Testimony of Sis. Aurelia Abujen
The first time I saw her was when she visited our house for our weekly bible study. That was also her first visit in our house. Exchange of greetings. Asking each other’s names. And a little conversation about the faith we both embraced. That’s how our first meeting took place.
Few weeks had passed and I didn’t notice that she never visited our house again. And because I was also busy, it didn’t bother me to ask why I didn’t see her again.
On Saturday at 10:30 in the morning, my mother invited me to go to the hospital. I’m pretty sure that she was not the one who was going to see the doctor because it was out of her character. I got the urge to ask her why and who are we going to visit in the hospital, because I haven’t heard a relative or a neighbor who was sick. “We’re going to visit Sister Auring.” “Sister Auring?” I’ve repeated the name three times to myself.
It’s been so long since the last time I’ve seen her and it was when she last visited our house. Then, I suddenly remembered our first meeting where she told me about how she was converted in the year 1993. She was selling vegetables in the market of Quinta at Quiapo, when she first heard the preaching of the gospel. Despite the loud and noisy surroundings, she could vividly hear the joyful singing of the missionaries. She couldn’t explain the happiness that she felt every time she heard them. There was the feeling that she was like communicating with God through these songs.
On the third day of preaching, a missionary approached her and asked for her name, who also invited her to attend a mass service in Makiling, Sampaloc. However, she couldn’t make it that time because she was in her last month of pregnancy. But two months after she had given birth, she immediately attended the church service and decided to be baptized.
In Philippine General Hospital, at 11:00 in the morning, I didn’t even notice what section we entered. All I knew was that it was where we’re going to find Sister Auring. “How’s your condition?” “Well, unfortunately, I’m still having stomachaches.” “So what are the findings?” “The results of the tests are not out yet.”
Just the other day, Sister Auring said that her stomach suddenly began to ache. She was first delivered at Manila Hospital and after she was given a medicine by a doctor, she immediately was sent home. But days had passed, the pain didn’t relieve, that’s why her daughter decided to bring her to PGH instead. There she went through several laboratory tests like ultrasound and x-ray.
When the results were revealed, we found out that Sister Auring has intestinal infection but by the grace of God, it was not cancerous. However, after a month of taking antibiotic, she again felt the stomachache. Through an ultrasound, a stone was seen in her bile. So she came back to PGH for an operation.
In every devotion and prayer meeting, there were always prayer requests for the fast recovery of Sister Auring.
One week after the operation, she felt the pain again. This time she was brought to Medical Doctors. There, it was diagnosed that her cervix also had an infection. And for the second time, she went through an operation. And somewhat, her stomach aches unceasingly, pain that can’t be expressed in words. After a few months of observing her condition, her stomach began to ache again. It was infected by her last operation. Pus appeared in her intestine due to the infection. It was longer cure the pus in her stomach that’s why she underwent to the third operation where her intestine was temporarily removed.
In this state of Sister Auring, she reached the point where she questioned God why did she have this kind of illness despite that she is serving the Lord. There were also times that she thought of giving up when her stomachaches attack.
But the words of God together with the sympathy and support of the brethren were sufficient to make her continue to trust and believe to the promise of God, “… I will put none of these diseases upon thee… for I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26).
After the pus has been removed at her intestine, she needs to undergo an operation again for the fourth time to check the condition of her intestine. And by the grace of God, the doctors found her intestine clean and free from infection. She was then relieved from any pain.
She finally, figured out the answers to her questions that this illness was just a trial and she knew that God would heal her.
Even in financial problems, she experienced God’s mighty works in her family. God continuously blessed and helped Brother Toto in his job at a ship. And as a believer, while working hard abroad, he fully entrusted his wife’s condition to the Lord.
It’s almost a year now after Sister Auring was cured. If you would take a look at her now you would not believe that she went through that severe disease. From a haggard face and scrawny figure due to the many operations she had undergo, to a healthy and lively physique. A vigorous smile lit her face up whenever she remembered how God healed her. And most of all, she possessed a renewed faith to our Lord.
Four operations. One severe test of faith. One year of struggling with illness. Truly, God was faithful and kind for Sister Auring to overcome all this.
Now, she was again serving the Lord as the vice-president of Adult Watchers’ Department at the Locale Church of Pandacan with the great experience of again serving the Lord, a service that was not only accompanied with faith but also true and absolute thanksgiving to our Great Physician. (M. Fernandez)