But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this
all-surpassing power is from God and
not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Monday, January 17, 2022

God's Providence: What God teaches me through my Ectopic Pregnancy

I took me great effort and prayers to write this post. The purpose of putting them down in a post is to remind myself not to forget the grace I have received in Christ, and to persevere in this life to do what He has called me to do. It is also my desire to leave this to my loved ones, especially Joshua and Nathan - to share and encourage them to see the good Lord I have and to hold fast to Him, for apart from Him there is no hope and goodness, no matter how beautiful the things of world appear to you.

Wei En and I have been married to each other since 2017, and we have our firstborn, Joshua, in the following year in 2018, and Nathan the year after in 2019. Time just passed by swiftly when parenthood begins, and this journey has been infused with so much challenges, joy, tears, learning, testing of patience and love. Without the grace of God through His Word and Holy Spirit, I believe this journey would be so awful, hopeless, and centering a lot on man-made pursuits. 

Just end of last year, Wei En and I started having conversations about having a third baby. I was a bit dumbfounded when he raised that idea. The reasons are very practical - it is physically draining to start all over again and caring for an infant along with two toddlers is madness; I can sense the body truly aging and running out of energy; it is quite a bit of money to raise a kid in Singapore; we are constantly battling with childcare arrangement especially our kids fall sick 40% if not 50% of the time. 

However, when Wei En raised this thought, it was not as if he was oblivious to all these constraints. It was raised at a time when he was equipping himself more aggressively in the Word, and shepherding the youths in church. 

At times, we think how good it will be if there is one more godly person in this world who will share the Word of God clearly and boldly, seeing that nothing in this world can save a person's souls but only the faith in Christ Jesus. We desire to raise godly offsprings who can live for God's kingdom, who can be the salt and light of the world - not being assimilated into the world but live out the glory of God in each given condition.

But the practical aspects of child-bearing and nurturing a child are intimidating for a small heart as mine. Wei En once shared - with two kids, we are actually quite comfortable now. Each parent can take care of one child, fair and square. With the third, if there is, maybe the children and us will come to realize our Lord's grace deeper. But out of love for me, he hope if we ever have another child, may it be sooner than later so that it is not too strenuous for my body to go through another child-bearing process.

I could not say yes to him heartily but I have kept these conversations in my heart, and bring it God through prayers. "God, do you think it is a good thing that we have another child?" "Can we make it, without failing badly and embarrass You?" "Can I take it? The two kids are already driving me nuts most of the times as I battle with their increasing manifestation of sin." Little did I know while all these concerns seem valid, my heart was softened over time and I have also started desiring having the 3rd baby unknowingly...

Few months later, just the few days before Christmas, I found myself pregnant! How should I describe the feeling? It was a curry of mixed feeling of "oh no!" and "thank God!" and "God, this is Your reply to us as we bring the idea to you?" But we were so very happy, though intimidating, we were so so happy. It was like God answering a Yes/No to our prayer, and He gave us just before the year ended. It was like a gift to us, just in time during Christmas!

The body started to feel aches all over, and it felt so different than previous pregnancies. Perhaps I really have aged much over time. We decided to find a time to visit gynae earlier, right after TBRC. With full anticipation and gratitude, we prepared ourselves for The Blessed Run Conference (TBRC) and we couldn't be more thankful that the kids were not sick and were able to join childcare as TBRC began.

I would never forget TBRC 2021. We made our way quickly to church after sending the kids to childcare, and I saw Isabelle playing the keyboard for the worship. I was so so happy for her. I know it is a fight for her to be there, after becoming a mother of a just 1 year old toddler. There are so many things that call for our attention after a woman becomes a mother, most of them come from the child. I know she prayed to restore serving as well after becoming a mom, and seeing her on the keyboard was one of the little leaps of faith and commitment to God she strived to sustain. The sermon started on the right and necessary note, as Pastor preached about the BIG ASSUMPTIONS many Christians have - We already know. 

However, midway while listening to the sermon, I felt something gushing out from me beneath. Something did not feel quite right. But I was not feeling any pain, so I gave myself a mental note to check it later during the toilet break. 

To my horror, I saw blood when I went to the toilet. It was not a little blood, it was abnormal amount of blood for a pregnant woman. My heart sank and I broke into tears. I put a pad and went back to my seat at the conference. My tears just came down uncontrollably as I sat through the second sermon. The mind told me what was happening. Being a trained healthcare person, I know I could be having a miscarriage or threatened miscarriage. In any way, it is not a good sign. But if it is a miscarriage, there is nothing that I could do that can salvage what is to be lost. Going to the hospital right away might not help because no actions would possibly be taken in the next few hours; and I was already sitting down and not doing strenuous exercise which would not aggravate the situation. Knowing these didn't help the tears, my heart felt as if it was torn into million pieces knowing I might be losing it. All I could do at that time was to cry to God who is sovereign, He who gives also sustains if He wills.  I continued to pay attention to the sermon preached but my heart continued to be troubled and sorrowful - God, help me to trust You come what may.

After the sermon, we had a blessed forum session discussing on the sermons preached in the morning. God seemed to let me forget the blood as the forum went on,  we got so engaged in the sharing and discussions. Once the forum ended, I felt more gushing beneath and we know, it is time to head to the hospital. The tears just fell uncontrollably as soon as I stepped out of church. God, help me. I asked Wei En while he was driving me to KKH, "Can God not take away our baby?". He held my hands and asked me don't think so much, we will take it a step a time, God will lead us."

The wait at the hospital was expectedly long. We waited for near 2 hours. They tested my urine for pregnancy and I was found to be pregnant. I was so happy - its a good sign, I thought. But as the dr did an ultrasound for me at the bedside, he was not pleased at all. 

He said, "You're pregnant, but I couldn't find the baby." 
My heart sank. "Ectopic?" I asked. 
"Perhaps but can't be sure, we need to do a more detailed scan, now. I'll arrange for it immediately." He replied.

The medical mind tells me most likely the pregnancy is at the wrong location, and it can't be kept if it's not in the womb. I cried. The sadness I felt then was so profound. Is there a word for it? How do you describe the feeling of once so very happy which turned quickly into so very sad with mourning? 

I asked God to help me, but I don't know what kind of help I need. Help me God, walk with me God, let me see You walking with me and not lose heart. 

I was wheeled to the radiology room. It was near childcare closing time and Wei En had to leave to pick up the kids to bring them home. We continue to do what we need, while waiting for more things to be revealed to us.

The scan was done. After that, they insisted to put me on a trolley bed and stopped me from eating or drinking. It did not feel good, honestly. Bedbound, fasting - all these are signs of KIV procedure/surgery. Sometimes knowing some, but not knowing the full picture, can torment a person's mind. If it wasn't for the Truth I know, the assurance of God who was with me and will continue to be with me, I would be so lost. 

In this state, I waited for the final report of detailed scan for about 2 hours. In these 2 hours, I wept terribly under the blanket most of the times, mourning for what I had lost. I also prayed deeply in my heart, cried to God to relieve my sorrow and to give me courage to continue to do what I ought to do. I also spied on Joshua and Nathan through the home camera, feeling relieved knowing they returned home from childcare and were settling down with the help of husband, my sister, and my helper. I thought about the TBRC night session which I would miss, and I could not remember how many times I've asked God - Why? 

Why God gave and took it away?
Why God chose to take it away this way, and not just a straightforward miscarriage?
Why God gave when we consulted Him about having another child, and decided to take it away in the end?
Why now? 
Why was the condition so complicated - I'd rather feel some extreme pain, at least I would leave with no choice but to go ahead with surgery immediately.
Why is it that despite knowing God is sovereign and good to His children, the sadness was so uncontrollably deep? 
Why does it have to happen on us? Have I been sinning against God? 
I thought I'm walking with God - why then do I suffer this way? I've done something wrong?

Strangely, it is not that I don't know the answers to these questions. My mind could answer these questions, I recounted God's timeless Truth to answer every single one of them. Yet, I caved in emotionally. I can't help it, the tears just came down from my cheeks, the heart just felt so painful. I could only ask God to help my emotions, help me in any way possible, help me to surrender to Him come what may. 

Wei En came back for me after settling the kids. The doctor spoke to us.
Indeed, the pregnancy is at the wrong location near the fallopian tube, and no heartbeat was detected. It needed to be dealt with because the pregnancy cannot carry on, it would not develop into a full baby and it would be life threatening if let it be as the tube may rupture and I would go into severe bleeding. 

So the treatment options for ectopic pregnancy are:
(1) Surgery to remove the affected tube - that will remove the immediate danger of tube rupture and terminate the pregnancy immediately. But it is invasive and needs general anesthesia and recovery process after it.
(2) Inject a chemo drug called methotrexate into the body - this chemo drug will kill cells, and terminate the pregnancy. But it is a chemo, hence all other areas of body will be subjected to the side effects of the drug and if one conceives in the next 3 months, the baby will have congenital defects. With this approach, it will still take time for the pregnancy hormone to reduce and become 0, but it should be faster, and shorten the risk for tube rupture.
(3) Wait and let body take care of the pregnancy itself - because this pregnancy is unhealthy, the body knows it and will auto rejects it. It is possible for the body to terminate the pregnancy itself, but it will take a long time for the pregnancy hormones to drop to zero (not pregnant), and in this process the risk of rupture is high as it may continue to grow. 

The Dr hoped we could go with (2) if not (1), for (3) was too risky. 
The information was familiar and correct. I digested it as a healthcare personnel before, but to digest it as a patient today was so difficult. Medically trained, I could understand where the Dr came from. The injection would be an option that could balance the risk and less invasive, it could also be something I would recommend right away in an ICU setting.

In the end, Wei En and I unanimously opted for option 3, though the Dr was not quite agreeable. To take the injection to terminate the pregnancy myself was not possible for me at that time - I could not bring myself to do it based on one scan report, especially when conclusion is drawn by postulations. Secondly, I have not felt any pain thus far, this was a sign that the obstruction not too serious or less obstruction, and tube rupture may not happen. Thirdly, there is something more than we know about our body that is gloriously created by God, we should wait awhile more (if within safe limits) to see how body deals with it. 

We left the hospital that day around 9pm. Sad but composed; tired but moving on.
At home, I saw the 2 kids sleeping soundly, not knowing about the possibility of another sibling. But I am so thankful. It is true - 我们本来是没有的. But we already have two, and we are doing right to raise them up in the Lord. God has given us a lot.

God gave me a good sleep that night, for I woke up the next day feeling rested, and less sad. I don't know how, but I believe God has done something in my spirit while I was asleep. God took care of me, and I have to learn to lean totally on Him, He was carrying the heavier load, and I was carrying the lighter load. 

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Mt 11:28-30

There was nothing I could do but to adhere to instructions given by the gynae, i.e to return every 2 days to check the pregnancy hormones to ensure it was dropping, and to have ultrasound to ensure the mass not growing and posing the risk of rupture. At any point, if I feel sharp pain, to rush to A&E immediately as it is likely to be tubal rupture and surgery is necessary.

We could join the TBRC on 2nd day again, and immersing in the Word of God instead of letting the minds run wild endlessly is good. We enjoyed the sermons and interactions with brethren, and we received a lot of prayer topics for future. It felt as if God had temporarily suppress the matter in my mind, as there were many things that I could focus on. That evening, Nathan came home with a bloody eye. He had knocked himself in school and teacher hoped that we could bring him to dr for a check.My heart skipped a beat when I saw him, but amazingly, as we prayed with him, God calmed my anxious heart. We managed to get him checked at a GP nearby. He was happy and running through it all. Daddy left for the final TBRC session and I was streaming in while putting the 2 kids to sleep. Before Joshua slept, he choked himself on a vitamin C pill and kept coughing. He was very bothered by it and kept coughing, and I too was bothered. Why did all have to happen at the same time? I did first aid on Joshua but he still couldn't spit it out, and he still kept coughing but talking. From my assessment, I think he is safe and the airway is not obstructed, since we could not get it out, I told him we just had to pray and ask God to help him to go through this process. Perhaps God wanted to draw his attention because he has been behaving quite rebelliously lately. I asked if he would like to pray and he said yes. We both prayed and asked God to help us because there was nothing we can do but to look to Jesus, because He loves us and will not leave us. May we come to know the good things God is doing through the incidents.

Sometimes, I think the prayer is more to calm an anxious mother's heart more than anything. I hope God humbles the two kids through their little huddles, and they will be brought to depend on God more and more. 

