New Beginning for the Chiangmai Campus

Convocation and Installation Service

On July 1, 2020, the Chiangmai Campus of Chapman International College (CIC) had a relaunching convocation service with prayers after some renovations done on campus. We praise God of Ebenezer, who is opening a new chapter of ministry in Southeast Asia through CIC.

Although Covid19 has affected the whole country, as the rest of the world after March with the borders closed and the economic crisis followed by, the theological education is now ready to restart its ministry that will contribute to the spiritual revival of NorthernThailand. We confess this wonderful news is only possible because of God’s provision and faithfulness.

After CIC Chiangmai campus closed down in 2011 due to various challenges, it came back to life in May 2016 by educating lay ministers and pastors in the form of extension education. As fruit of the extension education, we had 18 graduates last January 15, 2020. Yet, the local leaders were still in prayer with the hope that they would be able to restart the residential Bachelor of Theology program.

God has worked in an unexpected way. When Pastor Yohan Lee traveled from Korea to Thailand to visit his missionary colleague Joel Kim, he was invited to attend CIC Chiangmai graduation ceremony on January 15. While attending in the
ceremony, his heart was moved by the Holy Spirit to give special offering for the campus renovation. Along with the Alabaster offering and donation a partner church in USA, our dream of reviving the campus became reality. The renovations started from the classroom building and continued to the dormitory building, as well as the dining hall.

With a goal to open on July 1, three of our Lahu pastors, their families, and local churches dedicated their time, sweat, and prayers to make it happen.

On the day of celebrating the campus renovation completion, the guests that were present to celebrate with us included: Dr. Seongsang Lee, President of Harvest Leadership Institute and Joel Vander-Kooi, Principal of the School of Promise.

Now, CIC Chiangmai campus is newly clothed to welcome 8 B.Th students and 11 English class students. Its beginnings may seem humble, yet we are filled with joy and gratefulness as our Lord will make its future prosperous for His Kingdom. (Update: 14 B.Th students as of 9 July.)

CIC is educating about 600 students from 5 countries in 47 learning centers simultaneously through which we learn how God uses small parts for His great mission. While most of the students are studying in the learning centers, mostly situated in their local churches, it is still important to keep the onsite campuses in Yangon and Myitkyina Myanmar, and the Chiangmai reopened campus in Thailand. We need a lot of prayer support so that CIC can be a venue of making disciples of the Lord in various areas of Southeast Asia.

In the ceremony, we also had a time of recognizing faculty members and promoting Rev. Joel Kim, who used to serve as Mobile Education Program Director, as the Vice-President for institutional development. Four faculty members were introduced; Rev. Lisa Lehman, CIC Thailand national director, Simon, Arthit, and Daniel, which followed by Rev. Joel Kim’s inauguration.

Dispatched by Interserve Mission, Rev. Kim has been serving in Chiangmai and joined CIC administration in 2017. Through his IT expertise, he was able to develop the CIC mobile education program, which fit the need for distance education in many of areas of Southeast Asia. Being an architect, he also contributed to creating the blueprint of the Chiangmai campus renovation.

The ceremony concluded with a photo session with students, families, and neighbors. There was a following lunch fellowship in the newly built dining hall. With the joyful and thankful hearts of the participants, we cannot help but keep looking upon the mighty hand of God who will continue to deliver the amazing future of the school.

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

Northern Thailand Campus renovation

The CIC Chiangmai campus, located in northern Thailand, is currently under renovation to prepare for the coming school year that will begin on July, 2020.  

While renovations began with a need of renovating the aging facilities on campus such as classrooms, dormitories, and dining hall, now we cannot help but seeing the greater need of renovation in many corners of the campus for its practicality and full function.

  One of the big needs is to change the roof of the main building and the dormitory that has had a number of leaking spots for years, causing damages to the building. By changing the roof panels, we also could find and fix the defect of the roof frame, which is crucial for sustaining of the building.  

For this campus renovation, several key leaders of CIC northern Thailand are fully devoted in every area of work, from cleaning out every corner to painting tables and chairs. With several hired workers, they are making the campus into a new home for incoming CIC students!

Thanks to a donor who provided seed money to begin change on campus, more partners began to see various need of the campus development.

