by Natalie Oh, Kota Kemuning church of Christ
The day just before the MCO started, I was on my final flight back to KL from Kota Kinabalu where I had completed our last ‘allowed’ education fair. I was with a group of other university representatives and we were all expressing similar thoughts of despair.
I remember thinking and worrying about the impact the lockdown would have on our industry and others related to it.
Since a large part of my work is based on travelling and attending mass events, I worried about how the travel and lockdown restrictions would affect my ability to carry out my day-to-day duties, performance, and consequently, whether I would still have a job in the near future.
While the initial ‘face of the storm’ looked daunting, we were thankfully able to adapt quickly. With the swift transition to online learning for most universities, our agents shortly followed suit by organising virtual exhibitions, online counselling events and live webinar sessions.
This allowed us to remain relevant and needful, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to work and connect with students and parents, albeit virtually.
Reflecting on the past 4 months, I noticed that my journey was also influenced by the support of my brethren, helping to alleviate the anxiety of the uncertainty and focus on what can be done (as opposed to what we couldn’t do).
Our brethren were so swift and versatile in addressing the MCO requirements and initiating our online worship services so effectively. Just like at work, virtual ‘meetings’ were introduced to prevent us from losing the momentum of our Ladies’ classes, and creatively even virtual boardgames with the Young Adults.
I am also thankful for the opportunity to teach our Children Visitor’s online classes too. It was challenging at first – I was constantly stressing about how I could keep these young kids engaged through a screen, and whether they were enjoying the class without the usual arts and crafts component.
However, the kind responses which I received from the parents and the encouraging words from my Sisters in Christ were just the motivation I needed to keep going. Starting with just one student, I am now blessed to have five children whom I can teach God’s Word to.
This has really helped me in my growth as a Christian and allowed me to keep serving God during these unprecedented times.
While many view COVID-19 as a tragedy, there were also silver linings which it enabled; due to the surge in the usage of online platforms, I was able to virtually reconnect with members from other congregations, in particular, the Bayswater Church of Christ, joining them in their online Ladies’ Bible Classes with Aunty Mary and other fellowship activity sessions hosted by Sis Boon Chin.
My most memorable session was when Aunty Carol taught the ladies how to make her famous Siew Yok on an iPad, live from her kitchen.
Additionally, it was also because of the lockdowns that I was able to virtually sit in on Bro Leon and Jihyung’s weekly personal bible study sessions and learn first-hand from Bro Leon about how to evangelise through a Zoom session. These events have added value to my life and they were opportunities birthed from the pandemic which otherwise would not have occurred.
Looking back, although it has been a challenging time, the MCO experience has been a blessing to me. It has made me realise even more how supportive and caring the church I am a part of is, and how being in this family has played such a big role in helping me through my ‘quarantined’ journey.
I am grateful for our Elders who have continuously kept us notified with all the latest announcements and decisions for assembly and services, and for members who have dedicated their efforts and talents in setting up and maintaining our online worship and bible classes. I have been reminded of the importance of encouraging and upholding one another during trying times, to keep a positive perspective no matter the circumstances, to continuously trust in and rely on God, and to always be grateful to Him for what I have.