It is the LORD!
All glory, power, honor, praise and thanksgiving be unto our God!
My wife Karen and myself were blessed with our first child, Ivana on 12 Feb 2016 after 5 years of marriage.
It has been an interesting journey for both of us as initially we thought of going for an IVF treatment. I was reluctant as I knew pretty well the church’s position on this matter and explained to my wife too.
But not wanting to discourage Karen I agreed to just go for the consultation first. It turns out we were both physically fine to have children.
But the doctor said we only have 5% chance of conceiving naturally as our age was in the late 30’s already. In a way he was pushing us to go for this treatment soonest. My wife answered we will think through it first.
During the trip back home I thought “Now, if it is not physical, could it be due to some spiritual reason/s we are yet to have any children?”.
That night I took our problem to the Lord. I said, ‘Lord, I know very well what is the Church’s position on this IVF treatment is. Also, there weren’t much practical advice to go about on how to deal with this issue. But you’ve got to give us a way out if this method is ain’t Yours . BTW, please convince Karen if we do NOT need this IVF. I really need you to show me YOUR way out of this problem”
Early next morning after chores Karen blurted out “Who is that doctor to even think that we only have 5% of conceiving? He is not god to say that. Lets’ give our 5% to God and let Him handle this!”
Now we are in agreement!
That night I asked the Holy Spirit who has been sent as our Helper “What must we do to have our own children?”
Immediately, He answered clearly through an inner voice“When you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Heavenly Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you”(Matt 6:6).
What better way to ask for something we secretly long for but be rewarded in public? I knew what needs to be done and thus my prayer life began. I did exactly what Jesus taught in Matthew’s gospel. It started with just 10 minutes every morning then gradually to 20, 30, 45 minutes and eventually to 1 hour! I pressed on, ready to go to the mat with God for a child.
As if that wasn’t enough, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray even at night. I obeyed and did the same starting with 10 minutes and gradually to 30 minutes every night. I was relentless and thank the Holy Spirit for the fruit of perseverance during that time. I prayed in the Spirit too.
It was during this prayer time that the Holy Spirit revealed many “great and mighty things which I did not know” (Jer. 33.3).
In one of the mornings, the Lord revealed that I had deep seated bitterness and un-forgiveness and He showed me a way out of this. Till that point I really didn’t know about this long, deep anger and resentment existed in me but as the Lord led me I was able to release those things from my life. It was my spiritual blind spot and the process took a few days and I was glad He restored me.
Today, I find it easier to forgive and to apologize if I have committed any offences towards others. This was my first refining process.
Then, as I was still pursuing God for an answer the Holy Spirit led me to read certain parts of the Bible (read all of Paul’s epistles) and even books that would help me in my journey of prayer (i.e. Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets).
Holy Spirit the Teacher also taught me to remember Bible verses which has something to do with children for e.g. the Shema of Israel – “Hear O Israel. The LORD is GOD, the LORD is ONE. You shall love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach your children diligently and talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you wake up” (Deut. 6:4-8).
As I was meditating on this verse I asked the Lord “How can I teach my children about You if I don’t have a children of my own? You’ve got to answer my prayer for this commandment to be fulfilled.”
Then, I also learnt about the childless women in the Bible; Sarah, Hannah & Elizabeth. All eventually had children but because it was of God’s direct intervention in their lives. I believed God’s direct intervention could also solve this same predicament we were having.
As I was pursuing God in my daily prayer I came across God’s commandment to “be fruitful and multiply”. God mentioned this twice in Genesis to Adam and Noah as a command. I struggle and question God as I wanted to obey. I also asked God how can I multiply when I’m not being fruitful in the first place? So, there was constant struggle and persistent dialogue in my prayer before it could be answered.
Half way thru in our prayer journey I told the Lord that I was NOT going to give up or give in till the end until we receive an answer. It does not matter if it took 1 year, 5 years or even 10 years…that I was going to pursue God all the way just like Jesus told us to – that is to be bold as in the parable of the persistent widow (Lk. 18: 1-8) and audacious as in the parable of the “midnight friend” (Lk. 11:5-8) until we have a child in our marriage!
It was relentless and intense and it seems I was in a warfare but the Lord by His grace and in His infinite mercy guided me day in and day out on His battle plan!
One day I found a book in an old box title Prison to Praise by Merlin Carothers. It gave me new perspective on our Christian life as it calls us to practice radical gratitude. The easy reading book taught me on how and the why we MUST thank and praise God at all times regardless of circumstances. For once I understood what Paul was writing in this famous verse “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done” (Phil. 4:4-7).
Then came the moment of truth. The Holy Spirit asked me something that might be controversial to some, “Do you believe that you are the head of your wife as Christ is the head of the husband?”
I knew this is in one of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 5:23 I read earlier. I responded, ”Come on, we are no more in those ages where the husband is the boss over the wife. I said we were equals in this marriage.”
“Ok then, now pray over your wife’s womb for it to be open/loosed to conceive” the Holy Spirit instructed me. I knew it was the same binding and loosing application Christ taught to His disciples in the gospel of Matt 18:18.
That very night as my wife was sleeping I prayed a simple prayer over her womb to be open and life to come forth in Jesus name. I waited for 2 weeks nothing happened, then 4 weeks also nothing happen and then 5 and then 6 weeks. I asked the Holy Spirit how come there is nothing?
Then, the Holy Spirit taught me one powerful spiritual principles in life. “I already said but you did not listen. You cannot open your wife’s womb as you don’t believe you are in authority over her. Only those in authority holds the key to open doors and blessings will flow”. I said, “Holy Spirit, I believe now”.
But does that mean I started to boss around my wife? Not at all! I needed this mind-set change as far as my relationship with my wife is concern! In the process the Holy Spirit taught me that “you are not the head of all women but just your wife…remember that!”
I repented of my disobedience and the Holy Spirit instructed me to pray over my wife again. I prayed over my wife’s womb to be open in Jesus name again and this time I knew it was a done deal!
And it’s time to wait upon the Lord. For once, I knew what it means to wait upon our Lord as scriptures says in Isaiah 40:31, “Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary”. I waited with expectancy and continued to praised and thank God for this blessing as though He has given us a child. My faith greatly increased during this waiting period.
And Praise the Lord! The good news came in mid-2015 just before Father’s Day. My wife, Karen conceived and somehow the news did not surprise me as I knew in my heart we had received our miracle already. We broke the news to our parents few days later on Father’s Day with much rejoicing.
Indeed, God has not forgotten us. He is ever faithful as His Word has come to pass in our lives.
God’s timing also couldn’t have been more perfect. 9 months later the Lord gifted us with a healthy and bubbly baby girl right on our 5th wedding anniversary; 12 Feb, 2016. Yup, you’ve heard it right!
His ways are truly perfect and “His grace is readily sufficient for me for my power is made perfect in weaknesses” (2 Cor 12:9) and also “my God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).
We named our daughter Ivana which means God is Gracious. Truly, He has been gracious to us and our family thru His amazing miracle!
As I reflected on this journey I could see the Lord’s hand guiding me every inch of the way. He willingly took 99 steps just so that I can make that 1 step back to Him to entrust Him with that 5% chance!
What more can I say now? If the Holy Spirit can birthed a Church surely He can also give birth to all our dreams and our heart’s desires including to have children which is also our domestic church!
On our part we just need to Listen, Obey & Trust in HIM.
We proclaim it is thru Him, and in Him and with Him we have seen and experienced the Lord’s wondrous deeds in our lives as we share this testimony to you.
We acknowledge the “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1) who has been supporting us with their prayers to our Heavenly Father too.
May our Father in heaven, Jesus Christ, His Son and our Savior and our precious Holy Spirit be blessed forever more!!
Amen and Amen!!!
On May 29th 2016, at Sunday Mass; 10 minutes into the sermon by Fr. Martin at Church of Divine Mercy, I saw a halo around Father Martin from head to toe.
