Spring 2017: A Season of God’s Gracious Provision
Dear brothers and sisters, it has been awhile since I (Jerome) last wrote to you. Our spring semester was very full, and it finally ended last week. We still remember our time in Malaysia very fondly, and we dearly miss our families, church, and friends. Our prayer for you is that you have been experiencing the power and grace of God as you continue to live for Him.
I find it hard to believe it’s already May! Time flies. I suppose time goes by very quickly when life gets busy. That was what the spring semester felt like. I took four classes. The most challenging class I had was Advanced Greek Grammar. Translating a classical Greek text required a lot of diligence and patience. This was a special class offered to students who were interested in improving their mastery of the language. I was particularly keen on it because I want to read the Bible in its original language well. I am glad for the class because it really took my grasp of Greek to the next level. My other classes were Ancient Near Eastern History, Old Testament 2 (Prophets and the Writings), and Biblical Hermeneutics.
Robyn took three classes and worked twenty hours a week at the clinic. It is no easy task balancing studies and work at the same time. I am very proud of her for handling the challenges of the semester well. She displayed hope in the Lord and trust in Him to help her through intense moments during the semester. Indeed, the Lord strengthened her to accomplish something incredible. Robyn took New Testament 1 (Gospels), Marriage and Family Counselling, and Typical Problems in Counseling for her classes last spring.
A little story about God’s Providence
There was one incident that I would like to share with you because it reveals the Lord’s providential care over our lives. A couple of weeks ago I had intentions to purchase a car. I corresponded with the seller, and we decided to use eBay to manage our transaction. Eventually, I found out that the seller was a scammer. I tried to get the deposit that I made to eBay, but it was too late. The “eBay” representative I spoke to was actually an impersonator! Long story short, we lost 2500 dollars (not RM). I was rather upset about the whole thing because we have been saving up and the money was stolen from us. All of this happened right before our final exams, so it was a stressful period. But we trusted the Lord would provide something for us in another way.
I shared my story to a few of my friends on campus, and one of them told me that he knows of a friend from his church who was thinking of giving his car away. Well, guess who became the new owner of that car? ? Yesterday, we acquired a 1999 Toyota Camry. We are very grateful for the Lord’s providence. He cares for His people and looks after their needs. I am reminded of Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added on to you.”
When troubles come, do we perceive it as an opportunity to despair or have faith in the Lord? For the believer, every incident in life is an opportunity for faith. After studying the works of the Lord throughout the history of Israel over the semester, it would be quite ridiculous if I could not trust Him to provide a vehicle! The Lord has demonstrated His sovereignty over kings, nations, and empires! Just as we were about to be tested in our exams for our knowledge, I believe the Lord tested our hearts for our faith in Him. On hindsight, I am grateful for our loss because it gives me one more story about the Lord’s goodness and to praise His name. As people of the Lord, we can be sure that our Heavenly Father watches over us.
- Robyn and I became Residential Assistants (RA’s) for our apartment complex. This job significantly reduces our rent per month by more than half. Again, how we got the job is another story of how the Lord planned things such that we could get this job. Remember how our apartment was flooded with sewage water last summer? The seminary also had plans to renovate our old apartment, so we had to move. The only option we had was an apartment that costs a hundred dollars more per month. I was not keen, but it was the best on-campus housing option we could get. About a year later, our RA’s graduated and the RA position opened. So, we applied and got it! If we stayed in our previous apartment, we would not be able to become RA’s because the seminary converted them to dorms. Truly, our God knew the future and prepared us to receive His gifts!
- Robyn was offered a scholarship for her seminary education! We just received the letter two days ago and are excited about it. We still have some steps that we need to take before we receive it in August so please pray that all goes well! Robyn is currently pursuing a degree in biblical counseling. Spouses of seminary students get a 50% discount off tuition, so we thought this would be a good opportunity for her to get some training since she would likely be serving in ministry in some measure in the future. She has been working at the clinic to pay for her own education. This scholarship is immensely helpful, and we are deeply grateful for the Lord’s provision.
In a nutshell, the Lord has provided a car, a new job with rent compensation, and a scholarship for us. We praise Him for His kindness and goodness towards us in providing for our physical needs!
More importantly, the Lord has been feeding us well with His Word. As we learn more about the Scriptures, our hunger for it increases. The Word is life-giving, and through it, the Lord increases our love for Him. He brings challenges into our lives so that our faith in Him may grow stronger. A dear friend of mine recently asked me, “What was one thing the Lord taught you last semester?” I said that He had taught me to delight in Him especially when life gets tough. This reminds me of the first verse of the hymn, “When Trials Come”:
When trials come no longer fear
For in the pain our God draws near
To fire a faith worth more than gold
And there His faithfulness is told
And there His faithfulness is told
May the Lord reveal His faithfulness to you in times of pain and sorrow so that you may find your satisfaction and delight in Him.
If you would remember us in your prayer times, please pray for us in the following things:
- That Robyn would receive her scholarship in August.
- That we would be faithful stewards of all the gifts and resources that the Lord has blessed us with.
- That we continue to excel in our studies and be good workers. This summer, I (Jerome) would be taking three classes and working twenty hours. Robyn would be working twenty-eight hours and preparing for the fall semester.
- For an opportunity to serve our local church here, Clifton Baptist Church, and the seminary community in their summer events. It brings us joy to serve the saints.
Thank you, dear brothers and sisters! Your partnership means a lot to us. We thank God for His grace in your lives and how it overflows to us. Please write to us when and if you have the opportunity.
For the Kingdom,
Jerome and Robyn
Posted on 20th May 2017