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More From Melissa Yamaguchi

May 9, 2021 by Melissa Yamaguchi (Hawaii, USA)
Brennan taking care of his
"pandemic garden"

Brennan at the Hawaii State
Capitol the first time he testified
in 2020 to support his senate bill

When I wrote today’s devotional almost two years ago, I never imagined how our world would change.  Our son Brennan is now 12.  During stay at home orders this past year, we have sure learned a lot about “glitches” with distance-learning classrooms and changes in how we work via virtual meetings.

But we have also had many successes to share, despite the heartache of not being able to play baseball or meet with friends.  We were able to plant a lovely “pandemic garden” and nourish ourselves with eggplant, cilantro, papayas, Okinawan sweet potato, and peppers.  We also completed many virtual runs within our neighborhood to keep us in shape but also support several charities and community groups.

We turned sorrow into opportunity as well.  My son expressed sadness over a canceled school camping trip with his classmates.  They had practiced many worship songs for the campfire and now could not sing them.  After speaking with other parents, we decided to find a way to bring camp to them.  With the wonders of technology we reached out to some local entertainers who donated their time and gift of song online.  We contacted Brennan’s classmates and held our first annual “virtual campfire.”  From the safety of their own homes, each student ate s’mores, said hello to each other by computer, and best of all they sang their planned hymns.

Another source of disappointment for us had been the shutdown of our State Capitol during the pandemic. Brennan, along with a local senator, had created and wrote a bill with the goal of adding seizure first aid placards into work places.  One of Brennan’s best friends copes with epilepsy, and Brennan wanted to find a way that the community could help her.  Due to the shutdown, the bill was also stopped.  While we were dismayed, we were able to gain another year of research and gather support during that time.  Now in 2021, our bill SB 936 has been reintroduced and passed both the house and the senate.  After conference we pray it makes its way onto the governor’s desk and becomes law.

It has been easy for our family to be discouraged with the worries of the pandemic and with the recent uptick of xenophobia in our communities.  However, by continuing to share the word of God and reaching and speaking out to each other, we can bring salvation and hope to those around us. 

I recently read a meme that showed the devil saying, “I closed down all of your churches due to the pandemic,” with God replying, “But now I am in everyone’s home.”  While in our garden, singing inspirational songs at home, and speaking to the state capitol online, God has been with our family every step of the way.  Praise be to the Lord.


If any readers or their loves ones are coping with epilepsy or seizure-related conditions and feel our bill would assist you, feel free to reach out to our governor here in support of Senate Bill 936.


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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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