In the initiative meeting for the campus development, we shared an idea about breaking down the wall in front of the CIC building and building a new gate and road for students to access the building easily, as it has been hidden towards the back of the campus since its establishment. This idea was well received by local leaders, and they began working on this project with faith that the Lord will provide if it is His will. After tearing down the wall, neighbors were surprised to see the school building revealed to their eyes after only a few days of work! We are sure that it will give good opportunities to let more people know about our school and vision.

 

Another blessing that happened to the local people is that they wanted to clean up the garbage left in unused areas for many years. As we come together to make this place better for the future disciples of Jesus, we feel that the Lord is leading in front of us.

We would like to invite you into prayer for CIC Chiangmai, that it will be a venue for youths and ministers to be trained and serve for the Kingdom of God in northern Thailand.

Chapman International College (CIC) Holds Yangon Campus Graduation

For the Lord has done great things for us (Psalms 126:3)”

Chapman International College (CIC) celebrated the 15th Commencement Exercises on March 15, 2020, in Yangon, Myanmar. A total of 36 graduates received their diplomas in Certificate of Lay Ministry, Diploma of Ministry, and Bachelor of Ministry. General Superintendent in Jurisdiction for Asia-Pacific Region, Dr. Eugenio Duarte, was the commencement speaker for the graduation service. Rev. Amos Enkawl, National Director of CIC Myanmar, reported at the graduation ceremony, “This is the largest graduating batch in the Yangon campus history.” We praise the Lord for his goodness in preparing pastors and lay leaders for His church in Myanmar.

CIC is also praising the Lord for even greater things happening in the whole of Southeast Asia. As CIC serves as “one school in many nations” in Southeast Asia, more students have received their diplomas from the institution’s other campuses. On January 12, 2020, 28 students from the Chapman Institute of Theology (CIT) Bangkok Campus received degrees in Certificate of Lay Ministry and Diploma of Ministry. Three days later, on January 15, Chapman Institute of Theology (CIT) Chiangmai Campus conferred 18 graduates with the Certificate of Lay Ministry and Diploma of Ministry. On February 27, 2020, CIC Cambodia conferred 6 students with the Certificate of Lay Ministry. And on April 12, CIC Myitkyina Campus will be conferring 20 graduating candidates for the Diploma of Ministry. In 2020, Chapman International College is honored to confer a total of 108 students in 4 campuses in Southeast Asia.

Together with the administration team and national leaders, the chancellor of CIC, Dr. Donghwan (Bill) Kwon, has drafted Vision 2025 by increasing student enrollment by 1,000 in 80 learning centers and developing 3 new campuses by 2020. These missional goals direct the future of the college in four areas: 1. Decentralized class offering, 2. Ministerial and discipleship focus, 3. Mobile education development, and 4. Local leadership development. We believe that this will be the future of the denomination.

SEANBC Changes Name: Introducing Chapman International College (CIC)

On February 12-14, the Board of Regents and the key administration team members of the Southeast Asia Nazarene Bible College met at Bangkok Christian Guest House in Bangkok, Thailand to plan for the future of the college. After much prayer and discussion, the Board unanimously voted to change the name of Southeast Asia Nazarene Bible College to Chapman International College (CIC). The multi-nation, multi-campus, and multi-level nature of the college will remain the same, as will the mission to provide quality lay and ministerial Christian education for Southeast Asia.

As a result of the new name change:

1. CIC will be able to provide broader educational opportunities, such as allowing Myanmar to offer more than a Bachelor of Theology.
2. Ministry opportunities in Creative Access Areas (CAA) will be greatly expanded on the Southeast Asia Field.
3. CIC might be able to register as a legal educational institution and provide educational opportunities in each of the five nations of Southeast Asia, even in CAAs. 
4. Legal registration could potentially allow volunteers and partners to apply for visas securely through our educational institution.

Chapman is the name of our late General Superintendent Emeritus, Dr. J. B. Chapman (1928-1947). Dr. Chapman was known as a pioneer in the Holiness movement and education. Dr. Floyd Cunningham, distinguished professor of church history serving at the Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary, wrote, “Dr. J. B. Chapman had very strong interests in both education and missions. He was actively and eagerly engaged himself in travel to world areas, including China. He was also the one who pushed for the founding of Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS) in Kansas City.”

