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For Such a Time as This
Living out the prophetic. Divinely privileged to lead and serve.
By Daniel Koh
“‘And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?’” (Esther 4:14)
Queen Esther was challenged by Mordecai to risk all her privileges, even her life, to save her people. A plot was hatched to kill all Jews within the week, and Queen Esther's petition to King Xerxes was the only way to stop the massacre. But she knew she couldn’t do it alone. Prayerful and divinely purposed, Queen Esther instructed her uncle Mordecai to gather her people to fast for her. She experienced the unifying prayers of her people and God’s divine favor.
Queen Esther was who Ginny Chia's colleagues prophesied she would be when she took on the managerial position in the Emergency Preparedness and Response division in the Ministry of Health. She had no idea what that meant. What she knew then were God's reply when she prayed hard before she took up her role.
"Resentment and anger had built up in my previous role, which I knew did not please God. I felt I could not glorify Him anymore. I felt barren. God assured me that in this new role I would 'sing o barren woman.' He also assured me that He would establish the work of my hands (Psalm 90:17). So even though I was quite clueless about the role, in early 2019, I took on the job in obedience and faith, proclaiming God's promise in Isaiah 54:1 to me as I played Trinity's composition Sing! on repeat," shared Ginny.
Together, for such a time as this
Then COVID-19 hit. And God's prophetic words began to unravel.
Ginny managed a team that oversaw Quarantine & Swab Isolation Facilities Operations. That meant coordinating operations between ground medical teams, ground quarantine agents, managers of facilities and other government agencies involved, such as the Ministry of Manpower. Ministry of National Development, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
“A good day was starting at 7.30am and ending at 2am,” she recalled. “At one point, leaving at 4am was the norm, and a five-hour sleep, a luxury.”
But like how God supported Queen Esther, He divinely sent His own to Ginny, even another Trinitarian. Chen Kangwei was seconded from SAF to work in the same team as Ginny. Together, they dug in deep in the COVID-19 trenches.
During the crucial operations, a dark cloud of a sudden “re-organization” had threatened to transfer Ginny's team away. “I was angry, hurt, and terrified because my core team was just so critical to what we were doing." She lamented to Kangwei, who encouraged her.
“God brought you a team that turned out to be superb. So why can’t you trust God to bring you other great team members too? Just trust God, sister!”
Hurt, Ginny “simply grunted and walked off.” But that same night, just 10 minutes after her conversation with Kangwei, a miracle happened – another “superb” staff, also a sister-in-Christ, suddenly decided to join Ginny’s team.
“I was stupefied and at a loss for words. God truly provided! Not only that, but by some miracle, my original core team was extended time and time again, to remain with me.”
Together, living out the prophetic
This and other miracles prompted her team members of both believers and pre-believers to ask with astonishment, "Wah Ginny, what miracle did you do again?” “The miracle of prayer,” she would declare.
“It came to a point where I said, ‘Lord, thank you. Thank you so, so much. But I am ready to be without them. You have answered too many of my 'extension of my team's time with me' prayers already. I do not need any more extensions.’ It was after those words that my core team was recalled back to their original posts,'” a grateful Ginny remarked.
Though daily bombarded by many people with questions he did not have answers to, Kangwei remained calm and patient. He unassumingly recalled, “We faced challenges daily and ensuring ‘clockwork’ operations was not easy. Meeting Ginny was divine and our efforts in being salt and light for God strengthened our faith as we prayed for His providence.”
And that corporate prayer ushered in God's deliverance, just as it did in the story in the Book of Esther. Ginny recounted once being alerted to an urgent situation when a migrant worker was on the verge of a mental breakdown, and refused to cooperate with the team on ground. He could not keep calm and refused to be counselled.
“After my team had activated the necessary plans, and while half of the team went to update our bosses, two of my team mates, who were believers, and I decided to get together and pray. While we were confident of our plans, we knew that our God and intercession was the best plan, and that only the Holy Spirit could bring a peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Gathering virtually, they declared God’s divine intervention and peace upon the migrant worker.
“Shortly after we prayed, we were told that the foreign worker had miraculously calmed down and was no longer anxious. Praise God! I almost sprung into a dance because we had just witnessed God’s faithfulness and divine intervention! Who else can calm the raging seas of the mind and still the anxious heart? Only the Prince of Peace, Counselor, Everlasting Father!”
“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 8:20) How poignant were these words for Ginny, Kangwei and another frontliner Trinitarian, Lydia Loke – who as it turned out was a new addition to Ginny’s Connect Group just before the COVID-19 crisis.
“I’ve only recently started attending Trinity and attended my first Connect Group (CG) fellowship just before Chinese New Year. At the time, I didn’t realize that Ginny and I were actually in the same CG - what a small world! Ginny is an amazing person and I don’t know how she does it, but she works round the clock and has supernatural energy, always encouraging others, including me.”
Although Ginny and Lydia were in the same functional teams, they worked different shifts at different locations and hardly saw each other. “But we communicated over WhatsApp and Ginny even regularly arranged for our bubble tea orders on her days off,” revealed Lydia.
“As a foodie, I’ve been blessing my team with food (think bubble tea), and words of encouragement – a habit I picked up since my days in youth ministry. Whenever I notice a team mate facing challenges, I will assure them I’m praying for them. I hope one day, they will see God’s faithfulness and goodness in their lives.” God has also directed Ginny to share about His promises to her pre-believing boss. She was "super reluctant" and fearful, to the point of saying to him, "maybe you don't want to know". But as her boss said he wanted to know, Ginny sowed the seed of God's Word and truth into his life.
Ginny's obedience in living out the prophetic has not been without sacrifices. The faithful encourager openly recalls only being able to share one meal with her family during the entire Chinese New Year period and missing the reunion dinner. Family meal times remain rare as Ginny has been re-designated to Senior Manager, looking after not one but two teams activated for COVID-19 operations. Her family misses her, but like Ginny, is obedient to God's call.
Her five-year-old daughter treasures the rare occasion that mommy can be with her. "I'm very happy because mommy's with me the whole day. I've missed mommy," Bethany commented when Ginny took her to class and lunch one weekend. Said Ginny's husband, "It's abundantly clear that you are where God wants you in this season. So I will support you no matter what."
From barrenness to fullness
Of her “sacrifices,” she had this to say, “I am in a place of privilege – to be able to intercede directly for the afflicted and affected. Though I feel daily humanly inadequate, my spirit sing with joy and confidence knowing God's purpose – to know God’s heart, and to place that heart at the heart of my plans. His heart to love, protect, and heal the nation and people that God so loves. I know, and are sustained by, the knowledge that God has strategically placed me where I am, for such a time as this. My heart is full.”
Reflect & Respond
How has God sustained and empowered you to live in the prophetic despite COVID-19 circumstances? Is there someone you can care and connect with, using your story?
How has God strategically positioned you for His glory?
Who has God strategically positioned with you so you do not walk alone for what He has called you to do in such a time as this?