‘I have more confidence in God and in myself to face what the future holds’
Scholarship with ‘Double Reward’
As the Care Coordinator for Langham Scholars in the UK, Liz McGregor regularly meets with the spouses of Scholars studying here – in a quiet corner of a local coffee shop with those who accompanied their partners to the UK; on Skype calls with others, who remained in their home country because of family needs.
In 2010, the Tam family moved from Hong Kong to Edinburgh on an adventure of faith. Josaphat was in church leadership and teaching at Evangel Seminary when the opportunity presented to pursue doctoral studies at New College, assisted by a Langham scholarship. His wife, Cookie, and their two boys, Jopiel and Cophiel, accompanied him.
Now, four years later, Josaphat has completed his thesis entitled ‘Grasping the Divine: Apprehension of Jesus in the Gospel of John’.
As Liz met with Cookie over lunch, they reflected on God’s faithfulness during this time. They listed the ways in which Cookie has grown as a person, in her faith, in courage, in ability to minister to others, and in her use of English!
Cookie led a busy life in Hong Kong with many responsibilities. It was not easy to live as a stranger in Edinburgh; it was not easy to communicate in English. There were many quiet evenings, when Josaphat studied and the children were asleep. ‘ I thought about a lot of things and my past inside my heart. It was so good for me.’
She spent time with the Lord. As a result, she became more aware of herself; she sensed she was somewhat timid in using the gifts that God had given her. With courage and determination she decided to attend the University Wives Club and twice-weekly English classes.
Today Cookie is confident in English. She also learned to cook, not just Chinese food but also western favourites. She began to use her cooking as a way to minister to others, reaching out to international post-graduate students and their families in the same apartment block, and to others in the Chinese community and church fellowship: Cookie says
‘I am going to miss these friends very, very much. A few years ago I would never have believed that I would feel this way about relationships in Edinburgh. I am a more mature, independent and stronger woman. I have more confidence in God and in myself to face tomorrow and what the future holds. I have renewed my ability to lead worship and plan to continue to do this when I return to my home church in Hong Kong’
Throughout, Cookie’s top priority remained to love and support Josaphat, create an environment that made it possible for him to fulfil his intense study programme, and care for her sons: ‘For Josaphat I gave all my effort to support, care and protect him and my family. Now (as he works on final corrections) many friends pray for him, for me and my family. I didn’t lose anything but gain very, very much. Thank you’
The Tams look forward to celebrate Josaphat’s graduation before returning to Hong Kong.
With ‘double reward’, God has equipped them both for their next phase of ministry.
by Liz McGregor, Langham Scholars