It’s nearly 70 months since I returned from Singapore in 2014. If I make it to the end of January 2020 it would be the first time in 14 years that I have lived in my own house for a year without interruption. It is the fulfilment of God’s promise in the Jubilee passage in Leviticus 25 that in the 50th year one is to return to one own’s possession and land. Last Sunday a church member whom I knew well but had not the chance to converse with until on Sunday asked me whether I thought of migrating to New Zealand. Perhaps he has seen me around the church on and off without much to do.
One old friend of another church said what a waste of talent when she found out that I was taking such a long leave without much to look forward to. Sometimes it is easier to run away than staying put. During my 25th anniversary service I had testified that in two other countries I had been granted the right of permanent residence. It is not as if I must stay in Sabah or Malaysia when options availed to me. Even among close friends sometimes it is hard to explain what I am doing what I am doing. In a way with the publication of my book (on the way from KL) and the soon another book in the publication of the Gospel of John’s commentary (1-12) I have reasons to feel that this sabbatical has been fruitful. Plus the fact I had travelled to faraway away places for the past 6 months preaching and teaching the Word of God. Once I start to pastor a local church then itinerant preaching will cease, perhaps only once or twice a year during my annual leave. I have learned to wait on the Lord and waiters will be blessed with strength renewed and they will soar high with wings like an eagle’s.