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Porter's Pursuits

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As of today, June 1, we are beginning phase 1.  Most businesses will remain closed with the majority of workers continuing to telecommute.  The main difference is that schools are reopening.  Singapore has a year-round school year, so this will mark the beginning of Term 3. However, students are required to wear masks at all times, maintain social distancing, and only 50% of students can be in the building at one time.  Some schools are choosing to alternate by the week, some every other day.  This will continue at least through June.  If the number of community cases stays very low (we heard less than 10) with over 90% traceable, then we will move to phase 2 in July.  We have also been told that phase 3 is the earliest churches will be allowed to reopen, so we aren't sure when that will be but likely heading into the fall, but even then, service sizes will be kept quite small.   
Praise:  We remain healthy, in relatively good spirits, and are able to consistently get grocery orders.  
Pray: For the girls as they restart school. They are excited to go back, but feeling a bit anxious about wearing masks all day.  There is also NO talking on public transportation, so pray they don't feel unsettled by that as well.  
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As the girls head back to school tomorrow, the boys are just about to finish up their sophomore year of high school (about 2 weeks left).  They were hoping to be meeting up with friends, going to movies, and hanging at the pool. Sadly, this will have to wait until phase 2/3.  But, they are planning to stay busy.  Ben is taking a week-long media-intensive course virtually to learn how media can be used as a tool for sharing the gospel.  Joel is becoming quite interested in cybersecurity, so he will be taking an online class as well.    
Praise: For all the learning and growth both boys have accomplished this year.  
Pray: For encouragement as they await their summer fun outside the house.  Pray as we begin to explore ACT/SAT prep, career choices, colleges, etc.  
John 15:16a, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide,"  I just read this verse yesterday for my devotions.  It is such a great reminder that no matter where we are in this world with COVID, riots, civil unrest, government oppression, government abandoning its job, or anything else going on, Jesus has chosen us for this time.  He has put us in this place.  He wants us to go and bear fruit.  These last few months I have been asking subconsciously, "Lord, how do I bear fruit stuck in my house?"  Thankfully the power to bear fruit doesn't come from me.  I am not the one that bears the fruit.  That comes from the previous verse of abiding in Christ.  Christ's power flows through me and his energy lets the fruit grow.  Over the last month, I have had the pleasure of being reminded of that lesson.  I think I am hearing this lesson a lot.  I think every month it seems since I started this journey.  Christ puts me where he wants me, sustains me, and knows exactly what He is doing.  I just again get to abide.  How did I learn that this month?

Well, I let everyone know that last month I was going to volunteer for working in the dorms.  Unfortunately, the day after I went for my physical and blood work they changed their plans and said they didn't need any outside help anymore, even though they were actively hiring people for a job I was volunteering for.   But that was ok because this doesn't take me now away from the family.  I am seeing that this circuit breaker has allowed me to spend more time with my family then I ever have done in the past.  The kids and I have had some great conversations.  Also through this have been able to lay aside medical work and being licensed yet again.  It is interesting how God knows your motives for why we do things even with volunteering. 
But God did present me with an opportunity to cover my resume for the time if/when we get to serve in a closed access nation. Having a 4-year gap on my resume would need an explanation, and if trying to enter a closed access nation, saying I was employed by our organization would not be possible.  God has provided a position with a telemedicine company to help cover this time on my resume.  I don't know how all of this will work out, but as I am continuing to learn, Jesus calls me to abide intimately with Him and that is where my joy comes from.  
I was asked to contribute a 2 min devotional for our church's Facebook page campaign called "Good Morning, IBC".  The aim is to encourage and uplift while in the midst of COVID.  The subject I chose was fear.  I know, fear doesn't seem like a very suitable, uplifting topic?!  I referenced the story in Matthew Ch 8 when the storm is raging all around and the disciples are terrified.  Jesus asks them, "Why are you so afraid?" then proceeds to calm the storm with only his words.  Jesus goes on to say, "You have so little faith".  It seems wrong for him to say that I mean, they were about to drown!  You may feel like you're drowning in debt, or unemployment, or depression, and those feelings are very real!  But, if you know Jesus, you aren't meant to carry those burdens.  You aren't meant to feel hopeless.  Jesus is asking you to put your faith in Him, in His ability to protect you, in His ability to provide a job, in His ability to grant healing.  What I've learned during this time of isolation is that people are super important, especially those who are hurting.  I have been struggling with feelings of inadequacy...am I doing enough, why can't I be doing more, what is my purpose here?  But, God is gently reminding me that it's not in my power, but in His. The nice word to the worker at the store check-in, the text of encouragement, the surprise bday cake for a single friend, virtual tea times...God multiplies these in amazing ways to shine His light.  I encourage you to seek Him in the small ways and watch how He multiplies your willingness to be His hands and feet.