Right now as I write this, my medical file has not closed yet. That first visit was the beginning of many follow-ups that were to come. Each visit, we could spend up to 6 hours waiting at the hospital for blood test results, scan reports, and discussion with the drs. God let me see a lot of things during the lengthy hours of waiting. I saw parents visiting their hospitalized kids who were unhealthy physically - some are having feeding tubes through their noses; some are not quite normal and undergoing treatment. I saw victims of sexual assaults at the urgent O&G, and I also saw expecting mothers weeping away. I could never imagine if I were to handle a stillbirth too. Perhaps God knows that I cannot take it, that's why He did not let me go through it.

Actually, I feel very ashamed at my own sadness. There are many others who are going through tougher journeys than me, there are many others who are grieving for their loss and they may not even have any child yet but I already have two kids. Simultaneously, I feel so thankful for the Truth I have received in Christ, for without which, there would be no hope, no comfort, and no purpose in the process I am made to go through. Do they also have the Truth I've received? Do they find comfort from the Creator our God? Do they receive strength from the Holy Spirit who is interceding for us with wordless groans even when we have run out of words to cry for help or pray? I earnestly hope so. 

On my 1st return to the hospital for check 2 days later, the pregnancy hormones dropped by 20%, it was good sign. Nonetheless, the Dr still asked us to consider the injection as it would be faster closure. Mentally, it isn't that I disagree with her, but clinically I was not having any pain and the body was taking care of itself, I truly wished it would just settle this way and save myself from a chemo injection. 

On my 2nd return another 2 days later, the pregnancy hormones did not drop significantly, and the scan showed it seemed to grow by 1cm. The Dr urged us to take the injection immediately. After going through much discussion, we still maintained our decision to wait. I told the dr honestly that I was not oblivious to their concerns, I was aware of the risk vs benefits of each decision. As a medical personnel, I shared their concerns. I know they are doing their job, after all, I have been carrying a time bomb since the beginning of pregnancy. But as a person with faith, my husband and I are convinced that God has led us this far, and without obvious pain and the hormones still decreasing albeit slow, we could still wait and observe how the body took care of it. They wanted to admit me for monitoring but I declined because I have two young kids at home and I could monitor myself, so we signed the consent form to release ourselves. It was a Saturday, first day of 2022. I can't wait to be with the kids, we have put them in church before heading to hospital, I hope they were doing well. We did not expect the visit would take so long and it lasted till night. At church, their favorite uncle yong took care of them well and got them food on our behalf, and they were enjoying themselves in Sunday School. Thankful for the community of faith. It's such blessing to be able to grow up in a community marked by God's grace, it's God's grace that they can be exposed to the Gospel since young. I hope they will grow up to be godly men for God.

Nonetheless, that night, I went home feeling sad. I asked myself why did I feel so? Perhaps I have hoped for a more positive results from the blood test and scan to confirm my decision, I have placed my hope on some sort of improvement that I was expecting, thinking God would not give me another blow. But after searching my heart, and a hearty talk with my husband, I found out that I was sad because I have hoped for something else other than God alone. I have hoped for God be with me + good progress in this ectopic pregnancy journey. If I have fully surrendered to God in this process, I would be okay with whatever results revealed to me. If I have fully rested in the fact that all that is from Him is good, why would I feel sad and down-casted? I broke down that night, and I asked God to sanctify me, sanctify my wait, and sanctify my obedience. I prayed that He could lead me to a stage that I would delight in just knowing God alone and made Him my greatest treasure, not in certain positive outcomes I have secretly harboured.

I slept that night knowing God heard my prayers, He uplifted me the next day. Gradually, God worked in our hearts and made us incline towards surgery, the "worst" option, and we saw the good in this option. After all, whether I took the injection or chose to wait on it, the whole process would be lengthy and required frequent followups until the pregnancy hormones dropped to zero and mass disappeared. 

We went back to follow up together 2 days later again. By God's leading, we took injection that day and I was warded for a day of observation. The decision was made with assured hearts, the hormones are coming down but still in 200 plus, though we could wait but the follow ups are taking too much time. Hence we received the methotrexate injection to speed up the process. I think it’s time to move on. That night, in the ward, I had a good time with God while Wei En took care of the kids at home. We are working on the same thing, but at different place. The Lord strengthened my heart.

Though I still have to return weekly for monitoring, I think we have grown much from it. Thinking back, we did not regret the decision made at each juncture. I thought of many brothers and sisters with illnesses. When they were informed about their diagnosis and possible treatment options, how did they face the situation? I believe it must have been difficult for them to reach a decision. In medical world, when most things are about risk vs benefit, and dr's liabilities, sometimes information given can have its biasness. I guess we are glad that we did not succumb to the pressure from the drs to "do something about it", as we just wanted to make sure we heard the still voice of God in all the rush and impromptus moment. I realized that in our Christian living, it is often not the decision we made  but the process of seeking God that builds our faith. One will not regret his decision if he has chosen to walk with God in the process. 

Yet, sometimes when I feel really weak inside,  I still cried to God and asked if He could just reverse all that had happened. Can He not give me such a pregnancy experience? He surely could, but He still gave it to me. 

I remember in the book of Job, the godly Job suffered because God recommended him to Satan. It is a test. Do we fear God and walk in His way because God has sheltered and protected us in all things? When test comes, though it can be difficult and awful, the Truth we know and have learnt reminds us that the one who is in-charged of the test is not Satan, but God.  There may be trials and sufferings that we feel painful, and we might not know the reason but it is of greater importance that we trust Him that He has got it. He brought us through seasons to grow our faith and our dependence on Him. I must confess that I am not godly as Job, I don’t deserve what he deserved. But as I look to the story of Job and reflect on my own journey, God exposed a lot of impurities within me which I need to deal with. What drives my walk with God - good outcome, or God Himself? When I seem to obey God, is it because I honour God for who He is, giving due credit and glory to Him alone, or because of the rewards or good that may come along with my obedience? 

I believe in a Christian’s walk, it’s easy to obey God and give glory to God when things are good; but when things turn unexpected and as one is still struggling to go through it, to obey God and to give glory to God because God still reign, can be very difficult. It is counter-nature, and only through the Spirit’s intervention and help can one do so. However, just because it is difficult does not mean it is bad - God refines His children with love, through these struggles. When we are exposed to the impurities within us, and bring them to God, we are closer to victory in Christ. 

