Faith Story by Ps Ho Yin Meng
We spent months planning and preparing for our first ever trip to the UK to spend Christmas with our children who are studying and working there. This would be our first Christmas together as a family after two years – three whole weeks together to catch up and travel together as a family. Exciting plans…
However, our plans did not go the way planned or expected. Four out of six pieces of our luggage did not arrive when we arrived at Manchester Airport. After much stress from calling both the airlines and airport repeatedly, they were finally sent to us, four days later, at the second city in our itinerary.
The car we hired and paid for was not available upon pick up. So, we had to make do with a smaller one resulting in a tight squeeze – five of us plus luggage in the boot, on our laps, at our feet, and every nook and cranny you can think of! I burst out laughing when we managed to squeeze everyone and everything in after struggling to close the door. The family thought I had gone mad or hysterical! I guess if I hadn’t laughed, I would have cried!
To top it all, we all contracted Covid! It started with our first son, Jonathan, who tested positive on Christmas eve. Our Christmas outing turned out to be a walk to the testing centre to get PCR tests done. A most unforgettable Christmas! A day later, the results showed that all three children were positive, Ps Kenneth and I were not.
This meant we had to cancel and to make changes to our travel plans, forfeit accommodation bookings and transport fares. Ps Kenneth and I were busy getting groceries and going from one pharmacy to another looking for test kits which had become very scarce. We did all these on foot, walking from place to place, to reduce contact with others. At the same time, we had to care for our kids contactless. We went back to having family time over Zoom though we were under the same roof. I felt very miserable – we had traveled all the way to the UK to Zoom meet our kids and we couldn’t see nor hug them.
Then, both of us tested positive! On that day, I rejoiced – we could finally be together again as a family!
As a result of Covid, we lost ten days of our holiday from self-isolation. This started the stress of having to extend our trip for another week, re-arrange accommodations, and trying to decide on our return dates due to the uncertainty of when we would test PCR negative to comply with airline and customs requirements. We were also concerned about what would happen when we arrived in Malaysia – home quarantine or quarantine in KL. I had to postpone my teaching classes. I was feeling quite down, especially as we had to say goodbye to both Rose-Sharon & Jonathan when both had to return to their respective cities at the end of three weeks.
On the Sunday before we left the UK, both of us visited a church together with Daniel. It was a small church, and worship was just one guy with a guitar. But, the moment worship began, the anointing was so great. God ministered to me, reminded me of His love and said to me that starting the next day, we would begin to see turnarounds for our family. And that is exactly what happened! Some of the turnarounds we experienced – our children got their request for extension of assignment dates approved, Daniel received a scholarship he did not apply for, and Jonathan got a pay rise. Even more amazing, four days before we flew back to Malaysia, our health minister announced that those who recovered from Covid recently did not need to be quarantined!
When we arrived in KL, we tested negative and were allowed to fly on to Sabah. Upon our arrival in KK, the officials didn’t know what to do with us as this change was just announced. We boldly told them we were tested negative in KL and that the health minister had said that there was no need for quarantine for infected travelers who had just recovered. They let us go home! The next day, a friend texted to tell us that an hour after our arrival, all overseas passengers, regardless of having contracted Covid or not, had to quarantine in KL. We entered Sabah in that narrow window of opportunity! Truly, our God turned things around for us!
Our holiday certainly didn’t turn out as expected, but we thank God that we still had time with our kids and together, we could see how our Abba worked things out for us.
What’s my takeaway from this?
- Nothing is impossible with our God!
- Instead of allowing disappointments to discourage us, we can always expect God to turn things around for the good of those who love Him.
- We thank God for the leaders in our zone and some of you who journeyed with us, praying with, and for us – we need to be part of a community of believers.
- Finally, we can use any stories of God’s goodness in our lives to share with others so that they, too, may know our Abba who is so personal and who can light up the darkest night…
Let’s worship Him and give Him the glory!!!
Ps Ho Yin Meng