Dr. Chapman also had a special connection to Myanmar and Southeast Asia. After their retirement, Dr. Chapman’s wife, Mrs. Louise Robinson Chapman, was able to meet a young and passionate Myanmar pastor, Robin Seia, who came to study at Fuller Theological Seminary. Mrs. Chapman had a Godly influence on Robin Seia which lead to an opportunity for Robin Seia to join the Church of the Nazarene. Dr. Robin Seia returned to Myanmar and established a Church of the Nazarene in Myanmar and the Southeast Asia Nazarene Bible College, Myanmar. According to Dr. Cunningham, “[The Chapman name] will transmit our [Nazarene] heritage and at the same time provide a link to Myanmar and Southeast Asia.”

The word “International” conveys the College’s educational responsibility to more than one nation. This name also communicates that the goal of the college is to educate international leaders for Southeast Asia and beyond. A multi-lingual policy (English and national language) will be one of the core educational policies of the college.

On February 23, at the General Board meeting, International Board of Education (IBOE) has approved this name change. Now the college administration will begin working on a campaign to introduce the new name. Please continue to pray for the future of Chapman International College (CIC),

Submitted by Dr. Donghwan Bill Kwon, SEANBC Chancellor

SEANBC Continues to Blossom Throughout Thailand

On January 6th, the first Sunday of the year, SEANBC Thailand team went to visit the New Light Methodist Church in Kanchanaburi province. The church was started by a young and visionary pastor who had just graduated from a Bible school in Bangkok about a year ago. After learning about our Mobile Educational Program from one of his former professors, pastor Pinit became interested in the program and reached out to us for further information. In the process of learning about the program, Pastor Pinit felt the need to enroll in the program to personally find out if the program was as good as advertised. As he was finishing up the first subject, he gave us a call and invited SEANBC Thailand team to visit his church to introduce the program to his members. We accepted his invitation and preached at his church on that Sunday. As a result, a core group of members signed up for the class with pastor Pinit serving as a proctor. We see great potential for growth in the enrollment as those members began to tell their friends and families about the program.

Ajarn Suvit and I visited the Bangchalong church on January 13, the following Sunday, as suggested, to join the church in their worship service in the morning and to observe how the teacher, as well as the proctor, handled their classroom activities in the afternoon. We came away well-blessed.

The same can also be said about our visit to the Samrong church on January 20. The church may be small in its attendance and size but the potential for growth and the liveliness of their worship service is second to none. We could feel the strong relationships among a core team and an attempt to get the right people in the right places. These are some of the vital signs and ingredients for growth and expansion.

Our trip to the north from January 21 to 23 was nothing short of divine providence. There was some slight change in the schedule; however everything seemed to pan out a lot better than we expected. Suvit and I spent the whole day meeting with teachers and leaders at Maeteang learning center. The Maeteang learning center looks more equipped now than before with a new generation of leaders who share a common vision and passion for discipleship and leadership development.

Ajarn Suvit and I spent the rest of our remaining time introducing the Mobile Educational Program to five pastors from five churches in five different areas, namely, Chiangmai, Lampang, and Lampun. These five pastors represent five major church groups scattering in the three strategic provinces. They agreed in principle with our educational program and philosophy and were willing to cooperate with SEANBC in equipping their members using this educational model. These pastors have invited us to visit their individual churches and introduce the program to their respective congregations. In our humble opinion, there is an urgent need to follow up on this partnership if we wish to be successful in our endeavors. It’s always better to strike while the iron is hot!

Let’s continue to pray for greater strength and wisdom from above as we carry on our God-given responsibilities.

Submitted by Ajarn Suvit A. & Dr.Daniel S.

SEANBC Develops Video Lectures for Pastoral Training

The Church of the Nazarene continues to partner with other churches and denominations to help train ministers. In some countries the persecution of Christians makes it difficult for pastors or believers to receive theological education. To address this challenge Southeast Asia Nazarene Bible College (SEANBC) has developed a series of video lectures that can be played on a smart TV, without the need for internet access.

