak to me and give me strength many times, but I had a hard time hearing him. Between 2014 and 2016 was a time of transition for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but God was transitioning me from an evangelical church to a charismatic church and entrusting a ministry to me after a period of testing in the wilderness. God was using all these environments to prepare me for something in the future.
The reality of our situation was difficult. On top of this I felt like I had hit a wall when it came to healing and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These were both things I had been diligently seeking but had not yet received. The Lord used my need of healing and my desire to be baptized by the Holy Spirit to lead me to pentecostal and charismatic churches. I had been a Christian for 13 years and had never attended a charismatic church. In sharing my story, I never want to infer that one denomination is better than another. I have learned they all hold certain truths and no denomination has the whole picture. I remain deeply grateful any churches I’ve attended in the past. They have helped me both financially and spiritually and I am so thankful for the experiences I shared with them. The reason I’m sharing the difference between denominations is to show how God was taking me out of my comfort zone to allow me to learn about Him from a different perspective.
The churches I had been involved with didn’t promote personal ministry but instead considered their main responsibility to continue building the ministry the founders of the denomination had started. This was different than the beliefs of the pentecostal and charismatic churches where everybody was encouraged to have their own ministry. My background taught that we should be committed to build the ministry of the age which is a term we give to the ministry of our founders. Again, I’m not saying any of this to criticize any denomination, just to explain how foreign the concept of having my own ministry was to me.
In 2014 I committed to pray every day until the Lord healed my wife and baptized me in the Holy Spirit. During my lunch break I would go to a park to pray every day for these two issues. I continued to do this until I was overcome with devastation from the failure of the latest IVF treatment. The doctor finally announced we would never be able to have a baby through natural means and our only option was to use donor eggs. We tried this as well, but it still wasn’t successful. With what we know now we believe it was part of God’s plan for us to conceive naturally. We believed in miracles, but we weren’t completely certain that God was going to give us a child naturally which is why we tried every option available to us.
With all hope seemingly gone, I was devastated. But my wife and I remained steadfast in our weekly Bible studies. We had been holding Bible studies every week in Chinese with a few other families. One week we came to chapter 5 in the gospel of Mark. There is a story that talks about Jairus going to Jesus because his daughter was ill. Jesus agreed to go with him and heal his daughter but on the way to his home Jesus was stopped by a woman with the issue of blood. This woman spoke as she made her way to Jesus and said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” (5, 28 NRSV) Of course she was healed, and Jesus praised her and said her faith had made her well. I’m sure you all know this story but this time it stood out to me in a different way than before.
During our Bible study I raised a question. “What was Jairus’s reaction when Jesus was delayed, and this woman was healed?” Would he say, “Come on Jesus, my issue is more important, I came to you first and my daughter is dying! Now you stop for this unclean woman? Have some respect people, there is a line here!” I’m sure I may have felt that way if I were him. I was in one of ’s healing meetings in New York once and I saw how crazy people were when they tried to rush in the door of the church given the fact that a couple thousand would not be able to enter due to limited space in the building. I have seen what people are capable of when they are desperate. Jairus’s may have acted like a saint, and he may have said, “That’s fine, no problem. Her need is more important than mine. Don’t worry, everything is in God’s hands. Even if my daughter dies she will be in heaven with God.” Or he could have reacted passively, “Whatever happens, happens. Nothing I can do anyways. It’s not my call.”.
The Bible doesn’t describe Jairus’s reaction, but I learned from a great Chinese Bible teacher Witness Lee that what the Bible does not say is equally important as what it does say. I can only imagine that Jairus’s reaction was filled with emotion and panic. At the end of the story with the healing of this woman someone from home told Jairus not to bother to ask Jesus to come to his house. Verse 35b says, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” (NRSV) But verse 36 records Jesus’ immediate reaction when he heard. “But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” (NRSV).
What happened between the words spoken by Jairus’s friend in verse 35 and the words Jesus spoke in verse 36? Did Jesus see the agony in Jairus’s face? Was Jairus’s faith weak? I think this may have been the case otherwise Jesus would not have spoken to him immediately. It’s just like Jesus to step in and speak life to someone in the midst of hearing all of the negative voices.
When I read this phrase, “Do not fear, only believe.” It was as if God had spoken it to me personally. It penetrated my heart and I started to use this phrase when I published the recordings of our Bible studies online. I felt I was being led by the Holy Spirit into the inner emotions of Jairus at that moment. The feelings he may have experienced such as panic, disappointment, or anger resembled some of my own. This was just my take on it as we don’t know for sure how he felt.
