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When Cancer is Part of the Christian Journey

When Brenda Tan testified at Saturday Praise Service in January that 2016 would be a year of great personal challenge, little did she know that it would include undergoing treatment for stomach cancer.


by Brenda Tan

By the time I was diagnosed with stomach cancer on 12 February 2016, I had already been a Christian for 27 years. In those years, I’ve had the privilege of visiting the valley of the shadow of death a number of times with our Shepherd.

When the doctor revealed that the tumour was cancerous and my entire stomach had to be removed, I was not only fully at peace, but I also saw the humour in the situation. How else was I to reconcile the oft-sung, “Lord I give you my life”, if I refused to give Him my one stomach?

With victory already won in Christ, I don’t fear death. For me, “to live is Christ, to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21): while I’m alive, I live to grow in Him, to love His sheep, and to obey Him. And when (not if) I die, the reward is to go to a far more glorious place than whatever I can experience in this life, a place where I can reunite with loved ones that have gone before, and where I await my family and friends still on earth.