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From the Chaplain – Newsletter Edition 08, 2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers

It has been nice to sit around and chat with family and friends in the last couple of weeks and COVID-19 hasn’t been the dominant topic of conversation. It’s still there bubbling along in the background, but it hasn’t been all that we have talked about. And in those conversations there has been a lot of ‘What If’s…’, trying to make sense of all that’s happening both locally, nationally and internationally.

I heard recently from Father Philip who was our contact for our first Walkabout in Myanmar. I have kept in correspondence with him, especially during this time. He has told me that they had have had no recorded cases of COVID-19 in the village. Their isolation would have helped. But the impact of the virus on the village has been huge. He sent me photos of members of the church stockpiling bags of rice at the back of their church where worship has been stopped. With this rice they are feeding 500 families who have lost work because of the shutdown of districts.

That puts our stockpiling of toilet paper under the spotlight, and begs the question “How is it that people who have less can give so much?”

The Christian community in Thandaung Ghi (pronounced Tan- don-Gee) cares for all; Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and non-religious. They see their calling to community and serving others as God would have them do.

They are not sitting around ‘What iffing?’ They are acting on, ‘What needs to be done?’

Our students and staff who were blessed with the opportunity to visit Thandaung Ghi and learnt so much about community. Perhaps these are lessons we could embrace.

Noal Oakey
Chaplain

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