Honestly, at each checkup after the injection, I still feel sad when I returned to monitor the condition. I secretly wished it could be a simple miscarriage which does not need so many follow-ups, but God has ordained this process. I told Wei En, it was hard for me when I am shown to be pregnant from the hormones check, but I won't be having a baby in the end. He comforted me through John Calvin's biography. John Calvin and his wife were pregnant 3 times, but they had miscarriage x1, lost a daughter at birth, and delivered a son who would die at 2 weeks of age. Calvin later wrote, "The Lord has certainly inflicted a bitter wound in the death of our infant son. But He is Himself a father and knows what is good for His children." This brought great comfort to me, and really encouraged me to move on knowing that there are great giants of faith who had harder times than me, and they still saw the glory and goodness of God through those sufferings, and God had not disappointed them.

God granted me some restful period and I could dive deeper into His Word, I enjoyed these moments. As I pray for wisdom and fixed perspectives in raising my own children, I also pray that I could love and nurture those children whom I will engage in Sunday School. As I think about Joshua, Nathan, and other children, it further engraves in my heart that though I hope to love and protect them from harms and dangers, I cannot safeproof things at all times. In their trying moments, they need to struggle through those moments with the God they know. I hope to teach them about God well, and may God regenerate them in His time so that they can call upon God themselves in all things. There is no safer refuge in this world other than the Truth of God. 

Was reading some first catechism with Joshua and I was reminded once again the reason we could glorify God in all situations. It's because God made us and takes care of us. 

God's providence is such a great encouragement and assurance to our Christians' living. No wonder John Calvin said, "It is a great thing to be subject to the majesty of God." Amen.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Why Church History?

Some Christian believers felt that church history is not important. What's important is what the Bible says. While I hold strongly to the supreme importance of the Bible, I must confess that church history is also very weighty and important in Christians' living. On retrospect, when I recount my time in seminary, I felt I learnt theology more from church history than systematic theology, although on hindsight, I wish I could study church history deeper and not just surface-scratching.

The Bible reveals to us what took place since the beginning of world and God's redemptive work through man's history after fall. 2000 years later, no matter how glamorous this world appears to be, God's people are to always remember we are living in the backdrop of Genesis-Revelation.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminded us, " All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." In fact, there is no other religion / faith in this world that possess utmost privilege like Christians, who are personally directed by God in all things through His very own revelation. There is also no other religion in this world that knows exactly how to reach out to god, but we Christians know we can reach the throne of God by prayers, because our Lord Jesus personally taught us how to pray. Indeed, it will be foolish for Christian believers to not hold onto the Word of God as lifeline - for what hope do we have, what lasting benefits can we receive, if we do not hold fast to the living Word of God?

What about church history? 

Some argue that because Bible is all-sufficient, we do not need to care about church history. However, acknowledging the all-sufficiency of Bible does not mean we have to reject church history. They are not contradictory. The Bible is about man's history - history is important and has precious teaching values. When we dive into church history, we will be greatly humbled by it as we saw how God's bride, the church, has always been suffering internal woes and external afflictions of all kinds . Yet, the sovereign God who binds His people by His covenant, has always been working through the church history and raised up people who truly know His will to turn the church back to Him. Without looking at church history, we are risking ourselves to forget the biblical history remains valid and active today, because we see no continuation after apostles' death.

Indeed, there were many happenings over the last 2000 years that contributed to where, what, and who we are today. One big lesson I learnt from reading church history is God's sovereignty. Nothing could happen to the follower of Christ or in history, that is out of His reach. This includes the persecutions of God’s people because of their faith, the presence of false teachings, failing political powers and invasions that distracted the church from obeying their calling in Christ, corruption in church, and the divisions that occurred in God’s body (church) – all these are permissible by God and under His scrutiny because He is sovereign. Despite all these weaknesses and problems that infected the church after Christ’s ascension, the gospel continues to spread far and wide, entering new boundaries years after years, reaching places where Christ’s name has never been heard, and churches built. This shows that God is sovereign in carrying out His will despite man's depravation and wickedness;  it also shows that the sovereign God works through all circumstances and conditions to accomplish His good purpose so that He will receive the glory, and no man can boast about their own abilities in this. 

From church history, one will see that God is always refining His own church for His glory. God is the one who initiated reformation through people and circumstances. When people were lukewarm and absorbed in their own personal motives, God worked through chains of events to bring forth spiritual awakening in His body. Through the problems and hardships that afflicted the church, God had used them to purify His body by pushing the church to restore her identity as salt and light of the world. When the church leaders were weak and consumed by power fight, resulting in the Word of God not holistically preached and spiritual famine in His church, God in His providence raised up people like Martin Luther and John Calvin to bring forth the reformation movement. All these were taking place in God's time. Subsequently, the reformation also raised important leaders who worked towards solid and grounded preaching of the Word so that the laity could understand the revelation of God, and helped God's people to grow in knowledge and faith. Through these, God also refined the Catholic Church by bringing them to introspect on the divisions that occurred and the oppositions they faced, so that they would humble and seek God’s counsel. In God’s wise planning, God worked through Catholic’s counter-reformation to bring His good news to remote regions nonetheless – echoing the fact that God’s work will not be stopped by human’s folly or wrong-doings. Instead, God disciplines those He loves, and He also works for the good of those who loves Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). God works through means and coordinates all events to bring history to its decreed goals. Sometimes we do not seem to see God, but God is there, placing each person in exactly the right place "for such as time as this" (Est 4:14, Eccl 3:1-11).

The church history also revealed to us that the work of devil through church history was aggressive yet subtle at the same time, and it could come from external as well as internal within the Church. Thus it is important to discern its work through the faithful study of the Word of God. The devil’s purpose has always been to create divisions in church and influence people such that they will depart from Truth and become vulnerable to Satan’s schemes. For example, the aggressive attacks on God’s people can come in the form of persecutions like that during post-Apostolic era, but it can also come in the form of heresies, corruption of church leaders, or liberalism that plague mankind today. Yet, the purpose of attacks has always been anti-Christ, stop the complete Word of God from being preached, and weaken the power of God in peoples' lives. Knowing this, it also warns us to be watchful of Satan's attack. For Satan is cunning and often masquerades as angels of light, we need to constantly introspect if the way we do church has been polluted by man-centered motives. We need to also check ourselves if our faith has been lukewarm and lacking the flame of God, causing us to lose the heart to do the work of an evangelist or be equipped in the Word of God? This constant introspection is important to believers who are living in a relativistic and pluralistic world today, and unless the Word of God is faithfully expounded, the darkness in the hearts can hardly be exposed and be corrected.

