2020 was quite a year. As I reflect, I find it hard to believe that only a year has gone by, simply because my transition into college along with the many new norms I had to get used to has made 2020 feel longer than usual. When the MCO started in March, having all my time to myself and being homebound gave me the opportunity to trengthen my spiritual life. I discovered many online resources for bible study which made memeannjoyyosntluindeyirnegsGod’s word a lot more. With the help of extremely supportive and encouraging brethren, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with my high school friend. My prayer life got stronger and I had the peace and assurance that I was giving Him my best.

Then came the month of July when I was accepted into the Matriculation College in Penang. Attending college in Penang definitely wasn’t something I had planned, so the acceptance did take me by surprise. I had a month to prepare myself for this transition, so I did my best and prayed that this new environment that I would be stepping into will not draw me further away from Him, but closer instead.

The amount of love the brethren in Klang showered me with a week before I left is something I will never forget. From lunches to dinners to gifts to heart-to-heart conversations on things to be aware of, I felt extremely loved by my family in Christ. Words cannot express how grateful I am to have each and every one of you in my journey here on earth. My cup truly overflows.

When I stepped into college, challenges were just plentiful. Being on my own, away from the comfort of home, in a new environment with complete strangers, the first few days were the hardest. The number of cultural shocks I faced were just innumerable. It was hard to believe the many things that my peers who were of the world have seen and done. It felt like all this while, I was protected from seeing or knowing what the lifestyle of a worldly person is. Now don’t get me wrong, these people are kind, loving and caring friends, however, it’s just sad that they’ve got their standards all wrong.

Whenever I spent time with them, I had to remind myself of these few things to keep me on the right track, “You are in the world, not of the world”, “Love the sinner, hate the sin”, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls.”

Initially, I thought that I wouldn’t make any close friends at all over here, but surprisingly, things changed as time went by. I thought that when my friends saw me holding strong to the standards that God has set, they would have considered me as “the odd one out that doesn’t know how to have fun,” but they didn’t! Instead, they admired and respected the difference. The changes I’ve seen in them is truly remarkable. From one who has a curse word in every sentence to now one who hardly uses those words.

“The amount of love the brethren in Klang
showered me with a week before
I left is something I will never forget” 
Trisha Lopez