Coronavirus, Closure, and Fire!
(a.k.a. – It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.)
I’m not a Trekkie, but I found myself using a well-known Mr. Spock phrase recently. I was chatting with a U.S. friend who was curious about the Coronavirus in Taiwan. I stated, “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.” In other words, any normal routine was no longer normal.
Taiwan’s proximity to China and Coronavirus concerns changed daily life. Concordia Middle School’s Chinese New Year break was extended three additional weeks until February 25. The school campus was unusually quiet, medical masks were encouraged for public outings, and stores took patron temperatures before allowing entry. Life was familiar, but not the same.
On February 6, the CMS community experienced another change. A morning electrical fire damaged the administration building. Thankfully, the early hour ensured there were no casualties or injuries; however, the building sustained damages in the amount of $250,000 USD. Additional sad news followed. 1960s construction practices, during martial law, did not include standardized building codes. After martial law, insurance companies would not offer coverage for these structures. The administration building fell into this category.
Even in the midst of health concerns and destructive fires, God is good. The prophet Isaiah teaches us: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (ESV) God knows our challenges, and we continue to trust in Him.
The Coronavirus outbreak and a significant fire would provide few silver linings, but it did offer time. Thankfully, the fire occurred during the extended break, allowing school officials greater opportunity to relocate the many administrative workers to other areas of the campus. It also granted time to organize fundraising efforts.
You’re invited to click the link below to read the school’s official letter concerning the fire, detailed prayer requests, and donation opportunities. CMS is affiliated with the China Evangelical Lutheran Church (CELC), a partner church of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LC—MS).