Finally, from church history, I learnt that the only reason the world continues and still exist today is none other than for God’s redemptive plan to be carried out, until the last elect is saved. God could wipe out the world when the papacy was extremely corrupted and failed to reflect the holiness of God, when the church was lukewarm and hardened; yet God did not do so but in His power, rise up another force such as Reformation and also Pietism for instance, so as to bring people spiritually alive again. With each renewal, we witnessed new doors of evangelism opened and new people uncovered and redeemed. Therefore, the reason that this world continues to exist is so that Christ lives in the hearts of His people and jointly fulfils the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Unless we align our purpose of life with God’s purpose, we will be vulnerable to devil’s scheme and lose out on God’s grace. 

We have every reason to study church history. Knowing these are important because what happened in the past serve as lessons for us, so that we grow wisdom from learning them and deter ourselves from falling into the same trap knowing the consequences that may ensue; at the same time, it also encourages us to continue to equip ourselves in the gospel truth through radical discipleship (grounding on the Word) so that we can also be workers whom God use to advance His Kingdom. 

Today, we stand on the shoulders of these giants of great faith. The clarity of gospel teachings we have now are crystallized through the faithfulness and blood shed of these clouds of witness. If we abandon our church history, we will lose out on seeing the hands of God in these 2000 years, how sad is that? When we are disillusioned by our present situations that look grim and thinking this is worst of times, a look back to church history enables us to remember that God's people have always faced extremely dark times, only to experience revival in the years that followed. 

As we look at our spiritual ancestors from Biblical history and church history, we know -- it is possible to live by faith, by the grace of God.

This is extracted from segments of the church history assignment which I wrote many years ago, posting here because it is an important milestone for 2022. 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Glorious Turning Point

Twenty-20 surely began differently for us. We welcomed baby Nathan at the end of 2019 after Christmas, I had a month of confinement which ended with me and Wei En having bad episodes of diarrhea and vomiting respectively, and for the first time since we came to Singapore, we had our own reunion dinner without our parents and relatives.
Without making the road trips back to our hometowns in Malaysia, this Chinese New Year definitely felt quieter and less festive. We barely gave out any ang bao, but time flies when you are managing a newborn. I felt more tired than I were during confinement because of the regular breastfeeding and having to managed Nathan’s cries, but this is not more draining than what was to come.

My elder sister returned home after spending a few days in KL with our family. We were excited for her return, as she would be able to tell us how the rest of our family was doing back home. CNY is a big thing in our family – we will spend more time together as our siblings from all over the places will gather in our parents’ house and the kids will flip the house upside down. It is also during CNY that we get to talk more with our nephews and nieces, and know how’s everyone doing. Most importantly, my parents are happiest when they see everyone back, and they will feed us continuously with their home-cooked food and tidbits.

However, as soon as sister got back from Malaysia, she turned unwell. She started having high fever and cough. In our family, she is one of the strongest in health and we rarely see her coming down with illness requiring more than 2 days of absence from work. But this time it was different. After visiting the company dr, she was still coughing badly, and had high persistent fever for coming to 3 days. I could tell that she was not getting better and it would be better to see a doctor to re-assess her condition. She took my advice and went to the GP again. Few hours later when I texted my sister to find out how she was doing, she told me that they were referring her to A&E, and an ambulance was already on the way to pick her at the clinic. In my heart, I was thinking it could be pneumonia, and a chest x-ray would be necessary to confirm it, and the best place she could do it on a Sunday would be A&E. Knowing my sister, I knew she would feel a bit scared because in her entire life, she had never entered a hospital for treatment, and she probably had never imagined herself being transported to a hospital via an ambulance.

Immediately, I packed a few of her essentials, kway teow soup, and took a Grab car to the hospital to meet her. Hubby and Joshua were in church, and I figured they should not come along as Wei en had to take care of Joshua, while I entrusted baby Nathan with my newly hired helper. At this juncture, Singapore was already picking up many coronavirus cases and all hospitals were geared up in their efforts to reduce transmissions. No children were allowed to come into the hospital for visitations, and strict hours of visitations were imposed.

As I reached A&E, I tried to identify when my sister was. My heart skipped a beat when they brought me to P1 area. Sometimes, my medical knowledge can let me think about the worst. My experience of working in hospital informed me that it was not good, for P1 is a resuscitation area and only very ill and unstable patients are placed there – for resuscitation and close monitoring. The walk to P1 area felt so long. Finally, I saw my sister. She was on nasal prongs, her breathing was laborious, and she felt lost. I looked at her vitals – her blood pressure was low, her heart rate was beating above 100 bpm, and her saturation was not too optimistic thus the nasal prongs for oxygen. The doctor updated me of her condition. I saw her chest x-ray and was horrified – bilateral consolidations in her lungs. In another words, both of her lungs were infected, and she was having a severe pneumonia! I was wondering how on earth someone healthy like her, with no other medical condition, could get such a bad infection in the lung. My sister asked me to explain what was going on and I did. This place was foreign to her; the condition was foreign to her; the treatment she was going to receive which involved injections etc were unfamiliar to her; hospitalization was something so remote in her mind before this, the billing issues, eligibility of subsidies and the medical insurance coverage were not something she had thought about. 

Subsequently, she was sent to the general ward for pneumonia treatment. I comforted her that it could be nothing worrisome, just let the healthcare workers do their job and we pray for her speedy recovery. For the first time in her life, my sister stayed in the hospital. That evening, I informed the church and asked for prayers on behalf of my sister. We need prayers to tie us through this, and I felt sad leaving my sister alone in the hospital overnight.

Over the next few days, she did not seem to improve. I could see that her breathing got more effortful, she was getting more tired, the fever never went away. No positive cultures to pinpoint the cause of infection, and the treatment remained empirical. Each day, the oxygen support continued to escalate. From a medical point of view, I knew I had to prepare her mentally by telling her what to expect if things continued this way. I needed to tell her she might need more invasive therapy such as mechanical ventilation in ICU in this acute period until her lung capacity improved.

