My blessed quarantine

Ling, Chuah Hui is a Columban Lay Missionary recently assigned to the region of Britain. She reflects on her arrival and how she and fellow Lay Missionary Sophia Ting had to follow UK government regulations to first quarantine for two weeks before they could begin their immersion.

Before I arrived in my mission assignment in Britain, I spent my last few weeks in New Zealand busily saying goodbye to my dear friends, and all the while preparing myself physically, mentally and spiritually to come here. After a long flight we arrived safely at Heathrow airport. Fr. Ray, who represents the region of Britain, was there to welcome Sophia and I. He carried a sign with our names on it, just in case we missed each other because we were all wearing masks. We were very grateful to Fr. Ray and the members of the Region of Britain for their warm welcome.

After another 2 hours travelling from the airport, we arrived at our quarantine home. Our new companions on mission, Gertrudes and Roberta, were there to welcome us. A little flat was purposely prepared for us, so we were able to move around freely in the flat and not be confined to a small room. The flat was surprisingly cosy and felt like a welcome home. Gertrudes, Roberta and Nathalie had prepared some hot food for us on arrival, and during the following 14 days of quarantine they regularly dropped off ingredients for us to cook our own meals or would surprise and delight us with their yummy cooking.

I call those days of quarantine my “Blessed Quarantine”. Why? Because from the day we touched down in Britain, we were surrounded by so many blessings. Even the neighbours downstairs and next door left us a welcome card and chocolates, inviting us to call them if we needed any help. Our companions here made sure we had everything we needed and that we were well taken care of. It really warmed our hearts. I personally enjoyed the slow pace of the quarantine and spent the time recollecting over the past few months and my journey so far. The recollection helped me acknowledge how God had blessed me and nourished me with His love through different communities. And my prayers had been answered. He was always with me for every step I had taken and the big decisions I had made. I am now much more grateful for the transition, changes, and challenges over the last 7 months.

This was also a wonderful opportunity for Sophia and I to bond more closely with each other. God is good, I believe He is working for both of us. We shared at a deeper level our life, our journey, our conversion and our family. As part of our daily routine, we would take turns to cook, we would pray morning and evening prayer together, reflect on the readings of the mass and pray the rosary. This was our work of mercy during quarantine and I really treasure those times, because I am convinced all relationships need to be rooted and built up in Christ. (Col 2:6 -7).

Lay Missionaries Teresa, Sophia and Roberta with Lay Mission Co-ordinator Ger Samson.

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Read more about Ling and Sophia's assignment to Britain.

Lay missionaries excited to begin their ministry in Britain