Government services in Malaysia are very efficient. One needs just an hour to renew or issue a new passport. Last week I queued up for 20 mins before entering the Income Tax office and another 20 mins at the line where I obtained a new password for my e-filing. My salary income in 2019 is less than RM5,000.00 for two months of work which ended February 2019. How did I survive? By July 2019 I was entitled to access the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and I am still drawing from it to supplement my income now. It may last another year but not much longer. Retirement is on the horizon for the priests they retire at 50. Anyhow, priests of old in Israel were taken care of from the temple fund, but I have no pension, no life insurance, and meagre EPF savings.
But I trust in the living God who says that even to your grey hairs I will hold and carry you (Isaiah) and that as the Psalmist declares that even to his old age he will bear fruits like an olive tree planted in the house of the Lord. Speaking of the house of the Lord, I spent a few hours in church yesterday for recording online services as I stayed back to join the praise and worship team. Lord, I love the place where You dwell and your glory resides. It was late afternoon before I got back home after an early morning start. My preaching was not up to the standard of last week's sermon as I was told on Monday (less than 24 hours' notice) that recording was to be done yesterday instead of the usual Wednesday (today). I still need to do my slides by tomorrow so that the multimedia team could do all the editing and getting it ready for upload on Sunday.
Like Jacob (Gen 32:10), katonti (I am not worthy) of all your grace and your truth as Jacob returned from Midian to Bethel after a 20-year sojourn. I still feel keenly the step I took in October 2014, after months of uncertainty leaving TTC in June 2014, and making my journey home to Sabah for good. Even in June 2016 when I was out of a job again (my Acting Principalship had ended in Ranau) I could have returned as my Singapore Permanent Resident status was still valid then, but I chose to remain and it was one of the toughest decisions yet waiting for 2 months before being sent back to College where I knew that my ministry would be much curtailed as half of my gifts would not be utilised. Like Moses, I plan to wait patiently even until I am 70 or 80 years old. God gave Moses good health until he was 120 years old and it is said that Moses was as just strong as ever after leading the Israelites for 40 years through the wilderness. God will do the same for me and we will see a big revival and transformation in the land.