These useful videos cover the whole course of study for a minister in the Church of the Nazarene and can be used by Christians from other traditions as well. In November 2018 SEANBC leaders met with the leaders of another denomination in a country with widespread persecution of Christians. These leaders were interested in using these videos to help train their own pastors. They also provided our leaders with a qualified translator and others who could help with local language translations and video production. As we continue to develop these relationships, we ask for prayer that we will be able to work with the right people in this country, that translations continue smoothly, and for the favor of the local government.

“This development shows how eager people are for training and development in their setting,” says Southeast Asia Field Strategy Coordinator David Phillips. “We are grateful that God has given us skills and opportunities to help in this way for people who rarely have the chance to study.”

Korea Sends Medical Mission Team for Myanmar Migrant Workers

In search of providing better lives for their families back home, Myanmar migrant workers can be seen all over the world. This life can be hard and lonely.

Last year, a medical team from South Korea visited the Karen state of Myanmar for a mission trip. After speaking with some Myanmar people who had worked overseas, Pastor Seo SeongYong noted, “There is a deep loneliness [in these people] that came out from the life of hard work overseas.” He went on to say, “I saw a different culture. I saw what hard work does to their faces.”

The Myanmar workers expressed the frustrations of working overseas. “We are like a shadow,” one confessed. Because many are supporting their families, they don’t have enough funds to even go to the doctor.

This inspired the medical team to return to provide medical care for the Myanmar people. However, instead of a trip to Myanmar, Pastor Seo brought medical doctor Beak InGi, Korea District’s NMI president, Kim KyongNam, and multiple church members of Gu-sung Church of the Nazarene to the Myanmar people working in Thailand.

When these workers left their jobs at 10 in the evening, that was when the medical team went into action. The team provided check-ups, medicine, treatment, and even ultrasounds.

The Myanmar diaspora all over the world has created the need for prayer for these people away from their homes. Several churches of the Nazarene have also risen to this need. There are churches in Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United States dedicated to fulfilling the needs of the people of Myanmar.

Please continue to pray for the vision of the diaspora mission, “All the Myanmar people to Christ.”

Second Class Graduates from SEANBC

On Nov. 17th, the second Southeast Asia Nazarene Bible College (SEANBC) graduation was held in a country on the Southeast Asia Field. Awarded were two Bachelor of Theology degrees, seven Diplomas of Ministry and seven Diplomas of Lay Ministry. Awards were also given to three outstanding students. Some of the students had been in the program for five years, and the graduates are excited as they prepare for ministry in the Church of the Nazarene. The Chancellor, Academic Dean, teachers, a Work & Witness team, local volunteers, and leaders were present to celebrate with the families of the graduates.

Dramatic Growth

Southeast Asia Nazarene Bible College had set high goals. By 2020 they hoped to have 600 students in 20 centers. Considering that in 2015 there were 187 students in seven centers, this was ambitious. So the Bible college rechristened the direction of the school towards extension education.
The 2017 enrollment of SEANBC currently stands at 605 students in 21 centers in four countries surpassing their 2020 goal. But the numbers representing the men and women who are preparing to make Christlike disciples, are not the whole story. SEANBC continues to work to raise contextualized theological training. Thirty teachers from countries throughout Southeast Asia have been appointed, and resources have been invested in for faculty development programs. Theological materials, including the Course of Study handbook, have been produced in Burmese with Thai and Lisu translations in progress.
As SEANBC sees the growth of Myanmar migrant churches in the world, they have been working to develop distance education program for Myanmar disciples in the nations. With the close partnership of the Indianapolis district, USA/CANADA, SEANBC is planning to offer the first Myanmar language course of study for Myanmar migrant churches in Southside, Indianapolis. Rev. Ray McCrary was appointed as the founding director of SEANBC USA/Canada, plans to open the first online class in January 2018.
Not content to have merely reached their goal, Southeast Asia Nazarene Bible College has already revised their 2020 goal – to now have 1000 students in 40 extension centers. Let us partner in prayer with SEANBC as they reach out to the people of Southeast Asia wherever they are in the world.