As an ICU pharmacist, I have taught my juniors about intubation many times, and gave mini-talks on ICU care. But when I had to tell my sister about it, explained to her the procedure and what to expect, it was actually very heart wrenching. I remember my sister telling me she really hoped to avoid going into ICU. It was heart-breaking for me, I did not expect my sister’s condition would be this bad. It was very heart-breaking, because I felt so painful for my sister for having to go through all these invasive treatment but they were all necessary. It was very heart-breaking, because although I know God is sovereign and will surely heal my sister, my heart still feel painful for my sister. At this time, my parents were already in Singapore. They were worried about my sister and thus drove to Singapore to visit. They were saddened by how sick my sister was, and was asking me a million of questions such as if she was given the best care, were the doctors and nurses competent, why did my sister end up this sick, could it be coronavirus etc etc. I confessed, I was overwhelmed by my sister’s illness and the need to manage my parents too. I could not lie to my parents about my sister’s condition, yet I could not tell them the possibilities of what could happen because they would be so so sad. 

My heart sank on the night I told the doctors I felt that my sister would be better if she could be sent to ICU. I have seen my sister deteriorating over the days, I have seen how hard she tried to catch a breadth and it only became harder, I have seen how tired my sister had become – it was as if she had been running a long marathon on the bed. She was so breathless, struggling so hard to remain conscious and respond to our calls… The medical team also made the decision to refer her for ICU care, as she was too unstable to be managed in the general ward. I assured her that putting the breathing tube in to replace her own effort of breathing would help her, she would not be so tired if she was on the ventilator. With tears, I prayed with my sister at her bedside, and we invited our mother to pray with us in Jesus name. The tears just fell uncontrollably as I prayed, though I know God would take care of my poor sister, my heart still felt so so sad. I entrusted my sister into God’s healing hands, and assured her that God would be by her side through it all, and so were we. I could tell that my sister was fearful, but at the same time, I could tell that my sister was calling upon God ceaselessly in her Spirit. With that, she was pushed to ICU.

She was pushed into the isolation room in ICU, and the ICU team was preparing to intubate her. I saw the familiar intubation kit, push carts, medications  – they felt so scary at that moment, because I knew they were going to be used on my sister. I asked them if I could have another 5 minutes with my sister before she would be totally sedated, the doctor kindly agreed but urged me to be quick as my sister was tiring out. I quickly ran into the isolation room. My sister was trying very hard to talk and she told me she felt so so cold. She was actually having a fever… I wept. I said another prayer for my sister, holding hers and my mother’s hands. I asked God for His abounding grace to be on my sister and He would give her the peace for what was to come, and that she could hear God’s loving voice despite the pain that was to come. I assured her that she is greatly loved by God, and God will not forsake her. I told her I love her – something I have never told her, and I thought there would never be an occasion I would say such thing. We then left the room, as the team of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists, all fully-suited, went in to intubate her.

I have never cried so so much. My eyes were painful, my breasts were engorged, my body was so tired and drained from all that happened, my heart was sorrowful, and my spirit was praying ceaselessly that my sister would experience the individual calming interaction with God in this process.

My parents were shaken. I could tell that my outwardly-strong but innerly-vulnerable father was in despair, and he broke down in tears. My mother was weeping since the day my sister was admitted to the hospital, and more so when she was pushed to ICU for intensive treatment. They were still processing all that were going on, and the fear of potentially losing their precious daughter overwhelmed them. I could only comfort them, telling them that sister was in good hands, and Jesus would help our sister.

A few hours later, the nurse allowed us to visit my sister by standing at the glass door. I asked my parents to stay at the lobby to wait, for I knew they were not ready to see the condition my sister was in. In the ICU, I saw the familiar tubes and machines, but the unfamiliar sister. She must be feeling so uncomfortable with the breathing tube inserted through her throat, the feeding tube through the nostrils, the urine catheter, and the big catheter at the neck area. The propofol was running at 200 mg/hr, a very high dose of anaesthesia, but my sister was still struggling. The fentanyl was running at 100 mcg/hr, also a very high dose of analgesia. For someone who cannot even take alcohol well, the doses given to her were very high and she could still struggle – she must have felt so awful. I wanted to bolus a few more doses of propofol and fentanyl to end her struggle, but I realized I was not a pharmacist there but only a patient’s relative. The nurse kindly allowed me to enter with protective gears. I went into the room and came to my sister’s bedside. I surveyed her hands, legs, face, and every single part I could see – but there was nothing I could do. Having covered ICU as a pharmacist for so many years, I thought I knew all these stuff well, but the emotional aspect of dealing with an ICU patient who is your very own loved one, was not something I was well trained in. It felt so raw, so toxic, so awful, so helpless, and you could only pray and pray. I prayed with my sister, holding her hands that felt so cold. I kept rubbing her hands against mine to give her some warmth, but they still felt so cold. The ventilator settings showed ARDS lung protective ventilation, and I believe they would paralyze her later to totally knock her out. The doctor also prepped me for the worst, as they were considering ECMO, the last resort, if her oxygenation remained bad. I told God that I was not prepared to lose my sister, although heaven is a better place. I hope she stays, for now at least, if it fits into God's perfect plan.

That night, for the first time in my life, I asked my non-believing parents to pray to Jesus with me. We have been praying all these years for our parents to know Jesus, and I believe this is especially important to my sister. My sister has been a faithful child of God all this while, and I am sure this trial is not punitive but to reveal the great glory of God. Indeed, that night, I saw the glory of God as my parents humbled themselves and prayed with me. The forces of darkness was gradually broken through the cross carried by my sister. I could see the helplessness of my parents, they just hoped that our Lord could save her, even if it means they were to pray to Him. Indeed, the end of man is the beginning of God. 

I received a call from ICU early in the morning. An infectious disease doctor informed me that my sister was tested positive for coronavirus. I was stunned. Very, very, stunned. How could it be? She had no exposure with people who returned from China, neither did she travel there. How could it be possible? In addition,there were not many cases in Singapore at that time, and how would my sister contribute to the statistic? The doctor told me that they had started anti-HIV medication, Kaletra, on my sister, but this therapy was not proven as it was still in investigational phase. But they gave it to my sister for whatever its worth, as her condition was critically ill and unstable.

