Connection in Quarantine Time
During this time of quarantine, I have lamented the straight up lack of access I have to my high school students in this mandated “virtual school” platform. None of them have laptops, most don’t have cell phones, and those that do or can use their parents’ cell phones don’t have consistent data plans. It breaks my heart being so disconnected from them knowing that their “community” are their deaf friends that all congregate here at Refugio. Every blessed, unclear video call I have with one of them starts with them asking me when they can come over to my house to hang out with their friends.
So I have sought the Lord many days and hours asking “what on earth am I supposed to be doing during this time?!”
May seem arrogant, but I know I can be honest with Jesus, so I let it out. I have felt pretty useless during this time not able to do the exact thing I’m here to do – work with the deaf students. But God is very patient and merciful with me, so in His gentle, loving way has redirected me and given me some beautiful moments showing His love.
First off, the Lord showed me through the wise words of other missionary ladies here, that this is a time to spend with Him. That even if I was completely unable to connect with my students, doing nothing but spending this time to draw closer to my Lord and let Him speak into my life is not time wasted. I have tried to live that truth out as I have more time on my hands.
Second, I have come to realize that I am in a unique position to now minister and be a listening ear to the moms of my students. I have prayed for a long time that the Lord open up opportunity for me to be able to build relationships with the moms of my students, and this time of quarantine has most definitely provided that opportunity! Even though they may not have data plans, they can receive phone calls so I can call them. This then means I spend a huge amount of time on my phone, but praise Jesus for the “speaker” option!
Third, some of the students do have times when they can video call! The internet is so overburdened right now that none of our video calls are completely smooth or clear, but they are sweet moments of connection. The picture above was from an especially beautiful time I was able to have with 3 of my former/current students with them using their moms’ phones to do a group video chat. I was soo happy just watching them all be patient with the slow and delayed video because it was worth it to be able to chat and connect. I was greatly blessed that they wanted to include me in those precious moments they had “together.”
So even in this very different time when all of our routines and “normal” are different, we can be used and our time can be well spent, as long as we are open to new routines and “normals” that God may show us.