Convocation and Installation Service
On July 1, 2020, the Chiang Mai Campus of Chapman International College (CIC) held a relaunch and convocation service in Mae Taeng, Thailand. The service took place after some much-needed renovations to the campus. It was a time of praise and thanksgiving for what God has done and is doing, as well as a time of prayer for a blessing upon the new students and this important work of training up Godly ministers of the Gospel. We praise God, our Provider, and Waymaker, who is opening a new chapter of ministry in Southeast Asia through CIC.
Although Covid-19 has affected the whole country with quarantines and economic struggles, the Nazarene Church is now ready to restart a ministry that will contribute to the spread of the gospel in northern Thailand through theological education. This excellent news is only possible because of God’s provision and faithfulness.
After the Southeast Asia Nazarene Bible College in Mae Taeng (now known as Chapman International College) closed down in 2011 due to various challenges, the ministry was revived in May 2016 by educating lay ministers and pastors through extension education. As a result of the extension of education, we had 18 graduates last January 15, 2020. Yet, the local leaders persevered in prayer concerning the desire God laid on their hearts to reopen the residential Bachelor of Theology program.
And God answers prayers. When Pastor Yohan Lee traveled from Korea to Thailand to visit his missionary colleague Joel Kim, he was invited to attend the CIC, Chiang Mai graduation ceremony on January 15, 2020. While attending the ceremony, his heart was moved by the Holy Spirit to give a special offering for campus renovations. Combined with Alabaster offerings and donations from a partner church in the USA, the dream of reopening the campus became a reality. The classroom building, dormitory, and dining hall all received much-needed repairs.
Intending to open on July 1, three of our Lahu pastors, their families, and workers from local churches dedicated their time, sweat, and prayers to make it happen.
Many guests joined the incoming students and teachers to celebrate the campus renovation and reopening. Among those present, honored guests included Dr. Seongsang Lee, President of Harvest Leadership Institute, and Joel VanderKooi, Principal of the School of Promise.
The ceremony included a time of recognizing faculty members and inaugurating Rev. Joel Kim as Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement. Dispatched by Interserve Mission, Rev. Joel Kim has been serving in Chiangmai and joined CIC as Mobile Education Program Director as the Vice-President for institutional development administration in 2017. Through his IT expertise, he was able to develop the CIC Mobile Education Program, which meets the need for distance education in many areas of Southeast Asia. Being an architect, he also contributed to the blueprint of the Chiang Ma campus renovation. Following Rev. Kim’s inauguration, four faculty members were introduced; Rev. Lisa Lehman, CIC Thailand national director, D.S. Simon Sawangbenjatham, Rev. Arthit Jayor, and Rev. Daniel Chatachawanphinom.
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The ceremony concluded with a photo session of students, families, and neighbors, and was followed by a lunch fellowship in the newly built dining hall. With joyful and thankful hearts, we cannot help but gaze upon the mighty hand of God who will continue to develop the bright future of the school.
CIC Chiang Mai campus welcomed 8 Bachelor of Theology students and 18 English class students. Its beginnings may seem humble, yet we are filled with joy, gratitude, and bright hope because our Lord will make its future prosperous for His Kingdom.
CIC is currently educating about 600 students from 5 countries in 47 learning centers throughout Southeast Asia. While most of these students are studying remotely in learning centers situated in local churches, it is still essential to maintain traditional campuses in Yangon and Myitkyina, Myanmar, and the Mae Tang campus in Thailand.
Please commit to being part of our prayer team. We need prayer support so that CIC can be effective in making Christlike disciples and developing Church leaders throughout Southeast Asia. And pray for our faculty as they follow the pattern of Paul and Timothy.
“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)
Article submitted by Joel Kim
Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement