Purpose in the Pause
“Lord, please bring us back to normal!” This has been our heart’s cry since mid-March when all training in East Asia came to a standstill due to the pandemic. Perhaps such desperate pleas echo your sentiments as the world continues to recover from COVID.
Well-meaning advice to pivot to online training sounded appealing at first. But for two reasons, we felt it prudent to wait upon God’s timing to re-open on site, in-person training: SALT courses rely heavily on in-person interaction, and more importantly, online Bible training is no longer safe under the new regulations implemented in March.
We have not been idle during this pause, but shifted our focus to the preparation of our new course the Book of Nehemiah, and the revision of an old course, Old Testament Survey 4 (Ruth – Est), (OT4). Yet we also kept inquiring, “Lord, what else can we do if this situation persists?”
God’s Word is indeed like a stream in the desert, and a guiding star in the dark of night. Just when we were at a loss, this Bible passage touched us. Instantly our burden was lifted and the turmoil in our souls dissipated. We began to pro-actively seek His will on how to welcome the future. Then just last week, a glimmer of hope broke through when we heard from our national trainers that control measures have finally started to loosen. Resumption of classes shouldn’t take too much longer.
Though this was encouraging news, we know that at any given time, such an extended period of suspension could happen again. On top of the pandemic, the gradual deterioration in weather conditions in recent years remains a potential threat to our work. All the more, this convicts us that our national trainers need to stand on their own as soon as possible in order to safeguard the ministry’s growth. We cannot take for granted our continued contact with them under this current climate.
After deep deliberation, we have determined to speed up our hand-over plan to transition our national trainers into independence within three to four years. We pray that in doing so, we are setting them up as best we can to fulfill God’s calling in the future.