Seminary Begins: An Unexpected Place
Posted on 10 Jan 2014 by Jerome Leng
For almost 3 years, I was hoping to go to Moore College but I am officially a student of Boyce College. Well, God is sovereign and “many are the plans in a man’s heart but the Lord’s purpose shall prevail.”
In simple fashion, this was why I chose Boyce in the end:
- Cost is reasonable
- The online option works to my advantage
- Boyce is a good theological college no less
- I can still serve my local church
Eventually, I would still have to go overseas but the first (and maybe second) year of seminary will be done online. How long I stay in Malaysia depends on the funding of the church’s theological education fund. I might even get married before I leave to America for 3 – 4 years.
At the moment, my study is a bright yellow room with wooden furniture. My table, book shelf and even the floor is laid with vinyl that has a 3D ‘wood’ feel. In front of me, I see many empty shop lots and a quiet intersection of roads; more foreign workers than cars passing by. The air in my study is cool and the church accountant will be pleased to know that I need not switch on the air con except noon time. To keep my feet clean, I walk around this new premise with RM 2 slippers that I bought from a hardware store nearby. Yes, I am studying at CERC’s new campus plant at Subang Bestari, our Northwest Campus.
I like this new place. The church was thoughtful in providing for my needs. Just yesterday, Melvin came to fix the kitchen for me. Kenny and Fanny donated a really good water filter. Lillien gave me enough toiletries to bathe 3 times a day for 2 years! The ergonomics of our members are quite impressive I think. Winnie researched wall colours and made sure the place worked for me; bright yellow for the study and light green for my room. Mark bought me a white wardrobe. Mum made sure I had a comfortable bed to sleep on and a well- designed study table.
And occasionally, I experience a profound moment when I walk to the toilet. To get there, I need to walk across the church hall, my ‘living room’. As I look at those 86 black chairs and the wooden stage and pulpit, I am compelled to study hard. One day, I will be preaching weekly and the welfare of the congregation will become my responsibility. I do not know whether if I lived in an academic institution I will have such moments to ponder and reflect. Perhaps I might lose sight of my true calling which is to be a local minister in Malaysia. The ‘feel’ is different. Boyce looks prestigious and it has a student environment. Here in Northwest, I am still ‘on the ground’, ‘in the battlefield’ so to speak, learning as well as I can to continue ‘this fight’ against sin, Satan and the world. Although I feel, in some sense, alone, I also feel more focused to engage in the battle of the mind so that I ‘take every thought captive to obey Christ’.
Learning in front of a laptop is something I have never really gotten used to, yet I hope. But this will be my primary means of communicating with my lecturers and classmates. In fact, instead of buying hard copies, we intend to purchase all my textbooks on Logos. I foresee that I am going to struggle for a couple of weeks. But this is the age of technology and I should learn to be savvy with computers and (quite dreadfully) read on screens.
Class starts next week on Monday, 13th Jan and I do feel excited.
And there are expectations to be met; my family expects me to finish a degree this time. The church is hoping for a well-trained Elder. I expect myself to do well.
So as always, may God be my guide and strength as I begin my seminary education. I know that He is faithful and will do what is necessary for the sake of His church. May that necessity include my success and excellence in the following years!