Catherine Cheong, who was only 26 years old back then, was diagnosed with an unusual tumour growth on her uterus in April 2002. Both her ovaries had deteriorated and became infected with fungal growth that they started bleeding continuously. She needed around 45 sanitary pads per day.
“The doctor told me that it would normally take six months for the tumour to be full-blown, but in my case, it took only two weeks!” she said.
Broke, she had no money to go for the surgery. She had been living a life of despair after her broken nose just two years earlier. “While having morning breakfast at about 5am with my nephew, I was beaten up by some thugs who were high on drugs,” she said. “I was hospitalised for a month with a broken nose.”
She had lost her job, and her health and relationship with a family member were not in good shape. “All my savings were also depleted by the time the doctor broke the news about my tumour,” Cheong said. In her despair, she started to wonder whether life was worth living anymore. “I felt that my life was meaningless,” she said. “I thought of ending my own life.”
On that day, she started to turn to alcohol and started drinking from 12 noon till 12 midnight without food at a pub. “On my way home, I was hoping to meet an accident, and just die,” she said. “However, I reached home safely although my mind was still not sober.”
She was living on the 10th floor of a condominium in Petaling Jaya. “Still under the influence of alcohol, I decided to commit suicide by jumping from my condo,” she said. “I found my left leg on the edge of my window. It had no grills and as I pushed my other leg to the top of the window, I felt a great force pushing my chest backwards. I fell onto the bed and I just fell into a deep sleep.”
In her dream, she saw the vision of a cross with a very bright radiant light. “I woke up at about 5am and started to weep uncontrollably like a little child. Deep inside, I knew something was missing in life. I wanted this Jesus.”
No one would have thought that Cheong was, in fact, seeking an answer to life. The former Feng Shui practitioner from Penang could predict people’s future since the age of 21. “I felt very proud of this ability,” she said. “Since young, I had this ability which the Chinese call the third eye or ‘yam yeong ngan’ which allowed me to see ghosts.”
Her grand uncle was a fortune teller although he had no formal training. At the age of four, Cheong was dedicated to one of the local deities, and later, she also started to open herself to various other spiritual practices.
During her schooling years, her schoolmates invited her to join the Catholic Joyful Vanguard. However, at that time, she just joined them for the fun of it.
After waking up from her sleep, that same day, a stranger, whom she had tried to avoid many times, came knocking at her door. This lady had been trying to reach out to her. For the first time, Cheong decided to invite her into the condominium and this stranger started to comfort her. She shared the gospel with Cheong and within less than half an hour, Cheong prayed to receive Jesus as her personal Saviour. From then on, Cheong started to visit several churches on her own initiative until one day about one week later, when she was invited by a friend to visit FGA.
“The moment I stepped into FGA for the first time of my life, I felt something unusual happening to me. I started speaking in a foreign tongue,” she said. “During the prayer session, Pastor Josephine taught me the power of prayer and fasting.”
The next day, she started to fast and pray. Abstaining herself from picking up the handphone, she learnt to stay away from the outside world. For the next seven days, it was a spiritual battle.
“I was so afraid to close my eyes (while having my bath or in sleep) because I could hear the sound of the tower bell in the temple, struck with a stick,” Cheong said. “I could hear a voice speaking to me. As I was standing on a rock in the dream, facing a waterfall and mountains, I looked up at the dark sky above me. The voice said to me, ‘It is time to come home because of the sin of your past life.’
“Then I woke up, full of sweat. I continued to seek Jesus. Deep in my heart, as I was reading John chapter 9, I realised that Jesus was speaking to me, ‘If I can heal the blind, why not you?’
“I believed His Word. The dream continued on where it stopped for the next six days. On the seventh day, the same voice that had spoken earlier in my dream spoke to me again.
“I picked up sufficient courage to shout back at the voice, ‘You are not my god! Jesus is the only God I have and He is my Saviour. Go away!’
“Immediately, the greyish, dark clouds turned into a bright and fresh scenery, like paradise and a radiant cross appeared in the sky above the waterfall.
“I woke up, feeling relieved. It felt like a chain had been broken and I was set free again. I started to claim on God’s promises, and gave all the glory to Jesus,” Cheong continued.
“After these seven days, I went to a third doctor for another check-up. This time, the doctor told me that there was nothing wrong with the uterus and ovary. She did the third ultra-scan and confirmed again that everything looked okay.”
Not long after that incident, Cheong’s grandmother visited her unexpectedly. “I was too afraid to tell her that I had accepted Jesus as my Saviour,” Cheong said. “She belonged to a very traditional family who would not have anything to do with Christianity.
“To my surprise, after she told me the whole story that the family did not think that I would live beyond 27 years old (based on the Chinese calendar), she told me to continue serving Jesus with all my heart and all my soul because Jesus had saved my life. Thank God, I am still alive!”
Cheong recently celebrated her forty-fourth birthday. She is happily married to Allan Wu and has a 23-year-old son, Zehn Wu.
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