Friday, March 20, 2020
Living on-the-line and online
Greetings from Charlotte, North Carolina. As part of the seminary spring break, I was looking forward to coming back to KL last week for a client training assignment but my flight was cancelled due to the travel restrictions from the US authorities as the flight had to transit through Seoul, Korea. "Cancellation" is becoming a common byword in this trying season where events come to a standstill and people are forced to be still. In the case of my training session, it was reconverted to become an online one instead - spent the last three days staying up from 9.00pm to 5.00am in order to match the Malaysia time zone!
When spring break ends this Sunday, all my remaining classes for the semester will be conducted online. Being in the apartment together with my wife and daughter do make learning into a family project! Eliza's final semester in Asbury University has been converted into an online season as well and she is planning to come and stay with us next week, so our apartment here is being converted into the "Tan Family School" where everyone is a student (but who's paying the bills?, haha)! We are grateful that in this time of health crisis, while there is "social distancing", we have the opportunity to stick together as a family. The Lord is faithful.
Our families back home in Malaysia is safe and healthy - we are thankful. During winter, it was about checking the temperature every day but now it is about checking the number of Covid-19 cases and all of what is happening seem so surreal. The community here is taking the situation seriously - the church service in Uptown has gone online and we are now in day 3 of a 14-day national "shut-down" ordered by the government. This common enemy has certainly united the politicians here and it is encouraging to see how the private and public sectors are working together. Eunice recently wrote a blog post about the current Covid-19 situation and what Psalm 1 has to say about it:http://toberadical.weebly.com/blog/dont-let-covid-19-take-over-your-life
Over the past two months we have been busy with Eunice's scholarship interview and competition preparations with 3 different universities and we praise the Lord for the positive results. We are in the midst of finalizing the application/acceptance and look forward to her "new life" starting this fall (August). Eliza, on the other hand is transiting to her "new life" in terms of looking for a job (she will be graduating in May). Debra and myself are looking forward to our "new life" as empty-nesters by then! Do pray for us as we go through these transition periods and be sensitive to the Lord's leading and direction. I can often be caught up with my own schemes that I do not seek the Lord as I ought (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Do pray also for a strong finish to this semester despite the health crisis situation. I am taking six subjects - Classics of Personal Devotion, Evangelism, Greek Exegesis, History of Christianity II, Christian Thought & Philosophy, Christian Encounter with Islam.
Thank you for partnering with us in this journey of joy.
Joseph & Debra.