October 31, 2021

Grateful for Salvation and Healing

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

Written by Ricky & Stella Yang

“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth” (Psalm 71:9).

On 19th September (Sunday), just before the Evening Service, we received news from the Nursing Home that Aunty Poh Eng tested positive for Covid-19, but was asymptomatic. There wasn’t much other info then, except to wait for further instructions from MOH. There were many questions running through our minds. Was she infectious? Would she be placed in isolation? Would there be other medical complications, knowing that she is of old age, and has some existing medical conditions? Would she be transferred to a hospital or other recovery facility?

We subsequently learned that she was placed in isolation at the Nursing Home. As the news sank in, we could only pray and requested prayer of brethren from the church, family and friends to plead for God’s mercy to sustain Aunty Poh Eng, as we awaited updates from the Nursing Home (on her condition) and instructions from MOH. Thank God for opportunity to have a video call with her to inform her of the situation and to explain to her why she was placed in isolation, knowing that she would usually feel uncomfortable to be alone. We thank God for opportunity to sing the chorus, ‘Chin Chia Ho’, to encourage her and also ourselves – a chorus that reminded us that God is good every day, and that we should praise Him even in such time of need, in time of old age and physical vulnerability, and when her bodily strength was showing signs of failing, when her voice became hoarse and her energy level was getting lower due to the virus. Like the psalmist, we interceded for Aunty Poh Eng that God would not cast her off.

“O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help…. Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth” (Psalm 71:12, 20).

On 21st September (Tuesday), we thanked God for answered prayers. God had heard our pleas and had “made haste” for our help, and opened up the space for Aunty Poh Eng to be transferred to NCID. Her initial days at NCID were concerning. Some days, her vital parameters were stable, and on other days, they were not so good. During those initial days, her Covid infection was worsening, and she also had bacterial infection. The initial medications were not producing the desired results and she needed supplementary oxygen support. How we thank God that He has opened the way for such a timely help and move to NCID to receive the much needed medical attention and care. We continued to have video calls with Aunty Poh Eng occasionally. Though lying on the bed of sickness, she showed no signs of despair but was at peace spiritually and mostly lucid, though physically weak and sometimes weary. Whenever we had the opportunity for video calls, we were always most encouraged to hear her affirming Jesus Christ as her Saviour, trusting in her Heavenly Father and thanking people who were praying for her. Indeed, the psalmist’s plea, “O God, be not far from me”, was our intercessory prayer for her, and we found comfort and rest in the knowledge that it is the Spirit of God that has drawn Aunty Poh Eng close to her blessed God.

On 25th September (Saturday), we got a call around noon from a doctor that Aunty Poh Eng’s infection level was getting higher and some of the parameters were becoming critical. She was going to be placed on the “Dangerously ill list” (DIL). We were told to be mentally prepared, and we were also told that for patients on DIL, one visitor was allowed. Suddenly, it looked like things have taken a very sharp downturn. Our hearts were heavy, and we started taking out our N95 masks to prepare to visit. Shortly after, we were told the doctor has assessed that they were not going to put her on DIL but would continue to monitor her. It indeed felt like the Lord has quickened Aunty Poh Eng again and brought her from the brink of being dangerously ill. Oh, what a relief and yet at the same time, it reminded us how variable and uncertain the next few days could be. We felt a mix of relief, thanksgiving and a need to continue to plead for Aunty Poh Eng to cling on to Jesus as she wasn’t completely out of the woods yet. The Hokkien chorus, “Kang Wa Eh Qiu” (“Hold My Hand”), played in our hearts. We continued to have video calls with Aunty Poh Eng and sang the chorus to her. On one rare occasion, she struggled to recognise us. We were concerned, but it was more important that Aunty Poh Eng would not forget Jesus Christ, her Saviour. Praise God, through the period of fluctuations in her condition, the Lord has kept her close to Him and enabled Aunty Poh Eng to remain steadfast in affirming her faith in Jesus Christ.

“Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come” (Psalm 71:18).

The next few days were days of slow but sure recovery. Aunty Poh Eng was slowly increasing her food and water intake and gaining strength slowly. After 2 weeks in NCID, she was discharged to Bright Vision Hospital. On one Saturday when we had a video call with her, she could even remember that next day (Sunday) was church day! Yes, it was the strength of the Lord God that has enabled her to stay the course in her battle with the Covid-19 virus, and to remain steadfast in her faith. Though Aunty Poh Eng was making good recovery, she was not shedding the viral fragments enough to be discharged from the hospital yet. It was a period of waiting upon the Lord, and again God was faithful and has not forsaken Aunty Poh Eng or us. It is the Lord’s mercy and strength that enabled her to have made the recovery thus far, and we simply had to wait for the Lord’s timing for her discharge from the hospital. All praise and thanks to God, last Monday (18 Oct), exactly a month after Aunty Poh Eng tested positive, the Lord has restored her to health. We rejoice to echo the psalmist’s declaration – “Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”

We conclude with the psalmist’s praise: “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed” (Psalm 71:23). All praise and glory to God the Almighty, who is the God who heals both the body and soul.

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Our Worship Address
SingPost Centre
Level 5 Auditorium
10 Eunos Road 8, Singapore 408600
(next to Paya Lebar MRT station)
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Gethsemane Media Centre
33 Ubi Crescent
Singapore 408584
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