23 Nov 2013 by John Boo –
It should have been the end for Brother John Boo of Kajang Assembly of God. Before 2011, Brother John was a normal, healthy person without any previous case of serious illness. This changed in September of that year, when John suffered his first stroke. God protected him by localizing the stroke on the brain nerves that controlled sensation, and brought him safely out of the first attack. Starting in December 2011, though, the pain came back and by May 2012, John was hospitalized for infection of 2 of his heart valves.
John was in coma for the whole week before his operation. Even the operation was risky as many of John’s internal organs had been highly-infected by bacteria, and many of these organs were starting to fail. As John’s body started to fail, his family, and the church of Kajang Assembly of God could only pray for God’s mercy and deliverance. Brother John’s testimony is a remarkable one of what happened throughout this incident:
I Came Out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death
In the past, health issues were “non-existent” as far as I was concerned. I seldom fell sick, other than the occasional sore throat or minor gastric pain.
I have always been on the thin side and thought that high blood pressure or high cholesterol, which gives rise to strokes or heart attacks, is usually associated with people who are overweight or advanced in age.
Last year , I took a blood test after suffering from prolonged gastric pain and the results were quite reassuring. There was no high blood pressure and no issue with cholesterol.
In September 2011, suddenly without warning, the left side of my body became numb. I realized that I was having a stroke. I was rushed to hospital. Inside the ambulance, still in shock and pain, I cried out to God for help. Thank God, within half an hour, the intensity of the stroke subsided to just minor numbness on my left palm, left toe and face. The doctor said I was fortunate as the stroke was localized on the brain nerves that controlled sensation.
Three days later, I was discharged from Pantai Cheras Hospital.
My ordeal did not end there. You have heard the Malay proverb, “Sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga”. Sometime in December 2011, my feet started to swell. Months passed and it got worse. I had difficulty walking and was always tired and sleepy. I felt cold although the weather was hot.
In May 2012, I went for a heart scan at Serdang Hospital that revealed an infection of 2 of my heart valves. I was hospitalized immediately.
It was not a pleasant stay as I could not sleep well at times.
I was unconscious for a week prior to my heart operation. Doctors said I had a 50 percent chance of pulling through due to the risk of stroke during the operation. The exceptionally high bacterial count in the bloodstream made the surgery riskier.
The day before the operation, while feeling restless and depressed, a poster caught my wife Yee Lew’s attention. Written on it was, “God said don’t look to the highness of your need, look to the highness of your God; your circumstance is hindrance to seeing My abilities… If you keep your eyes on your circumstance, the devil will use it to defeat you and accuse the word of God; your victory is keeping your eyes on the highness of your God and His abilities; He has promised to take you step by step by step… not all at once but STEP BY STEP and each step will be a MIRACLE.”
The open heart surgery was a tricky one. There was vegetation growing out of one of the valves and valve replacement was necessary while minor repairs had to be carried out on the other one. Although the surgery was successfully carried out, my body did not cope well with the changes. My kidneys and liver were failing and there was large amount of blood discharging through my stools.
A couple of days later, I came down with a lung infection. While all this was happening, I was told that the church (Kajang Assembly of God) was interceding for me. The day after the operation, in our anxiety and helplessness, God stepped in. Yee Lew received a vision. She saw through the window of the hospital, a large eagle’s wing.
Psalms 91:4 –
He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.
In her hour of despair, God brought her comfort, peace and hope. Every day without fail, my wife would rub anointing oil upon me and prayed earnestly for God to heal me. I could recall the song she sang to me often, “God will make a way when there seems to be no way”.
God was true to His word when He said, “step-by-step I will heal you”. One week after the operation, I regained consciousness. Two months after being warded, I was discharged. Was it a coincidence that my room number was 27? Number 7 is God’s favorite number and I was warded for 2 months. I fully recovered from my lung infection and God miraculously restored the functions of my kidneys and liver.
The prayers of church members had made a difference. The prayers went up to heaven and God extended my stay on earth. In the past, I was weak and pale but now I feel stronger, have good appetite and don’t feel sleepy any more. I don’t complain of cold now; in fact I complain how hot it is! I have been sleeping well and the swelling on my feet has gone.
I thank those who have prayed for me and visited me as well as those who brought comfort and emotional support to my wife during those trying moments. God bless you and to God be the glory.
(first published in 180 Degrees; Kajang Assembly of God; Christmas Issue 2012)
Today, Brother John Boo has gained back his full health, and is celebrating the goodness of God and worshipping Him in full spirit in Kajang Assembly of God. It was a praying church who stood behind a stricken brother, and the power and mercy of God that brought about a miracle. As Brother John put it, God had literally given him a new and better heart. John’s testimony is as clear a message as any that our Heavenly Father still performs miracles today. Praise God for His Grace, Love, and Power! – Edited by Jason Law CM
References for pictures
– Photos of John Boo Courtesy of Brother John Boo