S6:E20 | Charis Chen

May 18, 2022

Trusting the One Who Holds the Future 

Classes at 3 a.m. Worshipping with chapel from behind a computer screen halfway around the planet. A worldwide pandemic delaying her Cedarville experience for a year. Charis Chen has persevered through a number of trials to pursue her degree in psychology.  

Charis, a junior from Malaysia, was set to begin classes at Cedarville in fall 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to adjust her plan. While taking classes online at strange times of the day – Malaysia is 12 hours ahead of eastern standard time – she found ways to stay engaged while battling sleepiness and fatigue.  

Even online, she was able to connect with fellow students over text messaging and communicated with her professors about slide shows that were hard to read or class discussions that were difficult to hear. 

Charis and friend Elizabeth video chatting

Through the difficulties, Charis never wavered in her belief that God wanted her to study psychology at a school that prioritized the Gospel and the Word of God. She knew that helping people emotionally and mentally had to be anchored in the Good News of God’s saving work through Christ.  

Charis Chen with friends

Now she is engaged in a research project on the topic of grief related to the sudden and unexpected passing of her advisor and professor, Dr. Michael Firmin, who went to be with the Lord on October 27, 2020. Charis’ psychology instructor in Malaysia was taught by Dr. Firmin, and she credits his influence as a significant factor for her pursuing a degree at Cedarville.  

“God is a good God who holds the best of reality in His hands,” Charis shares during the podcast. “Even over the rest of my life before Cedarville, I saw how He arranges things in ways I wouldn’t have planned, and they turned out great. I know that wherever He puts me, He has a purpose for it.  

“I started watching the chapel livestream the week before everyone was sent home. Around that time, Dr. White started repeating this phrase in chapel every day, “God is faithful; you can trust Him.” That was a big part of what I held onto.” 

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Dr. Michael Firmin was featured on the Cedarville Stories podcast in 2020.

 

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