Pandemic causes many social difficulties; everyone maintains relationship in distance. Friends who live in same neighbourhood often opt out for any direct contact in order to avoid spreading of COVID-19. During pandemic, everyone misses and looking forward to social gatherings of family members and friends. We can never imagine that simple social gathering in the past, can now be so difficult and valuable.
During pandemic, 7979 companionship class also faces various limitations and difficulties. Without physical classes, it is difficult for teachers to fully grasp the condition of the students. Gradually, everyone became stranger. Therefore, 6 churches started to convert their physical companionship class to online version, hoping that while the students will not be left out in their studies, the teachers can also maintain close relationship with their students. They are Abundant Grace Assembly Of God, Puchong Christian Alliance Centre, Seremban Gospel Chapel (Chinese), Full Gospel Mission Centre Jelebu, Elim Gospel Hall Ipoh (Chinese Assembly) and Southern Ipoh Presbyterian Church. Although in the process of setting up, the teachers faced many tough challenges and difficulties, but everything was worthwhile when they saw the reassuring rainbows after the rain. “Some students who used to be bad in Math, now they have improved so much that they can guide others.” Students shared this proudly with smile on their faces. Another student added on shyly: “Teachers … care for me just like a mother”. The way she shared it with me just like sharing a long kept secret.
During operation, most companionship classes’teachers faced similar difficulties, that is everyone is not familiar with operating the require electronic devices. However, in order to enable companionship class children to continue to grow in their studies and spiritual health, the teachers bravely face the toughest challenges themselves. Teacher Mary of Puchong Christian Alliance Centre shared: “Honestly speaking, I’m a computer idiot, yet I’m very thankful that a sister is willing to teach me, only after her coaching, I forced myself to start online companionship class. I’m also very thankful, that during this pandemic I have gained some new skills, and use it to teach the students.” We saw it ourselves these teachers are not willing to let pandemic stop them from accompanying the children, instead they want the children to realize that the teachers’ love for them will not stop even during pandemic.
7979 online companionship class tutorial time
The purpose of activating online companionship class is also because we want to create an opportunity for the students to build a strong foundation, and to refresh what they had learned. After sometime of attending online companionship class, the teachers felt so happy and relieved to see the students’ improvement in their grades. This is the biggest comfort to the teachers. After paying much effort in cultivating their spiritual lives, the teachers begin to see that they do keep the teaching of the Word in their heart. Whenever anyone became ill, they would sincerely pray for them, care and comfort each other. A student shared: “When you get close with God, then God will be closed to you.” It is just like a mustard seed sprout in a child’s heart, one simple teaching, very truthful and indispensable. It becomes the lamp which lights out their path, whenever they face troubles in their lives, they can apply these truths in their lives and make the right decision.
7979 online companionship class teachers and students
Compare with physical class, students are bolder and more interactive during online class. Maybe, it is because of the absent of crowd attention, the students can express themselves comfortably. In the past, during physical class, the students are shy to speak out, they worried that their answer might be wrong. Now, with this online class, the students’ confident boost up, and expressive skills improve too. They will sign in earlier for the online class just for the purpose of chatting with teachers of their daily lives or ask teachers on their school assignment. Through this online class, the teachers and students’ rapport becomes deeper. Online companionship class also helps the student in terms of time management, in order to be punctual for online class, some students will wait idly before the computer for the teachers to get online. We can imagine how lonely are the students during pandemic that they are so looking forward to meet up with the teachers and students in companionship class.
The teachers are very grateful for they are able to teach the children even during pandemic. Even though, pandemic creates distance between one another, yet because of love, it brings people heart together as well. The teachers hope that the teaching team can be expanded, so that more students can be blessed by companionship class ministry. At the same time, reaching out to more primary schools through companionship class, then the community will be blessed – an act of love that can be felt by everyone.
As 2021 is coming to an end, Children are still being trapped at home due to MCO restrictions. It’s like living on an icy and remote island, not seeing anyone.There, they only see the high walls, the clocks are ticking very slowly, fans are flying aimlessly in the air…… Thankfully, 7979 Online Companionship Class teachers have brought much cheers to the children during these gloomy days. The sincere care of the teachers warmed the hearts of the children making their online learning delightful! Although the pandemic has limited the social interaction between the teachers and students, but it could not stop them from using new and more creative ways to socialise. Because of Love, they persevered despite hardships! Because of love, the companionship class remain committed to serve the children!