Oct. 15 I returned from a three-week trip overseas and am still recovering from jet lag. Thank you to all who prayed for me while I was gone. I have much to share about the blessings of the Lord. The main purpose of the trip was to train lab personnel for 10 days at a laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand, on DNA technology. There were four students on regular basis, with two more participating from time to time. They were all girls and very shy at the beginning, but they warmed up in due course with ceaseless talking by the time I left Bangkok. I believe the mission to impart skills on DNA techniques was a success and I also learned and appreciated the Thai people, and my students in particular, with their soft-spoken and giving nature. However, my heart goes out because more important than DNA techniques, they need to know my Savior. The second part of my trip was to India since Calcutta is only two hours by air from Bangkok. It seemed foolish not to visit home and the different ministries while so close.
Commencement speech—I flew from Bangkok to Calcutta at the end of the training and then on to Imphal, Manipur, India. Part of this trip to Manipur was to fulfill my commitment to speak at the second graduation exercise of Northeast Baptist College. Thirteen graduates successfully completed all the requirements for the certificate in theology. Here are some highlights of my speech. I challenged the graduates to remember what I call the four pillars of successful living and how the role of each pillar in life is stressed. These are the pillars: Faith, Foundation, Family, and Fellowship. Faith is the basis on which we relate to God and without which it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). We are warned not to lay any other foundation other than the Lord Jesus Christ according to 1 Corinthians 3:11.
The third and very unique pillar is the Family. Family is a molecular unit and a building block of a nation; as goes the family so goes the nation. One can’t underestimate the role of a family in building a nation. I now understand more about the importance of a family, having a family of my own. Family is no longer a concept but a living reality where I have a major role to impact the direction of the family. There are four critical ingredients that season a family. These are leadership, relationship, forgiveness, and reconciliation, and all must be present in a complementary order. In many families across the globe these are missing ingredients. Because of the family’s vital role in nation building, it is also the target of the enemy’s relentless attack.
The fourth and last pillar is the fellowship of the saints and fellowship with God. There is strength in unity and unity comes from fellowship. We are not called to be lone rangers, but rather called to be in fellowship with God and one with another in order to be strong Christians. True and genuine fellowship is marked by righteousness, walking in the light and cleansing as recorded in 1 John. There can be no true fellowship with God when there is sin in the camp. Transparency and basis through which a child of God taps the unlimited resources of God for daily living. The end of self-reliance is the beginning of faith. The two can’t coexist in harmony within the same person.
The second pillar is Foundation. We know how important the foundation of a building is, as the strength of a building depends on its foundation. Likewise, a spiritual house not built on the right foundation won’t stand nor bear fruit. The only foundation worthy to build upon is Jesus Christ. Keeping short accounts marks the life of one who is in constant fellowship with God. To keep these four pillars prominently exhibited in your life, God promises that you shall neither be barren nor fruitless.
Northeast Baptist College graduation was well attended with close to 400 people and Shalom Academy’s chapel hall packed to the capacity. A good representation of fellowshipping churches from faraway places were present at the graduation. The purpose of starting the Northeast Baptist College was to train and equip the church leadership in remote places with the truth of God’s Word so they in turn could teach others in their respective congregations. This vision of transforming liberal leaning churches into solid Bible preaching and soul-winning churches is slow going, yet there is real hope of the college making an impact among the churches. The ministry of NBC is gaining momentum and extending beyond the college campus as well as playing a major role in unifying the different groups and inspiring them to a common cause—the gospel.
In light of this, I would like to present some facts about the Bible college to give you the opportunity to invest in a worthy cause of transforming lives and bringing Christ the hope of glory. We genuinely believe NBC is needed to impart solid Bible teaching and to correct and dispel false teachings by other Bible colleges in the area. The college currently has no building or financial support to meet the expenses incurred every single day. Classes are held in borrowed rooms from Shalom Academy. The limited budget from which it operates is from funds raised by brother Chong Singsit. Plans are under way to open a separate NBC campus with its own building within the next two years. Estimated costs for the first phase of the project are $50,000. This amount includes money needed for the purchase of land. Ongoing negotiation for land purchase is under way and we will soon find out if we can get the land.
Starting next school year both Shalom Academy and NBC will be brought under one administrative leadership.
There will be the administrative team headed by Lun Singsit and the financial management team led by Chong Singsit. The current school principal will be the physical on-site administrator for the school. Hoinu will have an advisory role as she heads up the Student Outreach Ministry. Both the boys’ and girls’ dormitory will be under her supervision. Jangam Singsit, academic dean of the Bible college, will be directing the college under the leadership of Lun.
On the homefront—Rhoda and the kids managed pretty well without Chong while he was gone. Initially Kimhoili was quite distraught at Hepa being gone, but adjusted after a few days. Both kids were excited at Chong’s return, running through the airport to get to him once they saw him. The routine of homeschooling is finally settling in and everyone from Rhoda as teacher to kids are enjoying the time spent each day in school. We praise God for the opportunity to raise and teach our children. Our prayer is that God will use our children for His glory.
Youth Bible camp—A camp planned for about 100 children turned out to be over three times more. The camp, held at Bethel Baptist Church, K-Manbi village Oct. 14–18, far exceeded their expectation. The total tally of over 300 at the end surprised the organizers, but left them praising the Lord for the blessings, as it was God’s doing. A wide range of age groups, 8–30 years, both boys and girls, participated in the camp. The majority of the campers were believers, yet about 25 campers received the Lord and were born again. Several young people rededicated their lives to Christ.