On Wednesday, 11th March 2020, I visited a close relative in Rijswijk to discuss about our counseling ministry for Indonesian-Dutch community. I called the couple “uncle and aunty”. On that day, the uncle seemed to be coughing a little bit. During that time, Noord Brabant was already alarmed by increased number of Coronavirus infections, therefore we had been very careful not to touch each other, I washed my hands when I came and when I left their house. But the distance of 1.5 m had not been applied on that day. The aunty could not wake up from sleep the night before, and uncle said that she was too tired after cooking for fellowship on Tuesday (the night before). The aunty also has diabetes for decades. During several hours in their house, Especially because I had lunch with the uncle and another friend, and the food was cooked by the aunty, I prayed for God's protection for all of us in my heart because I am follower of Jesus.
On 15th March 2020 I got news that the uncle and aunty were positive of having Coronavirus disease and she was in the ICU. I then immediately quarantined myself for two weeks. From this day everything changed; I was busy telling others about my quarantine, canceling many things that had been agreed upon, and it turned out that it needed a lot of time just to manage these things. Every meeting changed into online meeting. During the quarantine period, I could not go to supermarket, and many friends offered help to send food and other things. I felt how much my friends cared about me. It was a gift of love.
20th March when I prayed in the morning, I read the Bible and I got a message from God to take time to slow down, show His love & bring healing into people’s hearts. It was a clear personal message for me. But I did not completely understand the meaning. But on 24th March I heard a sad news that our friend who sat with me and the uncle for lunch meeting died because of Coronavirus. I was shocked. How could it be too fast? He was perfectly healthy when I called him on 17th March to tell him that the uncle and aunty were ill because of the virus. He was in the Netherlands for a visit and he went back to Indonesia the day after our meeting. It seemed that he could not breath in the isolation room and the medical staffs did not give proper help on time. I was so sad. But at the same time, many people in the group were also afraid because they had contact with the uncle. They knew that they could infect each other and no one knew who infected whom. I heard that the uncle and aunty got infected in a meeting and that another friend who was also there was also infected. His mom was infected too. They were in the ICU of a hospital in Germany, but by the grace of God they had been healed at the end of March.
The uncle was in the hospital but not in the ICU. His condition was better than the aunty. But on 26th March in the afternoon, the doctors offered palliative care for the uncle which was meant for terminal patient. Hearing this news, we all prayed together from our homes, and at night on that same day a miracle happened; the uncle got up and called his son using facetime. Then he got better and better and he was moved to revalidation center for recovery.
On Monday, the 6th of April we heard sad news that the aunty passed away. It was sad, but we know that she is now with Jesus and we will meet her again. She has no more pain and no more suffering. We could celebrate that she has won her battle. Knowing the fact that she is with Jesus and has enjoyed a perfect eternal life, the uncle still had high spirit to recover and he had been back home on Good Friday the 10th of April. He knows that God has a purpose for him to do in his remaining time to live on earth.
Now, I understand what it means that I have to slow down, show love to others, and bring God’s healing to people’s heart. There are people around me who need peace and joy, forgiveness from each other. Sickness can be contagious, but forgiveness is also contagious (especially when your friend died because of virus you bring). For me, the healing of 72 year old uncle who had heart surgery in the past is already a miracle and a great answer of prayer. But most importantly, acceptance and healing of the heart for each other. I see how love is shown everywhere! Today, I will lead a workshop for out team in the community about “wounded heart, grief, and healing”. Besides that, I also realize that my story which is actually God’s story written in us can inspire students and graduates whom I work with. Answer of prayer is real, a miracle is real, God’s love is real!