Soon after I put down the call, the epidemiologist called to get more information about my sister’s contact and travel history for the past 2 weeks. After that, MOH called. I remembered receiving multiple calls from so many parties – CID, MOH, and the hospital. They could call multiple times a day to get some information. As I updated my family about my sister, everyone was shocked. My eldest brother who was on the way to the airport to fly to Singapore could not board the plane, as he had to report himself to be screened, for he is a healthcare worker. His family was quarantined, so were my eldest sister and her family in KL. I was informed that no visitor was allowed to visit my sister from now. Moreover, MOH was sending ambulances to my house to bring us for screening. They would be sending me and baby Nathan to KKH, while my husband and parents were sent to TTSH for screening. However, they decided not to send Joshua and my helper for screening. Before we knew it, the ambulances were under my block and the people with protective gears were at my door. Things happened too quickly.

I asked them to give me a few minutes as I prepped my family on what’s going on. My parents were obviously fearful, and worried. They asked me what would happen. Actually, I also did not know what to expect – eg how long will we be sent away, will they admit us, will we be quarantined there or somewhere, what is happening to Joshua and my helper if none of us were at home over the next few days etc. However, all these seem trivial compared to the need to look to God. I asked all, including my non-believing parents, to be seated at the dining table. I prayed for my sister, that by God’s grace and perfect timing, she would improve and recover. As nobody can now visit her, she must have felt lonely in an unfamiliar place. I asked God to have mercy on her, and let her feel His presence more strongly than ever. I also prayed for my parents that peace be upon them, and assured them that  God would surely protect our family from the virus. I also asked God to watch over Joshua and my newly hired helper -- although I fought very hard to bring them along with me, it was rejected. I could only entrust them into God’s loving hands. After praying, we parted ways and went with the ambulances.

I updated our church for prayers while I was in the ambulance with Nathan. I believe God heard our prayers in tears and would not let us undergo trial that is beyond our capacity. Though I am weak and helpless, my heart had peace that transcends all understanding, only because I know God’s plan must be perfect, loving, and very good, no matter how horrible our circumstances are and how incomprehensible things could be. He will surely lead us with His pleasing and perfect will, only do not lose hope in Him. He is still in control. I were more certain than ever that God is bringing my parents closer to salvation through our circumstances.

As we reached the respective healthcare institutions, they assessed us and decided to admit me, Nathan, and Wei en; while my parents could be sent home/ quarantine center for quarantine after swabbing for the virus. Just then, I received a call from my helper – in her barely competent English. I could tell from her tone that she was scared, as she told me some police officers were outside my house and had asked to enter the house. I took a look at the home camera and saw a few people standing outside. I told my helper that nobody was to come in because only Joshua and herself were at home, and they should call me directly if anything urgent. Soon, I received a call and they claimed to be from MOH. They had come to issue home quarantine order (HQO) to Joshua and my helper. They needed them to sign the HQO. I told them Joshua and my helper are incompetent to sign – Joshua is not even 2 years old, and my helper cannot even read or write English. I asked to read the terms in the HQO – and was told that both of them were to remain in the master bedroom for 14 days. They could not come out, or would be deemed to breach the law. I was stunned. How about their meals? They said, “maybe you could ask the maid to order delivery”. I was very angry. How could I ask my helper who could not read English to order delivery? She does not have a functional data phone. Even if there is delivery, they cannot step out of the master bedroom to get the food from the door. I told them to leave my house, and I would settle the rest. After putting down the phone, I asked the Dr at A&E to please bring my son and helper along for screening. My son attends a childcare and is having some nasal symptoms, so is my helper. How could everyone be screened except them? Wouldn’t the parents from my son’s childcare be concerned knowing he stays with his aunty who has been tested positive with coronavirus? Feeling helpless, I asked God what should I do to help everyone, what should I do to help Joshua and my helper. God had mercy on me and showed favor through the doctor. The doctor assessed my situation and deemed it important to screen them as well. Immediately, he called the ambulance to go and fetch Joshua and my helper to KKH. We were then warded to test for the virus - Nathan and myself in one isolation room, while Joshua and my helper in the isolation room beside me. I could hear Joshua's voice from the other side of the wall, but I could not see him. However, I was very comforted - if God made it this way, this would be the best arrangement for us at the time being.

God did not give us another wave of trial. We were all tested negative for the virus. Wei en, Joshua, and my helper were discharged home on the 3rd day when two results came back negative for coronavirus. Nathan, however, had diarrhea and the dr wanted to keep him for further test to ensure it is not coronavirus. I stayed with him for another night before we were discharged and sent home by Certis. We received HQO for another week.

As I am writing this, my sister is still in the hospital isolation ward because of the persistent presence of virus in her body. She has recovered tremendously and is stable to be discharged from ICU. If God allows, may her virus be eradicated totally and she can be discharged home soon. She’s more loved than she knows, and more missed by us that she knows.

As I reflected on what happened, my heart is full of thanksgiving and I see the faithfulness of God through it all. When He allows trials into our lives, He is also walking with us through the trial, strengthening us with His promise. In fact, He has already prepared His children for the trial that is to come. God is right when He promised no temptation has overtaken us that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide provide a way out, so that we are able to endure it (1 Co 10:13). 

