The past two months have been filled with much joy and excitement as we welcomed our 7th child on 12 Mar in a rather spectacular and eventful way. As most of you would have known by now, Anna Joy Lim Yi En was born right in our own bedroom at 2:10pm that Thursday afternoon! If you still haven’t read the birth account from each of our perspectives, please visit Serene’s and my blogsite. We continue to give God all glory and praise for His hand upon Anna Joy, and for guiding us through this homebirth. Even our doctor-friend marveled at God’s protection when he received a perfect test result for our daughter (read the doctor’s report).
The children have all been gushing over their new little sister. Each time Anna is awake, you will find six pairs of eyes staring down at her! The older ones get the privilege of carrying her now and then, while the younger ones look on longingly, hoping for an opportunity to do the same. They have been great helps to Serene too, presenting the much needed tissues whenever Anna burps. And at bath time, Anna gets a ready audience plus a running commentary as she is bathed and dressed.
Our extended family at Covenant Vision Christian Church has also been a tremendous source of support and encouragement through their well wishes, gifts and prayers. We praise God and give Him thanks for everyone at CVCC. Up until two weeks before the birth, we did not have any confinement period plans or help at all. Then, God touched hearts and before we knew it, we had a team of women (and their families) who volunteered to cook for our entire family from Monday through to Sunday! We have been enjoying wonderful lunches and dinners since Anna’s birth. It has been so heartwarming for us as we experienced the love of God through the Body of Christ. That’s what community is all about! We cannot thank these enough for their labour of love.
During this period, I stayed home more to help out. Besides looking after and nursing Anna (which is quite a bit already), Serene needed to rest whenever she could. Praise God that the recovery process was smooth and Serene was up and about in a rather short time. With the meals taken care of, I tried my best to manage the household and the children. It is in times like these that I realise (all over again) the amount of work Serene does as a stay-at-home mother, looking after our larger-than-normal family all by herself. Just one week into the chores and tasks and I was buckling – and that doesn’t even include cooking or homeschooling. Yet, Serene soldiers on, day after day, week after week, month after month. I really appreciate my wife, and never cease to thank God for her.
In April, I resumed teaching at Covenant Vision School of Ministry, taking the students through “The Spiritual Disciplines” across four Wednesdays. It is always exciting for me to teach this course as many are not exposed to the Disciplines. To see the students embrace the biblical concepts and truths with new fervor and hunger encourages me! This Equipping Course culminated in a Silent Retreat (25-27 April) where the students had the opportunity to practice the disciplines of silence and solitude. In their own quiet moments, God met with and spoke to each of them in such remarkable and personal ways. I was extremely blessed by all the testimonies. Praise the Lord!
Covenant Vision Christian Church received her first batch of members at the Resurrection Sunday Service on 19 April. It was a significant moment for the new members, having gone through six weeks of Membership Class to learn about the church’s Vision and Mission. By the way, it was also Anna’s one-month celebration that day. It was nice to have had Senior Pastor, Rev Francis, pray for her and the whole church celebrate with us. On 29 March and 19 April, I preached the messages “The Walk of the Wise” and “From Religion to Relationship” respectively. These sermons can still be downloaded from our website’s Audio Centre.
My schedule for May is rather packed and new initiatives are already lined up for CVCC. It will be quite an adjustment for our family as we strive to achieve a new balance. As I restart ministry, Serene will begin a fresh term of homeschooling. It will be very challenging – and that’s an understatement – to do school with the older five and manage a toddler and a baby at the same time. Please pray for us!
After Anna’s birth day on 12 Mar, David celebrated his 11th birthday on 20 Apr. It was quite a feat for the entire family to travel to Singapore Discovery Centre for his birthday outing. I am really getting too old for this – haha! Well, I’d better catch my breath quickly for two more birthdays in May – Esther’s 6th (1 May) and Sarah’s 9th (22 May).
As always, thanks for reading this bi-monthly newsletter and for staying in touch. Your prayers and support are precious to us, and we continually praise and thank God for all of you. In between these updates, you can visit my website, www.brohenson.org. New articles include “Marriages IN Christ” and “Every Thought Captive”. For more light-hearted ramblings on various issues, journey with me at “One Day at a Time”. And believe it or not, to keep up with the new media, I have joined the ranks of twitter-ers! So you can also follow my tweets.
Finally, even as the world staggers from an economic crisis to a potential pandemic outbreak of swine flu, know that our God is still in control. He is our Hope and our very present Help in times of need. Don’t look to what the world says. Instead, choose to stand on the unmovable and unshakeable Word of God. May you continue to experience Him in deeper and more intimate dimensions as you draw closer and closer to Him!