The dining hall in Calhoun College, Yale University

“Now thanks be to God who always
leads us in triumph in Christ, and
through us diffuses the fragrance
of His knowledge in every place.
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ
among those who are being saved and among
those who are perishing. To the one we are
the aroma of death leading to death,
and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.
And who is sufficient for these things?”
(2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

During my junior year at Yale (1985-86), my oldest sister Patricia came down with a serious illness. She had been a missionary for many years in Taiwan and was fluent in Chinese. In fact, she had become so fluent that she had largely forgotten her English, living for years among the non-English speaking peoples there. She had gotten into the habit of giving herself fully to the care of others, especially the children, but she did not take care of herself—even now when she was back in the United States. One day, she was diagnosed with cancer but, because she had ignored evident symptoms of illness over a long period of time, the cancer was already so advanced that there were tumors throughout her entire lymphatic system. The doctors showed her the x-rays they had taken and told her that she had only one to three months to live. There was no cure, no answer for what had happened to her because she had not gone to them soon enough.  

My sister Pat in 2007

During that time, there was a young lady from Japan in Calhoun College at Yale who was a friend of mine. She was Buddhist, but she wanted to know about Jesus. She would sit down with me in the dining hall on various occasions and ask me to tell her more about this Jesus who had changed my life. When my sister, Patricia, called with the news about having what was by then terminal cancer, this Japanese friend was the first person I ran into. I was quite upset by the news as I was very close to my oldest sister, so I told this friend what had happened. She, a Japanese from a Buddhist background said to me, “You and I are going to sit down right now in the dining hall, and we are going to pray, and Jesus is going to heal your sister.” She had more faith in what God was going to do than I did! We sat down that day in the dining hall of Calhoun College and prayed together for the healing of my sister. Afterwards, I felt a relief about the situation that I could not explain at the time.

About a month later, my sister called again and told me that the doctors did not know what had happened. They had taken a new set of x-rays, and all the tumors were gone! There were only three dead nodules left in her lymphatic system. They told her that they thought they had made a mistake with the original diagnosis, but then again they had the x-rays right there from a month before showing all the tumors. Yet now they had the new x-rays that showed no tumors, and told my sister that she was fine—for reasons that they could not explain.

After getting off the phone with my sister Pat, I ran to find my Japanese friend to tell her the good news. When I found her, I said to her, “I have to tell you what happened to my sister!” I told her what my sister had just said to me, that the doctors thought they had made a mistake, but now the cancer was gone. That young lady replied, “There was no mistake. Jesus healed your sister!” I realized afterwards that part of why God performed that miracle was not just for my sister’s sake, though my sister has been cancer-free ever since. Jesus healed my sister so that this young lady from Japan could know how real He is, and so that she could come to know Him as her personal Lord and Savior.

Copyright ©2014 Christopher N. White.