“As long as I respond, I know God will provide,” says Calvin Chong, an international student from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, who is studying to get his S.T.M. degree from Pittsburgh Seminary.
Throughout his life, Calvin has sought to respond to God’s call. When he was 13 years old, a speaker came to a leadership camp that Calvin was attending, and spoke on Isaiah 6, asking the question posed in the verse, “Who shall I send, and who will go for us?” Calvin heard this question as a call upon his own life, and responded saying, “Here I am, Lord. I am willing to go.” Since then, he has been an active participant in evangelism.
Calvin responding to his calling again while attending a church youth retreat at age 15. On top of a hill, looking out at all the people, he grew aware of just how small humans are and how they are nothing compared to God. Yet, God loves the world so much, and Calvin’s response to this great love was to serve God and spread the Gospel.
Active in music ministry at his church and school, Calvin came to the States to study music, using his talent to serve God. He returned home after graduating and served his church as the choir director, youth leader, and worship service planner. However, Calvin still felt a strong call to evangelism. So, he transferred to another church, and worked to share the Gospel.
“Evangelism is not easy, but it is something I want to do.”
In an effort to learn more about evangelism, Calvin earned his M.Div. degree from Singapore Bible College. Upon graduating, he spent six years working in a church, teaching, focusing on evangelism, and motivating church members to reach out. Then he was transferred to his current church, where he continued pastoral work. Here Calvin was reintroduced to Sabah Theological Seminary, started by that same church. STS teaches individuals about theology and Bible, and then the students return to their homes to be Christian leaders among their people. The seminary had begun to feel the need for local theologians and lecturers so as not to be dependent on outside teachers.
With this in mind, Calvin came to Pittsburgh Seminary to earn his S.T.M. as preparation for his doctorate which will allow him to teach at the Sabah Theological Seminary.
So here Calvin is at PTS—on an international student scholarship—and when he graduates he will return to Malaysia to teach and earn his doctoral degree. Though he has been worried about whether he can do it, he just remembers God’s faithfulness, knowing that when he responds, God provides.
Written February 2014