Father Martin was talking about the Eucharist: the significance and importance of partaking in the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. I was attracted to this glowing incessantly bright yellow light which outlined the periphery of the whole body.
The yellow light tapered to white light before it blended into the surrounding environment. This is about 3 inches in thickness. Father Martin appeared radiant with the aura all around his body.
I looked at my watch and noted it was 9.12am and kept telling myself “This is real. I am not dreaming. I am not dreaming.” I looked around the area where the choir or altar boys were standing and noted there was no halo/aura around their bodies. I knew then that what I was witnessing was real and that it was the Holy Spirit and not somebody else. I was calm but at the same time felt very blessed to have been given the priceless opportunity to be the witness of this event. This is the Light of God.
I feel so blessed because I am a Buddhist. I am on my spiritual journey to know God and Jesus.
I shared the good news with my Godma: Aunty Suzanne Lee who is 93 years old. She advised me strongly to share this good news with Father Martin. I felt I had to reveal this magnificent light that God has revealed to me in Father Martin. He is so blessed to be in God’s glory and God’s light to his parishioners of the Church of Divine Mercy Penang.
On 5th June, after Mass and the baptism of the 2 children which I actually stayed back to witness for the very 1st time I shared my account with Fr. Martin and he was very touched. My Godma mentioned that I was the chosen one by the Lord to witness the Divine Light in Father Martin.
I feel very honoured and blessed to be the Chosen one as I am a Buddhist chosen to witness the light of the Holy Spirit all over Father Martin, our honoured Priest. Hearing Father Martin’s sermon each time ; I am filled with the Divinity of the Holy Spirit. I could feel the presence of the Lord. I am emotionally and spiritually touched mightily.
God bless Father Martin mightily.
I pray that Father Martin will continue to be our Parish Father at Church of Divine Mercy in his endeavour to shepherd us, for we are his children.
Father Martin is truly Your chosen one – “The Light”.
I want to thank God for the gift of life and for what he has done to me and my family. I really thank God for it is not by power but by His grace that I am alive. I also want to thank God for my studies here in Malaysia.
The Lord has been providing for me and helping me understand and I want to use this opportunity to thank the Lord for saving my life when I had an accident three years ago and nothing happened to me. I want the Church of Divine Mercy to keep on praying for me and my family for long life and prosperity. I want to thank the Lord for me being a Catholic. I always feel happy and blessed after Mass celebrations in this Parish.
Last year I was diagnosed with blockages in the heart. I prayed to Jesus, Divine Mercy and attended the novena to the Divine Mercy. I went for anointing and blessing.
At the next appointment to the doctors, I had an angiogram done and found that I no longer had any blockages.
Praise the Lord for His mercies and miracles.
Parish: Church of Divine Mercy (Penang)
I am sorry I cannot remember the actual date. It was sometime in early 2015. I was quite sick and feeling very down due to some personal and family problems. I was early for Mass on that day so the church was quite empty and quiet. I was sitting alone on the front pew- first row, praying quietly. When I pray I always have the habit of looking down and concentrate on my prayers.
Suddenly I heard a calm and clear voice saying “Look at the cross.” I was taken by surprise, I looked around, nobody was near me and the nearest person was quite a distance from me. I was very sure I heard the message, it was very clear. I was dumbfounded, shocked and disturbed, I could not pray. I didn’t know what to do so I quiet and still. I tried to decipher the message. Then it dawned on me that Jesus was telling me that my cross is so small compared to His cross…that I should not worry but have hope and trust in the Lord.
Everything will be good and beautiful in His time.
Now, whenever I pray I make sure that I look up and gaze at the beautiful cross hanging in the sanctuary. My family and I are blessed and grateful that we have a Father who heals, cares, forgives, and carries our burdens on His shoulders. He has no off days and never retires.
I praise and glorify you Lord Jesus. I lay everything at your feet. Thank you Lord.
Jesus I trust in you.
Parish: Church of Divine Mercy (Penang)