Making the decision from Myanmar

Families affected by COVID-19


Our family got the news that Singapore’s borders were closing: no more flights in and out.

We had been praying and waiting on God for His direction on whether to stay or go. Overnight, Hannah’s (our eldest daughter) examinations were cancelled, and Myanmar reported their first few cases. We took it as our cue to go, knowing that the outbreak would cause political and social instability in Yangon and that hospitals would be overworked and overcrowded. We kicked into crisis mode: buying tickets, painting fences, settling finances, etc. It was a rather strange situation we were thrown into, packing up and leaving the place we call home, not knowing when we could return. I think it was very sudden for the girls; there were adjustments to be made — the young one still has school online — but both were excited to come to Singapore!

Ben had a little adventure when we first returned. He was stopped at the airport because he’d recently been to the hospital for a persistent dry cough. There was this whole portion of the airport marked out for healthcare and healthcare professionals. He was taken aside, screened, and told to wait for an ambulance to take him to NCID. Finally, after 3 hours, he was sped to the hospital where they took a chest x-ray and swab test, then discharged him. It was a shocking experience to see the hospital in such a state of flurry. Thankful for all the doctors and nurses who are working extra hard.

COVID-19 and how it’s affecting the world is always at the back of our minds

COVID-19 and how it’s affecting the world is always at the back of our minds. The stress sometimes comes out as crazy-mum screaming at the family. Our extrovert has taken to zooming around the house on her scooter bike! We feel safe here, knowing that the government is looking out for our people, but we miss our home back in Myanmar, our two cats, the big spaces. Nonetheless, we are so grateful that our family of four has the space of 3 bedrooms, 1 living room, and 1 kitchen to roam. Friends who bring food over have been a huge blessing — it reminds us that we are not forgotten and it’s encouraging for our girls who are generally more accustomed to showing care than receiving it.

We’re most concerned about our co-workers who are still there. It’s safe for now, and almost all non-locals had the option of heading home. Pray for one of our Indian brothers who didn’t get that chance, because India’s borders are already closed. A few chose to stay because to protect the status of their visas. It was a struggle for them, but ultimately they were willing because they see the bigger picture and God’s hand at work.

There are so many questions and no answers; we can do nothing except pray and hope. What helps is understanding that God is a Father who doesn’t give stones when we ask for bread. Yeah, it’s worrisome that we don’t know the outcome. But perhaps now is a time to see our belief in a caring God that is in control translated into reality.

A word of advice: keep active! Our family paints. And plays rowdy games (which our downstairs neighbours kindly forgive us for). Most important is that everybody bands together, both in fun and in work. We give each other “discounts” on standards of cleanliness and choose to be extra patient; that really helps keep the peace. Keeping a loose schedule also helps the time pass more quickly.

God is calling for our total attention in this time of enforced rest. So I’ve been dialoguing with God, “What do You want to draw my attention to?” And then engage in silence and solitude (how apt for the circuit breaker!) — a spiritual discipline that helps us to tune in to God, who is our anchor in these uncertain times.