100+ Days

Noah was stuck on a big boat for 40 days and 40 nights. Jonah was in the belly of a big fish for 3 days. Jesus was in the desert tempted by Satan for 40 days.

It’s incredible to try and comprehend that we have been teaching online for more than 100+ days here in Hong Kong. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live, the way we interact with people and how we teach or work. As a teacher, teaching in an International School, I am thankful for my team and Elementary Principal. The support and understanding by most was welcomed during a time of trial and change.

In the book of James, we are reminded that, it’s not IF trials come, but WHEN.

Wearing our masks every where we go.

I had considered blogging my daily life, my families life during this season of uncertainty but that would have been super boring. In a nutshell … for the past 14 weeks (I think), my boys and I have made the daily routine of waking up in the morning, going to school, and having online learning. My boys would Zoom / Google Meet with their teachers at 9:00 am, while I met with 4B (my class) at 9:30 am. We took a vote and no one wanted 9:00 am.

During this time, I would have our morning devotions. As a class, we studied the book of Joshua. I would also Google Meet with other students in small groups and even had the privilege of Google Meeting with one of my students who currently lives in Scotland.

One of the take-away is that God promised Joshua, “I will be with you. I will never leave you. Be strong and courageous.” I think this promise to Joshua and it’s Biblical principle that adapts quite well to our current situation. Throughout the book of Joshua, we see how God led Israel, how He was faithful to the nation and people and how God fought on behalf of them. We also learned that God’s plan does not always match with how we feel or think.

Kennedy Town, Instagram Pier

Besides Zoom, I began to teach my class (4B) Reading online. I would do a read aloud – Number the Stars (such a good book), ask questions, students would go into their break out rooms. It’s quite an experience. I have been telling people that online teaching is by far the best professional development I have ever gone through.

As for Malachi and Timothy, they would have their Humanities and Bible Zoom. Math would be taught online as well as TAPS. Timothy on the other hand had morning meetings as well as Chinese Google Meets, which he basically missed almost all the time. We would often go out for lunch, sometimes to Shatin One for BBQ Pork and Rice, other times to Cafe Yuanyang for their Curry Beef and Egg Omelette or Korean Fried Chicken. Oh don’t forget, that we would always have a Lai Cha or Iced Lemon Tea. Sometimes we would wander to McDonald’s or Cafe DeCoral. For a break, our boys would play on the 2nd floor with other faculty kids or play with their Nintendo Switch on a computer screen I bought and more recently, on our 32″ TV. They really made my classroom their home. It was actually more messy with 3 guys than it usually was with 21 students. Go figure. At the end of the day, we would go home, except on Tuesday evenings when Malachi has his drum lessons while Timothy goes to Hip Hop. Yes – you read correctly. Sorry Timothy.

There’s probably other details that I’m forgetting, which is one reason why I should have wrote daily or weekly. Ah yes, during these pass 100 Days, we bought our boys bikes and they absolutely love the freedom of riding from Wu Kai Sha to Shek Mun. However, on one early occasion, probably within the first 20 days, Timothy and Malachi went to a nearby bike park, where Timothy decided to run into a wall. I was not there – so yes, parent of the year award. As a result of deciding not to turn either left or right, he chipped his front big tooth and now requires some cosmetic addition. He will remember Hong Kong for the rest of his life. Haha.

Timothy is a trooper. Pic taken at Tai Shui Hang

As I write this, we are now 1 day away from returning to school. Super thankful that we will be able to spend 3 weeks with our students. Thankful for how God has sustained us during this time. Definitely more to write and share … take a look at our pics of places we have visited and food that we have enjoyed – #goingthewongwayhk. There is much to be thankful for. We have gone through a lot as a family, as a couple, as a school, community, church. By the way, we have not been to church since late February.

Thankful for the extended time we have had as a family. Thankful that we were able to refocus and reset our priorities in life. Thankful for the trials that we had to endure. Thankful for friends here who have come alongside of us to do life together.

All to say … God is faithful. He is with us. God watches over us. He is sovereign. I don’t want to end this blog on a sour note, however, as we approach our return to school, many colleagues are stressed. Many are anxious. There is still uncertainty. I’ll let you all you know how it goes this week. Continuing to trust in the One who holds all things together.

You are loved.

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