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Porter Family Update

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We are blessed that the Singapore government provided each of us one of these masks.  We are still on lockdown here meaning only one member of the household can be out at any time.  We are only allowed to walk/exercise or visit stores in our immediate neighborhood.  Some of the larger stores are only accessible on certain days based on whether your identification number is odd or even.  The schools have been closed, with a hope to reopen on June 2.  We are being told that June 2 may be the start of school, but it will take much longer for everything to be back to "normal".  

As was the case for many of you, the celebration of Easter was quite different.  Here we are on our deck singing with our colleagues at our social distanced sunrise service.  We, along with our friend, decorated the volleyball court the night before so everyone could see it from their balconies as we sang.  But, some traditions remained the same.  We made Jewish braided Easter bread as a combination celebration of Easter and Passover.  Finally, the month of April brought Ben's braces journey to an end.  He is very excited to enjoy various fruits and veg without having to cut them.  

April has been a quiet month for me as far as people's movements to or from our field due to Covid and many of the countries being closed.  However, I have been emailing homesites regarding the hopeful June/July transfers of two families.  I organized a weekly virtual Tea Time for our ladies to have a reason to visit and stay connected. 
We have also continued to be busy with Celebrate Recovery.  We meet virtually every Wednesday night.
Our ICC homeschool co-op has finished for the season, however, the kids will participate in a virtual tournament on May 15.  We are busy prepping and preparing for that.
Finally, I have been grading for the girls' school each morning from 8:30-1:30p.  I have also been asked to help lead the morning devotionals.  This has really helped me build a relationship with the students.  Thanks to a colleague, I was able to give one of the new students from Taiwan a Chinese-English bible.  He told me he has been understanding it so much better.  PTL! 
The girls will be on school holidays for the month of May.  The boys hope to finish their school year by mid-June.

Another month of change.  It seems like God doesn't waste an opportunity to teach us and to grow us in every situation.  We as a family have transitioned to learning to live during a lockdown.  It was not too challenging until the government asked us not to exercise or leave the house together.  However, I can think of 2 great blessings during the lockdown.  First, is that we have been able to order food through the vendors that normally service the guest house allowing us dependable delivery and bulk pricing.  Although the food seems to not last as long as I think it should. I guess that is because there are 4 teenagers in the house, two boys almost as tall as me.  The second has been connecting and hearing church services and worship sessions from around Oakland.  It has been really fun for all of us to feel even more connected to our supporting churches at home.    
In the past several weeks, I have been continuing to offer advice for our colleagues and working on new insurance for our members. I have been able to email members' answers to medical problems.   I have also received permission to start volunteering in the migrant workers' dorms were the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 are occurring.  I am still not allowed to practice as a physician, but I will get opportunities to talk to the workers by checking them in, taking temperatures, and other administrative duties.

In the pause, God has been teaching me more about myself and Him.  I have learned that I still was finding my identity in my work and profession.  God lovingly knew this and so has been slowly extracting this from me.  First by asking me to leave Oakland where I was in productive practice and had the plan to be a small physician in a big city.  Slowly over the 2 years, God has removed the opportunity to practice medicine and to even work in medical practice.  God has shown me that He is where my identity lies.  When COVID first hit I was feeling sad that I was not back home able to help out in the hospital and clinic. But I realized that as much as I wanted to say, "I want to help because of my compassion," there was a part of me that wanted to help to feed my pride.  1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."  I am grateful for God to yet again helping me learn this lesson.  I had always said that I was willing to give up my career and profession for the Lord, but he knew it would actually take a lot of time for it to be removed from me.  Thanks for letting me share what God has been teaching me in this period of the circuit breaker (what lockdown is called in Singapore).  I look forward to hearing from you as to what God is teaching you during this COVID situation. 


I like this depiction because it shows how the whole world has been affected by Covid.  We know our exact circumstances are different here than where you are, but nonetheless, we are all affected.  We also know the economy has taken a huge hit, and many of you have been personally affected through loss of income, loss of investments, and loss of financial security.  Despite this, you have continued to give.  You have continued to reach out to us and ask how we are doing and how you can be praying for us.  We are so thankful and blessed.  We continue to pray for you as well.  Please reach out and let us know your specific requests.
This is our prayer for all of us, " if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."  2 Chronicles 7:14