What two children learned from lockdown in New Zealand.
In the year 2020, in the country of New Zealand, there lived a girl whose name was Londyn, and she lived with her parents and older brother, Jeremiah.
They had a pet Burmese cat whose name was Lily.
Londyn and her family lived in the city of Wellington, in the suburb of Karori. One of Londyn and Jeremiah’s favorite things to do on the weekends was to visit the public botanic garden called Otari-Wilton’s Bush and look for painted rocks.
During the week, Londyn and Jeremiah went to school. Londyn’s favorite subject was social studies, but she did not enjoy mathematics. Jeremiah’s favorite subject was science, but he disliked English because it did not have enough adventure for him.
But then, in early April 2020, New Zealand went into lockdown due to the coronavirus. Londyn and Jeremiah could not attend school anymore. Their dad had to stay home from work too. And sadly, they couldn’t drive to Otari-Wilton’s Bush anymore. They could only walk around their own blocks.
At first, Londyn and Jeremiah felt bored. They missed their friends. And Londyn could not have a proper birthday party. Instead, she played her favorite games and watched her favorite movies all day.
After what seemed like an eternity to the two children (but was really only three days), something changed. Instead of leaving the kids to do their schoolwork online, Mom and Dad decided that they would do some activities as a family. Dad taught Londyn and Jeremiah some computer skills, including setting up a PowerPoint presentation. Then Mom started teaching them cooking.
One day, as the family made cupcakes together, Londyn said, “This isn’t fair! Why can’t I see my friends?”
“Yeah,” Jeremiah agreed, “why is God letting this happen?”
Hearing the kids’ complaints, Mom and Dad took them into the lounge. Once everyone was sitting on the couch, Mom opened a Bible.
“Kids,” Mom explained, “none of us knows why God is letting this happen. Londyn, would you please read us this verse?”
Londyn took the Bible from Mom and read the verse she pointed out. “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.’ ”
For a moment, both children were silent. Then Jeremiah said, “Mom? Dad? If God’s plans are not to harm us, then why do we have to stay home from school?”
“Well, Jem,” Dad replied, “God gives us governments, prime ministers, presidents, and their advisors. Their job on earth is to make laws that protect us. One of our government’s laws at the moment is a lockdown. As part of that, you can’t go to school.”
Londyn asked, “Does that mean God’s plan for Jeremiah and me at the moment is to obey the lockdown?”
“That’s a good thought, Londyn,” Mom said. “I’m not sure what God’s plan is for either of you, but He does want us to obey our government and its rules.”
The last couple of weeks of lockdown flew by for both children. In fact, schooling the children at home worked so well for the family that Mom and Dad decided to start homeschooling them instead of sending them back to school again.
Mom and Dad bought some workbooks from a bookstore.
Jeremiah had year 6 Maths, English, and Science, while Londyn had Year 4 Math, English, and Social Studies.
On a language learning website, both kids started to learn Spanish. They were allowed to choose another language each, also. Jeremiah chose Swahili, and Londyn chose German.
Finally, at Level 1 lockdown, they were allowed to see their friends again.
Neither Londyn’s best friend Harper nor Jeremiah’s best friend Michael understood why they had enjoyed lockdown so much.
But Jeremiah, who dreamed of being a church pastor one day, explained very well to Michael their parents’ lesson on God’s plan.
Soon after, Michael asked if he could attend church with them and their parents when it re-opened. As Seventh-day Adventists, they worshiped on Saturday (Sabbath). They were very surprised that Michael wanted to come — he had soccer practice then. But to their surprise and relief, Michael loved it and even quit his soccer team so he could attend regularly.
“Mom and Dad,” Jeremiah said one day in June, “I’m thankful you talked to us about God’s plan. Now I’ve been able to bless my friend by what I’ve learned!”
“Yes!” Londyn exclaimed excitedly. “Thank you for teaching me my Covid lesson.”
The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Record.