When my sister was heavily ill, the whole church was mobilized to pray earnestly for her and my family. God also convicted me that their prayers and my prayers in tears were not wasted. God will not despise a broken and contrite heart (Ps 51:13). In the entire process, God has sent many people to help and comfort us in many different ways – some outwardly, while some quietly assisting us in the background. I told my sister, perhaps I am made an ICU pharmacist for such a time as this, and for her. Over the years, God has equipped me with acute and critical care experiences so that I know what to expect, and able to work under pressure. If not, I believe I would have crashed when things happen one after another. God also builds my networks in ICU, and I have made good friends over the years. When my sister turned very ill, these friends and bosses offered help by giving me timely update about my sister, helping me to connect with relevant people who were taking care of her, and helped with my parents’ screening. They offered me words of consolations and prayed for our family.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremian 29:11)

I would never forget how God provided ways to comfort and encourage my sister while she was battling in ICU alone. The doctors told me that she was resisting against the ventilator as they weaned down the sedation, as such, they were unable to reduce much of the sedation due to her agitation. With high sedation it would also mean she would continue to depend heavily on the machine for breathing. I wished I could be there to talk to my sister and comfort her, but none of us could go near her due to our circumstances - we were all quarantined and nobody was allowed to visit her. As I prayed for my sister, God opened ways through a friend made in ICU at my workplace. She could help to send voice clips to the team of doctors in charge of my sister. I recorded an audio clip and wrote a message for my sister, mainly to comfort my sister and encouraged her to hold onto the hope in Christ. I also consoled her that all these would not be in vain, and God would use her suffering for God’s good intentions. I also told her that our parents were not resistant towards Christianity through her ordeal, and she needed to co-operate with the medical team by not fighting against the ventilator. Few hours later, I was told that my sister had listened to the voice clip, and she gave a thumb up. That night, I felt so encouraged and I believed my sister too. Indeed, God had mercy on us and He gave us signs of His continual presence. Over the next few days, the team told me that my sister was no longer agitated, it was as if she had calmed down tremendously and they were able to wean down the sedation. Her ventilator requirements also reduced day by day. Her condition was also improving. Indeed, when we turned to Lord, He who reigns above all will take charge and show us He is sovereign despite human limitations and helplessness. When nothing seems to work, pray. Prayers will truly move our loving Father’s hands.

Not only so, when crisis like this hit our family, our church brethren also stepped up and love us in every possible way. Some helped us with daily groceries; some helped by sending audio speaker to the hospital so that Christian songs and hymns could be played in the ICU room as my sister was all by herself; and some also helped to send the handphone and spectacle to my sister when she was no longer sedated and able to sit up. I am thankful that when the society was thrown in fear because of the increasing infected cases, it is such actions of love from faith in Christ Jesus that shines so brightly. In trial, the genuine love of brethren was so evident, and that was the best way to evangelize to my non-believing parents.  

As I recounted what happened, Wei En and I confirmed many things together. Just end of last year, we were praying how we could serve as a family unit, how could we be versatile in our serving despite having young children, and how we could continue to grow spiritually. I realized we are serving a family ministry. While I went to the hospital, ministering to my parents, and take care of my baby, my husband will look after Joshua so that I can focus on the things I need to do. When I was tired or received some setbacks while ministering to my parents, my husband would be there to support me by giving me the vision, and encouraged me by telling me how he had walked through similar route ministering to his once-devoted Buddhist cousin who is a Christian now. We also realized our perspective towards many things have changed because of the Gospel we received.

For example, before my sister was admitted to ICU, I was running between hospital and home at every 4-5 hours interval. I needed to rush home to express breastmilk or nurse my baby because I could not bring Nathan along with me. Sometimes, I could not come back in time because of circumstances. My milk supply was abundant during confinement, but it slowly decreased over time as I could not nurse regularly. However, I realized I was not as uptight as I used to be, when I first had Joshua. God had renewed my perspective that being able to nurse my baby, though important, was not more important than being there with my sister and my parents. I had decided, if my milk supply became insufficient, I would readily give formula milk and not feel any guilt about it. Nathan will grow up nonetheless, because it is not my milk but the Word of God in his life that matters – the Word of God makes him wise, not my milk. People asked me to avoid hospital as I have a newborn, the rising fear of coronavirus and risk of other infections in a hospital setting should be considered. Being a medically trained person, I totally understand the risk and the concern was not invalid. But strangely, I am not afraid. The perfect love of God drives out any fear – my sister needs me, more than anyone else, more than Nathan.

When we were in isolation in hospital, I was physically drained looking after Nathan all by myself. He cried every 2 hours, needed to be breastfed every 2 hours, and the diarrhea did not help the situation. Being in isolation means the nurse would not check on me regularly to reduce the risk of exposure to infection. At one point, I thought I was going to die from exhaustion. Looking back, it must be God strengthening me through my period of isolation with Nathan. I looked at Nathan who was sleeping in the hospital bed, he was only 6 weeks old. This scene felt so familiar, because Joshua was also hospitalized at a very young age of 2 months plus for meningitis.

It further dawn on me that our children indeed grow up in an era that is more turbulent and dangerous than before. I remember Nathan was inside my womb when I had to attend WORLD conference in Hong Kong, a place known for violence and unrest due to demonstrations. However, God preserved us nonetheless. Though both of them went through “much” in such a young age, God convicts us greatly through their encounters. Firstly, they are indeed remnants living in end times. Therefore, their focus cannot be worldly but on the kingdom of God. They have to preach the gospel even more earnestly than us, and do the work of Lord with the conditions given them. Secondly, these two sons do not belong to us, they belong to God. God, who brings them to life at such a time as this, will also raise them up – though we love them and care for them as parents, we can only entrust them to the Lord because He cares for them more than us. Thirdly, because they do not belong to us but Lord’s, they have to be sent forth for the gospel work. If not, they will be absorbed in the unnecessary worldly chase. Thefore, as parents, we need to teach them the Word of God and live a life of faith that is not abstract.

Through my sister’s illness, we further confirmed that God is indeed a timely God. He will not be a minute early, neither will He be a minute late. In the entire course of things, I witness a God who is so timely, such that His intervention will always bring about the results He intended. My parents would not be broken and humbled in the face of my sister’s ordeal, had God intervened and turned my sister around earlier; my parents would also be too devastated to even want to pray with me, if God had intervened much later. Indeed, who can fathom the wisdom of God? He is great beyond our knowledge, and He never disappoints.

In James 1:2-4, we are reminded to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

God, it is a privilege and honour to be deemed worthy of this trial. Your promises give us strength in trying moments, it drives us to love genuinely so that people can see the glory of God through your people. You refine us through Your carefully-crafted encounters. May our faith be refined through your loving fire, and we emerge as your children with endurance, character, and hope in God.

Romans 5:2-5
Through him [Lord Jesus Christ] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
To me, ICU will never be the same anymore. I can relate to what Pastor Vincent said, "In our world now, we cannot eradicate all kinds of viruses, we cannot have full righteousness, we cannot make others understand our most genuine weaknesses. However, when we experience this situation first-hand, we realise how real spiritual blessings are.” 

Thank God for the glorious turning point.