Diaspora of believers from Myanmar leads to cross-cultural church partnerships

Michelle McLane and Gina Pottenger
Friday, April 7, 2017

Seeds of the gospel were planted by the first American Christian missionary to Myanmar’s ethnic minority Chin people in the 1800s. Those seeds are bearing fruit in major U.S. cities, Thailand and around the world.
Although they are a small ethnic group in Myanmar (formerly called Burma), a diaspora of hundreds of thousands of Chin people are spreading across Asia and now the West. Those among them who are Christians are planting churches wherever they go.https://weedinfocus.com
Up to 170,000 Chin people have immigrated to the United States. One of those people, Zozum, pastor of a Chin church in Indianapolis, started his journey like many do: as a refugee.
In 1994, Zozum went to New Delhi to study the Bible. Delhi was a center of political activism. By going there Zozum was at risk of being perceived as connected with a rebel movement. But his sense of ministry calling was strong.
Since 1989 when Zozum had become a Christian on what he thought would be his deathbed, he wrestled with God about his calling to become a pastor. Although he grew up in a Christian home, Zozum had frequently been in poor health. Thus, his path to education as a pastor was difficult. It was made more so when, still in Dehli, he received a phone call from his brother warning him that he could not come back to Myanmar. Zozum was suspected by the Myanmar government of being a dangerous rebel.
He applied as a refugee under UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, and after 15 years was granted entry to the United States.
Zozum resettled in Indianapolis, where as many as 15,000 people from Myanmar now live. There, he became leader of a Chin congregation, the Matu Bethlehem Christian Fellowship. While the people were dedicated to meeting, it was difficult to find an appropriate space for worship. Zozum heard about The Point Church of the Nazarene in Greenwood, and went to meet with its pastor, Steve Rhoades.
Zozum and Rhoades spoke for several hours. Rhoades was happy to offer his building, but Zozum felt it would be difficult for his congregation to find transportation the 25 minutes’ distance from where most of his church members lived. The next day, Rhoades took him to meet with Ray McCrary, pastor of Indianapolis Southside Church of the Nazarene, and Ron Blake, the Indianapolis district superintendent. They discussed whether his congregation could worship at Indianapolis Southside Church of the Nazarene, which is located right in the midst of the Chin immigrant population in Indianapolis.
McCrary wanted to make sure the congregations shared similar doctrines.
“[Zozum] said, ‘I’m sitting here today because the Church of the Nazarene really intrigues me. I’ve been studying about the doctrine and it attracts me, and I would like to know more about the church.”
The two pastors entered into a mentoring relationship. They read several books together about holiness, a signature emphasis of the Nazarene denomination, and have continued to meet each week for discipleship and encouraging one another.
The Matu Bethlehem church and the Southside Nazarene church now share one building. By having a place that does not limit their numbers, the Matu Bethlehem congregation has grown to 125 in average attendance for its Sunday afternoon services.
ImageAlthough they are separate congregations within one building, the two groups are gradually partnering in different ways. The children from both churches meet together for Sunday school, and recently the two youth groups merged, as well. The congregations occasionally join for baptisms, potlucks and other social activities.
“God is bringing the mission field to us,” McCrary said. “It has been a journey (for the Southside congregation). In years past, this area has been a very white, English-speaking population. It’s no longer that. We have the choice of just shriveling up and dying, or ministering to the people who are here.”
Right now the two congregations continue to worship separately due to language and worship-style differences. But pastors Zozum and McCrary dream of eventually merging the congregations for morning worship. They continue gently working to help them all catch the same vision.
McCrary said of Zozum’s flock, “They’ve been very slow in integrating because they feel their lack of understanding of the culture, so they stay within their group. Because of their oppression, they are maybe a little suspicious of other people. It’s a process.”
To minister to the needs of recent Chin immigrants, Southside has opened its space during the week for English language, life skills and cultural adaptation classes provided by the Warren Township School System. The idea was suggested by one of the Chin people.
“My people need training in basic life skills,” the man had told McCrary. “These people will not be going back to Myanmar except to visit their family. They are going to have to integrate into the American culture.”
McCrary also began a discipleship class together with Zozum to provide spiritual training for some from Matu Bethlehem.
The churches’ relationship is not just practical, but has been an expression of love for both congregations.
“Once in a month we have a fellowship with the American church members and Matu church together,” said Nissa, a member of the Matu congregation. “They bring food and we also bring food, and we have some meeting and fellowship. We sing songs and pray and preach, and then after that we are eating together. We all enjoy it.
“These English-speaking people are very friendly,” she added. “Really they love us and show their love [by sharing] whatever we need.”