Auntie Karen

Diagnosed with UCTD (Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease), an autoimmune disease, Karen Ng (centre) did not expect the way God would bring healing to her body. All photos courtesy of Karen Ng.

While serving at the Christmas baptism service in her church in 2016, Karen Ng found herself doubled over in tears as her whole body throbbed in pain.

When her husband, Danny, rushed to her side to support her, she clutched his hand and whispered to him helplessly: “The pain is too much to bear. Can you just let me die?”

Diagnosed with UCTD (Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease), an autoimmune disease, earlier that year, Karen had been suffering from stabbing pains all over her body which caused frequent fainting spells as well as rash, extreme photosensitivity and breathing difficulties.

Karen, pictured here with her husband and daughter, had to be covered from head to toe for years when stepping out of the house as photosensitivity made her allergic to the sun’s rays.

Fatigued and nauseous all the time, she lost her appetite rapidly. This, coupled with the side effects of her medication, led to a diagnosis of osteopenia, a condition characterised by brittle bones due to a deficit of calcium.

Previously a high-flying and driven human resource professional and team manager, Karen, then 45, found herself unable to work, eat or even step out the house without fainting.

She recalled: “At that point, I couldn’t even serve (in church) properly anymore. I just wanted the pain to end.”

An ironic calling

Despite being plagued by various ailments, God called Karen, through her pastor, to serve in the Kum Yan Methodist Church healing ministry, Dunamis.

It was ironic as it seemed that she was the one in need of healing. But Pastor Quek Boon Chiau was certain of the Holy Spirit’s prompting to recruit her into the team.

Dunamis, the healing ministry at Kum Yan Methodist Church. The ministry became dormant after Pastor Quek retired.

Before her first training session, Karen broke out in a bad rash across her face and body. “I wasn’t even sure if I was able to go for the session,” she recalled.

She went anyway, not expecting what would come next.

Freed from past wounds

A part of the training required participants to practise praying for and receiving prayer from each other.

She saw a vision of her mother at 19 years old, pregnant with her, looking out of the window and contemplating suicide.

When it was her turn to receive prayer, Karen asked the Holy Spirit to reveal to her the root cause of her disease.

With her coursemates laying hands on her, she saw a vision of her mother at 19 years old, pregnant with her, looking out of the window and contemplating suicide.

“I also saw myself in my mum’s womb feeling extremely tense,” related Karen, now 52.

Her past wounds were further revealed when her coursemates received two words for her: Responsibility and Perfection.

Karen realised that she had grown up feeling responsible for her mother’s struggles. When her parents got divorced, she also blamed herself for causing the problems in their marriage, as she believed that they had only gotten married because of her.

In an attempt to make up for everything that her mother had lost, Karen spent her life striving to be the “perfect” child, but it was exhausting.

Jesus revealed to her that she was a gift, not a curse. He had brought her into the world and given her the breath of life.

With all of her past hurts laid bare, Karen turned to the Lord and prayed: “Jesus, please come into this picture and bring healing.”

Immediately, she was flooded with peace. Her vision changed: She saw Jesus holding her mother tightly and securely, wrapping her in His embrace.

“I saw myself stepping away from the care for my mum as Jesus took care of her. I was being set free,” said Karen.

Jesus revealed to her that she was a gift, not a curse. He had brought her into the world and given her the breath of life.

“I prayed and gave to Jesus all my mum’s pain, panic and thoughts of suicide, and I commanded the spirit of death and suicide out of my own life,” she said.

As God’s peace settled in Karen’s heart, she noticed that her chest was no longer heaving. Her breathing difficulties had been eased.

A miraculous bite

More healing was to come.

At the end of 2019, after months of training, the Holy Spirit revealed a specific incident that had traumatised Karen more than she had realised: When she was 13, she had been molested at knifepoint by a stranger.

The incident had made her feel condemned for years.

“I didn’t feel clean,” she recalled. “I asked Jesus to come into the situation and He did, very swiftly,” said Karen.

“He was saying to me, ‘Karen, I’m here, you’re safe, I am guarding you.'”

In a vision, she saw her younger self two minutes away from the place she was molested. Jesus appeared, carried her into His arms and walked down the street in the opposite direction.

The sense that I got immediately was that He is my protector, my bodyguard. And He was saying to me, ‘Karen, I’m here, you’re safe, I am guarding you.'”

The following Monday afternoon, Karen received a text from Pastor Quek asking her to check if her food allergies had been healed.

As her immune system weakened, her doctor had given her a list of more than 13 types of foods that she cannot eat, including wheat, eggs and dairy.* She had abstained from various foods for five-and-a-half years.

But that day, Karen found herself studying a display of sandwiches and pastries at a Starbucks outlet. After praying, she felt led to try eating a sandwich.

She did – and did not suffer an allergic reaction.

The following day, she decided to try a slice of fruit cake, one of her dessert favourites that she had been forced to forgo for the past half decade.

“It had been so long that I had forgotten how cake tasted,” she said.

Each bite Karen takes now – especially of her favourite dessert, chocolate cake – reminds her of God’s presence and goodness in her life.

After observing no allergic reaction after the first bite, she savoured the rest of the cake with her heart filled with joy and gratitude.

She knew that her food allergies had been alleviated.

Healer of our body and soul

It has since been four years. 

Though traces of her disease still linger, Karen’s recent blood test results revealed that her condition is stable. She no longer suffers from photosensitivity, allowing her to spend time with her loved ones outdoors.

While she was previously heavily reliant on medication, she is now only on a thrice-weekly dose.

On her holiday to Seoul, Karen realised that her photosensitivity had been healed. “Sunlight was streaming in and there was no pain or rash.”

Yet, what she values the most is the spiritual growth she has experienced.

“After my encounter with God, His Word has come alive. What used to be cognitive is now at heart level,” Karen told Salt&Light.

“Now, I pray very differently,” she added with a smile. “My sensitivity to God has increased after the incident.”

Moved by what she has experienced of God, both emotionally and spiritually, Karen takes every opportunity to testify of His goodness and healing over her life.

She said: “For anyone out there who is suffering from chronic illnesses, don’t give up. He is truly a healer, not just of our bodies but most importantly, of our souls.”

*DISCLAIMER: This story is a personal reflection. Always seek the guidance of your pastor and/or doctor or other qualified health professional with any question you may have regarding your health or medical condition. 


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About the author

Gabrielle Chin

Gabrielle is Salt&Light’s intern and loves to write and talk about anything Jesus related. If you catch her talking to the air, it’s likely that she’s talking to Jesus. In her free time, she enjoys a good nap and watching movies with her family.