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What’s Up, 2021?

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The year just ended was tough, and that’s putting it mildly. From January, when the Taal Volcano erupted, we started staying indoors and wearing face masks to protect us from the ash fall.

Then, less than two months later, the ides of March forced us to stay home and to wear our mask whenever we strayed out for errands. The Covid-19 pandemic changed our daily routine, if not our lives.

For one whole year, we suffered the sting and consequences of a virus gone wild and unchecked, plus killer earthquakes (including two on Christmas day) and typhoons that caused massive flooding. Businesses have closed, resulting in widespread unemployment. Thousands are still stranded in many places in and out of the country.

We went online—teaching, learning, worshiping, bonding, fellow-shipping, etc. Face-to-face interaction has gone extinct.

There are news about a vaccine this new year (captured in art by my friend Ggie) that might end the pandemic, but with indecisive government officials, that isn’t forthcoming—not in the next few months—not even till the end of the year, according to many doomsayers who are furiously shaking their heads.

As I look back through the past 12 months, I find my thoughts and feelings inscribed in over 100 blogs. The activities that kept me busy, aside from writing and reading, continued on the digital road.

One of my books, all ready for printing, could not be published because the price of imported paper and ink have spiked.

At least one, Memories of Grace came through simply because OMF Lit, my publisher, decided on a more manageable POD (publish on demand) printing, in-house. Just one hundred copies for the online Manila International Book Fair.

What happens to book publishing? What happens to teaching? What happens to . . . oh, so many other things.

There are no specific answers, no specific timelines. Just prayers for a less turbulent 2021.

We who believe in the redeeming grace of Christ, turn to His Word again and again, confident that He is taking care of us as we see more and more signs of His second coming:

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 (NLT)

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