Post-MCO: Testimonies from doctors at CERC
Post-MCO: Testimonies from doctors at CERC
The past months seemed to have passed by in the blink of an eye that it’s almost surreal to think that Malaysia went into lockdown for a quarter of a year. While most of us were in lockdown at home, those in the medical field braced the battle against COVID-19 in the frontline; doctors from CERC included. We got some of these doctors to share their experiences below:
Dr Eldwin Oui
I was sent to the Emergency Department to serve as a frontliner during the MCO/CMCO period and it reminded me how fragile human life really is. The coronavirus has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people. It is easy to find people either losing hope or placing hope in all sorts of worldly things such as “humanity”, but as a Christian, I am reminded of our eternal hope which we have in Christ. It is my prayer for the church to never forget this hope that we have been called to through the gospel: may we trust in Jesus as we listen and carefully do His Word. In Matt 7:24, Jesus likens this to a wise man who built his house on the rock; may we be careful not to fall for worldly temptations during this period of time and to “build houses on sand”.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psalms 18:2 ESV
Dr Phang Gin Ga
As a medical doctor working in the anaesthesia and Intensive Care Unit (ICU), I was privileged to not just be part of the frontliners of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the ‘lastliner’ at ICU. The hassle of wearing and working inside full personal protective equipment (PPE) was daunting. Not only is it suffocating, stuffy and cumbersome, it also makes the wearer within the suit half-deaf and half-blind. We see first-hand, many times, that despite our hard work, even advanced treatment and resuscitation can be futile, as patients remain cold and lifeless. We see fear in the patient’s family, and even in the eyes of the frontlining staff. The threat of this infectious pandemic is real.
Fear crept into my own heart when I was informed that I too became a patient under investigation (PUI) after attending to a collapsed patient unprotected, because that patient was later found to have contracted COVID-19. Never for once within my medical career of 6 years have I felt so fragile when I started to show flu-like symptoms over the course of the next few days that I was quarantined. Yet, amidst this vulnerable situation, I am reminded what it means to be a Christian.
Being a Christian never meant that because God is on my side, I should live my life towards being as happy and successful as what the world thinks one can be.
Being a Christian means believing in the sovereign God, trusting in His word — the Bible, fully dependent on Jesus Christ in the best and worst of times.
Ever since the first reported death by COVID-19 in China on 11 Jan 2020, COVID-19 has now reportedly infected 7 million people globally, and this number is expected to continue climbing for the near future. Through this, the fragility of this world is felt. Our seemingly stable, comfortable modern Malaysian lifestyles are shaken. Yet God is in control. The Bible, the word of God, tells us what kind of god God is — all knowing, all powerful and sovereign. God will decide if we live or die. God reigns over the coronavirus. He ordained it, He controls it, and He will end it at His timing. In the presence of the holy, sovereign God, no one has the right to life. Every heartbeat is grace.
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
1 Thes 5:1-10
As Christians, Jesus did not only die for our sins, He was raised to life, giving us assurance that we too would be resurrected to new life. 1 Thes 5:1-10 tells us that since we belong to the day, whether we live or die, we will be with Jesus. God’s purpose is good, even in suffering and death, for those who trust in Him. We thank God because our salvation and hope is secured in God’s merciful favour in heaven (Col 1:3-5). Hence until we die at His decision, all the more must we get to work: to pour out our lives to make Jesus Christ known, to be a good steward, and not to waste our lives following our own passion and desires.
This assurance gave me great comfort. No man can comfort our souls in this pandemic the way God can. It comes from His word, the Bible. My vulnerability will not stop me from serving. This hope allows me to continue putting myself at risk for others, such as serving as a frontliner, because I do not depend on myself but on God. Despite my daily struggles with sin and the world, this understanding helps me greatly to persevere and remain grounded as a Christian.
We do not know when the COVID-19 pandemic will end; we do not know when a vaccine or cure to the disease will be found; we do not know whether there will be other unforeseen calamities in near future; but we do have Jesus Christ, the rock that is better and more trustworthy than anything else. In the midst of this pandemic, may we Christians faithfully stand on His mighty love and tell others what it is like to stand on this mighty rock. Fix our eyes on Christ, our rock and forerunner, and trust and depend on Him. As Heb 10:24-25 writes: Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Therefore, let us strive to love and encourage one another despite the inconveniences of the “new normal”.
If you would like to know more about this God, I sincerely invite you to come talk to me, or any of us here at CERC.
Dr Philip Tan
My name is Philip Tan. I’m a medical doctor working in Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun in Ipoh. Over the last couple of months, most of us have been affected by the COVID-19 virus one way or another. I’m sure you must have read a lot about it. As part of my work, I myself have seen the damaging effects of the virus in some of my patients, hence it has to be taken seriously. For most of you, the MCO wasn’t a very pleasant thing to experience, especially with many restrictions. In addition to that, as the economy was badly affected, most of you must have felt its effect one way or another.
With that said, it has been good news for us as a country since the month of June with a dwindling number of new cases in Malaysia. However, it looks like that the virus is likely to be here with us for a while as a vaccine is still in the early phases of development.
Yet I’m glad that the MCO was gradually lifted. I myself have been able to come back to KL quite regularly for physical meetings with my GG. I even managed to attend a few church weddings!
Regardless of the times, I would like to commit the church as well as all of you to God in prayer.
Over the last couple of months with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced many restrictions that were set in place which has limited us from having physical gatherings as a church. Despite that, we are thankful to you as you have kept us all safe from this virus and given us good health throughout this period. We are also thankful for the improving situation in Malaysia with regards to the reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases. We want to pray for those you have placed in authority over us, that you will continue to grant them wisdom in the handling of this situation.
Thank you Lord for allowing us to meet with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Even as we cherish this opportunity, help us to make full use of it in encouraging one another and building each other up into maturity in Christ. Help us also to seize this opportunity in bringing the good news to our friends and loved ones who have yet to know you. For those who are still unable to meet up with us like the elderly, children and those who are ill, we pray that they will use the many resources that are available to them such as the Internet, video apps and online platforms to continue to meet with the rest of us virtually and be nurtured through the preaching of your Word.
I pray for us as your church who is learning biblical theology from your Word this year — may your Word reveal to us who you are and your plans. As we have seen the fallenness of man in the old testament, may your Spirit convict us of our sins and bring us to repentance and acknowledge your Lordship. Finally, may this study help us to appreciate Christ all the more!
All these I commit into your hands; in Christ’s name I pray.
Dr Lilian Tan
Here’s a video testimony from Dr Lilian Tan, Dr Philip Tan’s wife!
We hope that you’ve been encouraged by the testimonies above to continue persevering and trusting in the Lord and His sovereign will, no matter the circumstances. If you have been struggling, we invite you to join us in our Growth Groups and on Sundays where we edify and encourage one another in His Word.
Posted on 15th August 2020