The weekend of 15 to16 August, 2009 saw the graduation ceremony of another outstanding batch of students from City Harvest Bible Training Center (CHBTC), School of Theology (SOT). Having dedicated a duration of 5 months of their lives to be trained in the Word of God, 650 students were finally awarded their much-awaited Advanced Certificate of Theology, but more importantly, the graduates are now well-equipped to serve God in their respective home churches and ministries.
The vision of these graduates to impact the nations was evident as Kong Hee, President of CHBTC, called on graduates from different nations to pray for a massive move of God and revival in their local churches.
The graduation ceremony was a platform for the graduates to showcase their creativity, talents and dynamic preaching skills — in fact, almost the entire service was run by the graduates themselves. The congregation was delighted by a great visual and spiritual treat. By showcasing an energetic dance performance incorporating song and rap consisting of lyrics written in Japanese, Tamil, Chinese and Bahasa Indonesia in addition to English, the Bible School graduates certainly proved that they were by no means “bible nerds or geeks, but rather, imaginative individuals brimming with ideas, without compromising the spiritual foundation that SOT has so firmly inculcated in them.
Peter and Corrine Ngion, a couple who had successfully completed the 5 month course against all odds, shared their testimony over the pulpit. They related a compelling account of how SOT, in the initial stages, stood for a School of Temptation for them. Hit by the pressure, they were tempted to back out of the course just one week into the school term. Thankfully, they persevered. After settling down to the routine of school, they began to experience problems in their business; then SOT became a School of Trials and Tribulations, where their faith was stretched to breaking point time and again. But eventually, as they gritted their teeth and pressed on, SOT became a School of Transformation, as they learned to lean on the grace and strength of God through prayer and the Word. In fact, as Dewi Lim, an SOT graduate who is into her second year in Nanyang Technological University puts it, “It was through the trials and tribulations (I had to go through in SOT) that I have grown more mature and dependent on God.”
Many of the SOT graduates agreed that coming to SOT to be trained is an experience they do not regret.
Before presenting the certificates to the graduates, Kong shared a short message, reminding all in the congregation of the how God’s Word has to be the cornerstone and authority in their lives if they want to please God.
|PHOTOS: Michael Chan, Daniel Poh and Albert Soh
The congregation buzzed with excitement toward the end of the ceremony — what Kong described as “one of the highlights” of the entire graduation. Everyone in attendance was treated to a visual feast as the graduates lobbed their graduation hats into the air amidst shrieks of excitement and, for some, tears of joy. The graduates are now fully girded to fulfill the calling from God in their workplaces, communities, and nations.