Hello! It’s been a month since we’ve left Malaysia and moved to the UK for our studies and i suppose this would be a good time for an update. First and foremost, I thank God for seeing us through this move, settling down and getting a rhythm together. It was a whole adventure, figuring out banks, phone numbers, visa’s, employment and so on. I’m also glad that i’m doing this with my husband. I think back to my undergrad and doing that by myself and i’m in awe at myself, but i’m also glad i don’t have to do it alone this time. There’s someone to share the burden with, awww that’s marriage for you right? I’m also too old to have the energy to do it by myself so there’s that.
So i shall not bore you with the details, but here’s some highlights:
1. Hamilton – watching it was amazing, and i think really apt because it reminded me not to throw away ‘my shot’
2. Visa was supposedly missing – When i initially registered for my visa, i accidentally put the collection point as the post office instead of the university, this meant that i had to walk 40 minutes just to get to the post office (and we did this three times in total, read more to find out why). When we first got there, we were told that it had not arrived, so we were told to come back on saturday (we went on a thursday). We did and were told that it was still not there, visibly upset, the postman suggested to email Home office. I did and was told that they could not help me with the retrieval of my BRP (biometric residence permit, it’s a card you need as a visa holder). This made me even more anxious. Zech and I prayed constantly about it and my family was praying about it too. Then suddenly one day, it occurred to zech that they could have filed it under the wrong alphabet because that was what happened in his case. We went to the post office and by the grace of God there was a chinese man that helped me with it, immediately he saw the problem and located my BRP, it had arrived a month ago! He told me that he had a few Malaysian friends so he knew how Malaysian names worked. Isn’t it the grace of God that he was the one who served me? With that, i could finally get my student ID and we celebrated this blessing by using my student ID to get a discounted movie ticket to watch Downton Abbey.
3. Setting up a home – We live basically in the city centre and accessing shops is really convenient. I found out that a lot of the places i thought were just selling clothes had a home section, this seems to be a trend as Primark, Zara and H&M had it (the ones i went to so far). For me this is a novelty, but by far the cheapest place is Wilko. Thank God for them as we got a lot of our stuff there and it was budget friendly. This was also where i had to think about the practicality of things. Do i really need that 20litre pot? How often am i going to use it, can i survive with what i already had? All questions for someone setting up a home in a new place. It took us about 2 days to really get the basic stuff down. Oh, thank God for poundland too. Other than just buying stuff to set up our home, there’s also keeping it clean, yeah the chores. I’m still amazed at home much work we need to put into keeping a small place clean. It doesn’t help that the kitchen is used a lot, but it really makes me think about how big of a house we really want in the future. (This is why they invented the roomba and robots)
4. Finding a church – We had a few church recommendations from zech’s cell mentor’s daughter who had studied in cardiff previously. We set out to check those churches out and it reminded me of three years ago when i was doing the same thing in Malaysia. It really brought memories (good ones) back and it made me want to do my best to find a church that we could feel at home with. One of the things we prayed for before coming was to find a church to serve in, and i think we might have found one in Vineyard Church Cardiff.
5. Volunteering gig – The very first thing that i picked up from the orientation was, experience gets you jobs, not a paper. It’s been a long time since i’ve done anything related to museums and i was in dire need of some volunteering experience. Prior to orientation, there was an advertisement for a volunteering position at the National Museum of Wales cardiff. It was 10 minutes away from where i lived, a reputable museum and from the job scope, i would be able to put into practice everything that i learned (okay, maybe not everything, but a lot of it). I really wanted this gig, but i didn’t hear back after a week and a half, so i emailed the person in charge and was given an interview slot! Come the interview date and i felt that i messed it up, or at least i didn’t say what i wanted to say, to make my pitch. That irked me the whole day and i shared my concerns with zech and my mom. We prayed about it and halfway through the night while i was doing my reading, i had the inspiration to write a thank you letter. I did a little research about thank you letters and found out that i could include things i thought i should have in the interview, it also allowed me to show that i was paying attention during the interview and to highlight my strengths. It was an inspiration from God honestly because i don’t think i would have thought to do so. So i did, and after that, i felt peace. God also led me to see that my hope should be in Him and not this one gig. I had mistakenly believed that my future hung on getting this gig instead of on God. All that time i had believed that this would allow me to get the future i wanted, but in reality, i had set my sights too low when i should have been looking up to God for help for the big picture. So that week after was just a week of praying, believing but still focusing on God. It was tricky because it’s a good position, but yet i knew that it wasn’t everything. Fast forward to this week, i got an email saying that i got the volunteering gig! i’m excited, thankful and so happy. God is ever faithful.
So i hope you see the thread here, this whole journey so far is a lot of depending on God, praying and praying. It’s been amazing so far and i can’t wait to see what happens next!