Dear Students From Pastor
May 2020 Edition
Dear Acts Campus and CampusCity champions!
I recently had Zoom calls with all my Huddle One and Huddle One Plus men – about 24 of them in total. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “Huddle”, it’s our way (system) of discipling and developing leaders in smaller groups. Huddle One is the highest level of that leadership system with Huddle One Plus directly under them. Every leader in Acts is part of a Huddle system.
Anyway, every call I had with my H1 and H1+ was truly fruitful and encouraging. We talked mostly about how they were coping with the MCO – what were their challenges, did they experience any major changes…and what have they caught or learned from their time at home? Most if not all of them are working and many are in the young working adults age-group. Over 70% of them are married and nearly 90% of those are parents. As I write my first letter to you today, I thought that it would be good for me to share with you here some of the highlights of our meaningful and memorable conversation. After all, these are your leaders too:
Leadership’s Observations from MCO
Most of them felt that students are facing a much more difficult time than those who are working – and are looking out to see how they can make it a little more easier for them.
They felt that there’s a big difference between the first week of MCO and the fifth week – where excitement can turn into fatigue – and reality hits.
But having some discipline helps – like a daily schedule or routine or structure – including a set time to get up in the mornings and to sleep…and to exercise
Besides having a set time, everyone felt that having a set place to work also helps – a desk, a room, a corner. Once you’re there, work starts and once you’re not there, work ends. And as I said earlier, many of my H1 and H1+ are parents with young children who didn’t fully understand the boundaries of daddy or mummy working from home. But they quickly learned that when they saw daddy or mummy at their desk or in their room(s), that meant that they were working and should not be disturbed unless there’s an emergency.
This is important not only because it helps you get into the zone (of work) but also because it helps you get out. Many shared that during the MCO, even “free-time” was work time and often you don’t know when to stop – which was different if we were actually physically at our offices etc. At least then we knew when to break for lunch. But equally important, others around us knew that as well – and knew not to disturb us during those break times.
Many felt – especially the parents – that their patience was truly tested while they spent so much time at home and sometimes that led to unusual frustrations and arguments. But almost everyone shared that they were able to see the need for change and prayed for the Holy Spirit’s help to make them more patient and gentle – which in turn has made their time at home not only more bearable but even more enjoyable.
Most of them also shared how the heat or fire of MCO has actually revealed what’s really there. Some of them may have already known their strengths and weaknesses before the MCO while others either didn’t know or were in denial. But when the MCO continued, more and more of their true self was being exposed. It was like God was using the MCO to reveal what He wants us to pay attention to. As you know, fire reveals…but we must never blame the fire for what it reveals. For it’s not only the revelation that’s important, it’s what we do with it. Question is, will we become a better person by the time the MCO is over or will we remain the same – or worse?
What we can be thankful for during a ‘dark hour’
All of them agreed that they were:
PRACTICAL SPIRITUAL LESSONS
REMAIN CREATIVELY PRODUCTIVE
We also agreed that an order to close your work is not an order to close your mind and that as believers of the mighty Creator, we should pray and seek for ways to be creatively productive. Who knows, God may have wanted to use the MCO to open up doors of new ideas and initiatives for us – but if we only saw the MCO as an obstacle instead of an opportunity – we would miss it.
GOOD AND RIGHT IS A BALANCE
Some of us even mentioned that we should be careful what we asked for – like if we asked for less traffic on the road, we have it – or if we asked to have more time for ourselves, we have it too – or if we wished that we could serve less in church, or not travel for Homes or for prayer meetings, well guess what…we have that too. But while it may feel good for a while, it’s not right. Good and right is a balance we must all try to achieve. If the good that we do cannot be sustained for the long-term, then maybe we’re not doing it right. I would rather be going to church and fellowshipping with my brothers and sisters anytime than to only meet on Zoom. It may be good (for a while) but it’s just not right – not for the long-haul at least.
HIS TIMING, NOT OURS
I also heard a few of them telling me that they had dreams in 2019 that never came through. They prayed and even fasted but it never happened. And while they were going through that disappointment, they started to question God. But only now through the MCO have they been able to see how God didn’t answer their prayer purely out of His mercy. One of them told me that if God had answered his prayer, he would have been stuck with too many staff and an extra office space (which meant extra rental to pay) while there was no income during the MCO. He’s so thankful now that God didn’t answer his prayer – and yes, there are times God doesn’t answer our prayer simply because of His mercy. He knew better. He always does. And though we may not see it now…we will one day.
POWER OF CHOICE
And finally, and this is one of my favourites, we talked about the power of choice – not chance or circumstances – that really makes the difference in this MCO. In other words, the MCO can be remembered as the worst time of our lives or it can be remembered as the best time of our lives. One father put it this way: 20 years from now, when my son is asked, what he can remember as the best time of his life…it’ll be great to hear him say, there was a time when I was only 7 that there was something called the MCO and we all had to stay at home. I remember that it was for many days. I didn’t have to go to school, which was fun, for awhile…but what I loved most was that my daddy and mummy were at home with me and my brother every single day. We played together, laughed together and ate together…and I learned a lot from my parents during that time. What they showed me and showered upon me those two months while we all had to stay home have shaped me to become who I am today. We never quite had the same luxury and privilege after that, but I will always cherish the MCO for all that I got out of it. It was indeed the best time of my life.
IN A NUTSHELL
It’s ultimately always a matter of choice – and so is happiness.
I pray that you are blessed and that you keep strong and safe. I also pray that while others may have their eyes glued to what is passing, that you and I will fix our eyes what we should be preparing…
“He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” Ecclesiastes 11:4 NKJV
A good question to ask is, if the MCO was lifted tomorrow, are we ready? If we were allowed to go back to church this Sunday, are we willing? Let’s start preparing our hearts, our heads and our hands and begin to sow now so that we might reap later. And let’s get a head start on the world.
“For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”Galatians 6:8-9 NKJV
Let’s make sure that the only MCO that continues is the MCO put on fear. Put it on strict lockdown and command it to stay home.
Love and blessing,