Cally and Tom homeschool their children in China using VSA curriculum. Both serve as tutors for several VSA diploma students in China, too. Neither’s easy in a nation where Christians are routinely persecuted. This year’s COVID pandemic has made their work even more challenging. Like so many Chinese Christians, they’ve persevered. They pray, study the Bible, connect with a small group, and look for ways to serve their neighbors. They shine as lights in dark places. Their strong faith encourages those around them who’ve lost hope and live in fear. Cally and Tom’s experience of the pandemic differs from our own. Their reliance on God and His word in the midst of trial, though, should be common to us all.
Before sharing the work that our dear God has been doing in our house since January, I would love to, on behalf of my lovely wife and my beautiful children, give thanks, praise, and glory to our faithful God who has been loving and will continue loving us through eternity. He is worthy of all good because He is so good.
2020 is an unusual year for many, especially those of us in China. Many people have experienced hardship and difficulties in their house and their work. As humans, we are no exception. However, God has always been faithful to my family and has taken care of us by providing every strength and resource we need for our life and the work He entrusts Cally and I to do. We believe it is the same with those who have been holding onto Him firmly and unswervingly. Because He is an impartial God who loves everyone with perfect love.
Spring Festival (also called Chinese New Year) is one of the major holidays in China. Family and friends get together and share their life with each other. Every year, as the holiday approaches, we would make plans and prepare for the gathering with our parents. This year, we planned to spend a week with Cally’s parents and return home soon after the festivities. Then, everything changed unexpectedly right after the day we arrived—on January 23rd. The government ordered a lockdown of the whole country. We decided to stay with Cally’s parents. As you can imagine, many challenges quickly began to appear.
Cally’s parents’ house has three floors. Her parents used the first floor and my family used the second floor. The third floor is for storage. Because of the limitation of the size of the rooms, they had the TV installed on the second floor. This turned out to be “a thorn in our flesh” later on. Thankfully, the Lord helped us through as we sought Him for wisdom and strength. Here was the challenge. Cally’s parents are very interested in TV news. They not only watch it, also like talking about it and expressing their opinion and even their emotions. Oftentimes, most of what they said was discouraging and negative. As parents, we felt we needed to do something to protect our young children’s hearts and minds. So we decided to read our Book more consistently, while trying our best to seize every opportunity to pour the truth into our children’s lives, either in a direct or indirect way.
In order to help our children develop a loving heart for others. Whenever we read the Book, we presented them with a few things that were on our hearts. We allowed them to choose what they wanted to lift up. After a while, our children learned to discern what to take in and what to fence off. We were happy that they made it through this challenge.
Six weeks later, we came back to our current home, but it wasn’t so simple. We were required to go through some official procedures and fill out paperwork in order to have access to our community and our apartment. Since then, we’ve been striving to continue doing what we did in the past and educating ourselves and our children to be well prepared for the future.
Things may get harder and harder or, they may become easier in the future. No matter which way the trends may lead, we ask the Lord for sufficient wisdom and strength to always put Him and His work first. Thanks so much for this precious opportunity to let us share the goodness, faithfulness and mercy of God in our life. May all praise, worship and thanks to the everlasting Creator who is the Father, the Lord and King of all.
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