As our discussions continued I raised another question. Why did God allow the delay in the healing of Jairus’s daughter? We know God is sovereign and nothing can happen except by the will of the Father. We know the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Bible and it is no coincidence that Mark put these passages together in one segment. I knew there must be a purpose in the delay of the healing of his daughter.
Later I felt the Holy Spirit had revealed this to me. The purpose of the delay was to heal the woman with the issue of the blood. What is the issue of blood? It is leaking out life. It is lack of faith. The leaking of our faith must be stopped and then we can be healed. We often hear a saying that God not only wants to give what we ask for, but he will also give something that we need first. Before the healing of his daughter, Jairus need to be healed from lack of faith. And this woman with the issue of the blood was really a woman of faith. I’ve often heard faith preachers such as Kenneth Copeland say, “this woman kept saying again and again that she will be made whole if she can touch his garment”. They use this passage to promote the truth about declaring the Word of God.
This woman’s faith is worthy to be praised and yet the pain and agony of Jairus is also present. What can we learn from these two characters in this story? Are they in contrast or are they interrelated? I think they are saying the same thing. This may be hard to explain but let me share an illustration to help.
My wife always mentions Cao Xueqin who wrote the novel Dream of the Red Chamber. It is a well-known 18th century Chinese classic novel. It was said that Cao Xueqin was writing about figures related to the Royal family, and it would put him in danger if they knew he was referencing them. Because of this he would create several characters and put the different characteristics of one person he was writing about in several different characters. I found the Holy Spirit is also a master of when it comes to the inspiration behind the writing of the Bible. I felt that in this instance the woman and Jairus were one to me. I don’t mean in a literal sense as they are different people. But in a spiritual sense these two characters were both a part of me.
When I was praying in the park one day in the beginning of 2014 I had a conversation with God. I said, “I will never stop bothering you, Lord, if you do not heal my wife and baptize me in your Holy Spirit. I will bug you every day until the end of my life. If you don’t heal my wife, I will see you one day in heaven and ask you to your face WHY? Isaiah 28 says, ‘those who trusted the Lord will be never put to shame.’ If I were put to shame for this matter, I will put you to shame as you are a liar which I don’t believe is true. But if you don’t do it according to your promise, hey, I can say you are a liar. I know you are not a liar, but I don’t know what is going on here.” All my emotions came pouring out. I was like that infamous woman with the issue of the blood. Sometimes I was adamant, perseverant, and full of faith. But other times I could be like Jairus full of agony and pain while having the promise of Jesus to heal his daughter. We all have access the promises of God concerning healing which is stated in many verses in the Bible. However, I was experiencing the delay of its coming. My question to our readers is this; Are you also experiencing a delay in any promises you have been believing for? Do you see yourself in these two characters? I have certainly seen myself in them.
I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me, “the delay has a purpose. Do not fear, only believe.” I felt really encouraged and all of us in the Bible study meetings were also encouraged. We ended our Bible study with each person declaring “Do not fear only believe.” At the time I felt the Lord was using this difficult period to perfect my faith toward Him. In due time my wife would be healed.
I was encouraged and wanted to share what I received from the Lord to others online. But as I mentioned earlier, having my own ministry was foreign to me. It wasn’t on my radar. I even struggled with the fact that it may be against my previous church’s teaching. I wondered if it would be seen as my own pride or self-promotion. Despite my reservations I still felt I should go ahead and do it. I thought to myself, “what’s a good middle ground I can take?” So, I used “Jairus” rather than my own name. I had not officially left my church at the time and I did not want to offend anyone in the church as they are my mothers and fathers in Christ.
In January 2016, at Elijah list conference in Oregon, God spoke to me about two things. First, Jairus Bible World Ministries is of Him. Second, God said to me, “you need to prepare your family in 2016 as you will have a baby this year.” I will go into more detail about this in a future post. Hopefully by reading this you will get an idea of what is behind the name of Jairus and the birth of Jairus Bible World Ministries. There are so many things I could write about but let’s take one step at a time. I pray this post will be a blessing to you as you read it. I love how Kenneth Copeland ministries always say at the end, Jesus is the Lord. Likewise, the phrase I live by and hope you remember is, “Do not fear, only believe.”
In the next post I will share how I overcame my fear of launching my own ministry so stay tuned!
Written by Sean Song
Edited by Danielle Pagnanella