Happenings, News

My mother’s experience of the new birth: John Sung

Here is the great evangelist, John Sung’s remarkable story of his mother’s miraculous new birth, a harbinger of his own birth later on. The dark night of the soul had given way to glorious hope.

homepage-August 2005

ALTHOUGH my father was born again and consecrated, alas, my mother was neither cold nor hot, but after some years my mother’s deliverance came. Her experience of the new birth was while on a sick bed with a very painful illness. She was for six months in a very low state, nearly at the gates of death.

The doctors and experienced men all told my father to prepare my mother’s coffin and shroud. He refrained from weeping and went to prepare everything that was needful for mother’s departure. It was New Year’s Eve and the wind was howling outside and the prospect was indeed a very dark one.

My father wiped away the hot flowing tears and took all my brothers one by one to the bedside. When he saw her appearance he was all the more distressed. He seized her hand and said to her, “I and your children are here.” The end of the sentence was choked with grief.

Mother opened her eyes and the tears flowed out on to the pillow. She tried to speak, raised herself up and fell back exhausted and could not say a word. There was deep silence in the room for a quarter of an hour.

What with the north wind howling, my brothers and sisters wailing and my father praying, it was a distressing scene. Each sound entered my mother’s heart and her face wrinkled with pain and sorrow.

Then (as though a voice said): “Woman, arise, eat your rice and meat, I will give you new life this night.” In a moment my mother’s spirit returned because she heard this Holy decree of the Great Physician and restorer of life, Jesus.

She suddenly sprang up and said: “Please give me some rice and meat to eat!” My father, who so faithfully believed in God Almighty, flew with great happiness to get some rice and roasted some meat and took it to her to eat, thanking God.

My mother, having passed through this great illness, zealously worshipped God from this time onwards and with my father, endured the cross of hardship willingly, served the Lord reverently and diligently, and with a happy heart followed him.

After my father and mother had both experienced the new birth, they again made history in their home – they received me – another son. On the 27th September 1901 I was born.

At that time we were very poor, but fortunately my parents, both before and after receiving the Christ-abundant-life, were of one mind to endure hardship and do God’s work, and although the family were embarrassing, the atmosphere of happiness never dispersed a day.

Our family was a heaven upon earth. were continually singing, “Jesus with makes it Heaven.” — John Sung (translated by E. Tipson). MM, December1935, p.16.

Earnest Lau, the Associate Editor of Methodist Message, is also the Archivist of The Methodist Church in Singapore.