Annual Report – Sept 2021 – Rev. Hoong Cheong Hiew
It was almost 1 year and 10 months ago (August 2019) that our Deacon, Arthur Cheng first contacted me in Malaysia about the possibility of serving with EFCA. God brought me into a time of waiting as the pestilence of Covid came upon the world and things became tentative and uncertain. Meanwhile I kept believing that it is only by faith that I could walk with God and appropriate His blessings.
It was a miracle that I could obtain a Visa and an Exemption to enter Australia and was thankful that I could even book a flight out of Malaysia. The week before we were due to depart, we had to get a police-permit to travel to the airport but to our surprise, there was no police roadblocks on that day.
At the airport, we showed our -ve Covid tests and managed to get through check-in to obtain our boarding passes. At the immigration, the officers wanted to let me through as I have an employment contract but they said that Lee Ling and Zach needed to get immigration passes to leave the country. However, the Lord prevailed over them and they let all of us through. If they had not allowed Lee Ling and Zach through, I would not have left them behind.
Upon arrival in Sydney, there was a medical team at the airport and because I declared that I had an itchy throat, my family was quickly set aside, given a Covid test each and transported privately to the Meriton Zetland for quarantine. We found ourselves in a two bedroom and two-bathroom apartment and quarantine turned out to be a pleasant experience with medical check-ups and food deliveries every day for 14 days.
We wish to thank EFCA Deacons Board for the gift of a Welcome Box and the arrangement of accommodation post-quarantine. A special mention of thanks must be given to Michael and Louise for accommodating us at her mother’s unoccupied apartment. We have now found our own apartment at Chatswood and Zach’s enrolment to Chatswood High School has been accepted.
I started work on the 1st of June and have begun to meet up with my fellow pastors and the SWITCH group leaders as well as the Kids Church leaders. I have also attended the Deacons Board meeting and together with my family, we have worshipped with the Mandarin Service, Cantonese Services and the English Service.
Our presence before you are a testimony of God’s goodness and grace. It is nothing other than God’s miracle that we have come to Sydney during a pandemic to serve with all of you. Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ!
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