The Grace Assembly of God may be the site of the biggest coronavirus cluster in Singapore with 16 confirmed cases and over 70 staff served with Home Quarantine Orders, but the 4,000-strong church is banding together to prove that they are stronger than any virus.
And leading the church from his isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) is senior pastor Wilson Teo.
Speaking to AsiaOne on Feb 17, Teo, who has spent a whole week (and counting) at NCID after testing positive for COVID-19, shared that he is on the road to recovery.
While the infection is usually accompanied by symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, Teo said he is "no longer having the initial fever" and is "feeling well without any medication".
Of course, living in isolation has not been easy for the father of three, who was admitted on Feb 11.
"I certainly miss my family and friends, and my freedom," he said. "But I understand this isolation is a necessity and is only temporal."
On the bright side, Teo said he has been in contact with his family "thanks to technology" and has received encouraging messages and emails from congregants that have "blessed [him] tremendously".
The church may have shuttered its premises until Feb 25 as a precautionary measure, but it's business as usual for Teo.
He has been participating in meetings with staff members, prayer sessions and keeping tabs on the members of the church online, he said, adding that he was "so proud" of the congregation for its ground-up initiatives, including organising deliveries of food and groceries to church staff who are on home quarantine.
Other initiatives by the community include daily online meetings, video calls and Telegram groups set up to organise synchronised prayer sessions.
Amidst the swelling of community spirit in the church, Teo also announced in a statement on Feb 17 that one of their staff members who had been admitted into NCID for treatment was discharged.
For Teo and his congregation, it's onwards and upwards from here.
"Despite this being a difficult time for the church, we are greatly heartened by the support and concern that we have received not just from our own members, but from other churches and even from the public as well," he said.
"We are very encouraged by all these and we believe this episode will only make us stronger as a church."
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