Everyone loves to plan and to be in control. There is an extra confidence booster that comes with seeing our plans come to fruition. Apparently, 2020 had other plans for us. Do you not agree? Time to be alone, time to reconnect with family and friends, time to take a break from school (wink wink), and personal uninterrupted time with God. As the year continues and new plans start to form let us remember;

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make profit.” Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that.”   James 13-15

Day 2: Plans Interrupted 

Bound for: Phoomwittaya Residence.

Beginning of March 2020, I was heading back to Thailand for the spring holiday, not knowing that my one-month holiday would be extended when Japan closed its border early April. The trip back home itself was a miracle from God as a plane ticket which was bought in October 2019 was not canceled due to the pandemic. The day that I left for Thailand, Narita airport was almost empty; something I had never experienced in my duration in Japan. I was thankful to God that my flight was one of the last few flights to Thailand not canceled. 

After safely arriving in Thailand, I had to endure self-isolation in my room for 14 days without any physical human contact. It was a bizarre time for me, and it had me thinking of individuals who are in  prison or in detention centers. Most prisoners have no freedom inside and furthermore, many of them do not know how long they must be there.  On the other hand, I was in my own room, knowing that it was only for 14 days, and yet, I already felt isolated and uncomfortable in this confined space and my inability to meet friends and family. The good thing, however, was that since I could not do much then, I had a lot of time to reflect on my own life and to rest.  I was able to clean my room as well, which was great.  

When the 14-days of isolation were over, I was finally able to meet my family though not my friends as Thailand declared a state of emergency which meant I had to continue to stay at home. We did not know how the situation would turn out in Thailand, and most people stocked food in case the situation got worse. I took the initiative to cook for my family and plan for meals each week. We also started to plant some vegetables because we did not know how the future would turn out to be and I thought that we should be prepared just in case. Thankfully, the situation in Thailand got better, thanks to the Thai medical system, the government, and people’s co-operation. I thank God that this situation has united Thai people with each other again.

Not being able to go outside as usual has been helping me to focus on what’s more important in life.  God is the One who we should focus on and we shall know that He is the One who is in control in all situations.  I am thankful that I got this rare and unexpected opportunity to stay with my family while being able to continue studying at TCU via online.  It has been more than a decade since I entered an undergraduate school in Thailand that I got the opportunity to stay with my family for a long period of time.  This quarantine has helped me to slow down and ponder about life. It has helped me to be creative with the situation trying new things such as gardening, cooking, or home exercising.  I also treasure this time with my family.

Although I am in Thailand and staying home, I don’t feel that far from everyone in Japan. I’ve received kindness and compassion from TCU staff and professors with TCU friends are only a zoom call away, and also with my church members and Christians in Japan online.  We are apart physically but we are connected in Christ through technology.  And above all, I know that God cares, and He is in control of this whole situation.

Karuna Phoomwittaya- Junior.

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