It was the 4th of July, 2011, I could still recall, that we started our class for the session. There was a heavy rainfall. Yet, that didn’t dampen our zeal. Counting in the three students who’d finished their first year, we were ten in the number who got enrol. I had nothing in my bag but the Bible and a blank notebook with a pen. I went to study the Bible and so I couldn’t think of anything else to carry other than those. We, the students, reached the college earlier than our teachers, so we had a chat with each other, introducing oneself to another as we watched the rainfall dwindling down. I happened to talk awhile with a passed-out student who yet left the hostel, Brother Zamsuanmang, in the hostel’s kitchen. It still lingers in my ear that the toughest subject for him in the syllabus was ‘Christian Evidence’.
The first class was utilised in scrutinising our admission form and our personal conviction to study the Bible. All the faculties were there. We conducted a short but formal interaction in our classroom. Words of encouragement and exhortation were spoken off by our teachers. Sir Ginzam told us how blessed it is to attend and to study the full course for the whole academic session which is two years. It occurred to me often since I was a child that I should attend the college and enjoy the great opportunity to be a theologian in parallel with secular education. The grand graduation services of the college were the main inspirer to me. I think I had attended five services so far. The first time was in 2000 at Church Road when my father was one among the graduates. The second and third ones were also at Church Road in the year 2002 and 2005 respectively. The fourth one was held at Mission Road in 2011. The last one was held last week at CBC campus where I was one of the graduates. The testimonies of the graduates were very inspiring and challenging at the same time. Some had the co-incidence of CBC class and their secular study camp where they didn't want to forfeit any, some were the aged with wives and children, and some having no proper place to stay in the town other than CBC hostel had their schooling or earned their daily wages and made their way through life. Truly, for many, CBC was their second home and their ‘Jerusalem’ where they found the gate of the Lord’s church opened for them. Praise be to the sovereign Lord! How privilege I am to be a student of CBC once and now be called a graduate? I could only share the least of my joy.
Right from July 2011, our classes went on full swing. The subjects were very interesting to me; I believe the same for my colleagues too. Let me name a few: History of the Bible, Bible Archaeology, OT Survey, NT Survey, NT Worship, Church History, Denominations, Christian Evidence, Theology, Christology, Pneumatology, Christian Journalism, Homiletics, Christian Music, Missiology, so and so. Generally, we had 6 subjects in each semester which lasted for barely 6 months. Classes were for two hours at every morning save Sunday. Textual study of the Bible was done every class for 30 minutes prior to the regular subject of the class. Examination for each subject was conducted by the respective teacher as per his convenience at the end of the semester. Sunday mornings were utilised for English Devotional Service. This was of great help in building up our personality and in training for Service leadership. Unfortunately, the service was discontinued after a year I attended the college due to lack of attendance although it wasn’t so till two or three months before we halted it. It would not only be a noble achievement but also a great benefit if we could revive it back.
For me and my fellow students, I believe that it’s an easier thing for us to attend than for our teachers to teach. They’re the father of a family, the breadwinner of the family, and we’re quite aged. They weren’t like us – young and energetic; they’d crossed their youth stage in life. Yet, I am going to disclose some facts that would sound ironical to our previous two lines. Sir Ginzam who was the oldest among the faculty, aged 60 above, was the most punctual and regular person in the college – not just among the faculty members but also in comparing with the students. Even at the earliest time that I could make to the college, he had already occupied his chair in the faculty chamber. I think he missed his class just twice while I was attending the college if I'm not wrong. Sir Vungkhum, I would name him, was ‘evergreen’. He took class regularly and no fluctuation was there in his zeal for teaching throughout and every semester he had. I used to sit at his back on his electric bike as we dismissed the class for home. Special thanks for that Sir! Sir Thangkhankham was a sincere one. In spite of his ailments and discomfort due to his health condition, he would catch the auto that passed through CYA Road to make his way to the college and to his home. I could still picture in memory his coughing and throat clearing while taking his class. Sir Zalal was an organised person. It’s not a hard job to conclude it if you would see his lesson plan! He prepared excellent study materials for each lesson of the subject he took. Sir Soikholian was an energetic man. I can’t imagine what else he handles at a time but he seems to master all he does. The college was heavily dependent on him. His tireless effort for the well-being of the college (not miniaturising the effort of others) both in handling students and college administration could make the college breathing. He took most of our subjects and was our leader in organising the aforementioned English Devotional Service. I had no practical class for tonic solfa in the college which was usually done sometime between semesters, so I have nothing to share about it. There were two part-time teachers during my college days, Sir Lianzamoi and Sir Zamsuanmang. Being the fresh graduates of the college, they had peculiar zeal and method of teaching. Really, their teachings to us were beneficial for us and I hope so for them as well. I missed the chatting I had with both of them when we walked down to our homes after class. Brother Haulianlal also did few but great lectures to us on certain subjects such as The Resurrection of Christ, Church History, Christian Evidence, History of the Bible, and certain Apocalyptic Issues. They were an eye-opener to me, I must say.
Words of my teachers still echo in my ears. I feel like I owe to anyone who deserves to know them. They used to tell us that CBC is a humble college yet the education it imparts is not. Also, they informed us that those that are taught here are just the outline of the subjects; one has to go further for the wider knowledge. Indeed, they're absolutely true. Experience tells me. More have I to learn, more have I to go. To be a graduate means I just know a better and quicker way of organised Bible study. I would translate that way at least for myself. However, it’s how hard and zealous a person studies the Bible that He would have the knowledge of the words of God no matter he’s a Bible student or not. As for me, CBC is one that taught me how to zealously study the Bible; I want the same for all my fellow young Christians. Let’s take a closer look at the Bible and inculcate in us the need to know the Bible as we will lead the Lord’s church in the near future and spearheading the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world. Let’s find the opportunity to attend the Bible Study course at Christian Bible College today. It’s where they are ‘educating for eternity’.
After I left the college in the summer of 2013, I had few chances to get close knowledge of the college academic whereabouts. I see that it has few students till this day and I’m happy that it could educate them this far. I accept that every institution has a period of recession and I believe this is what CBC is going through right now. But, looking at the past glory of the college, I believe that it would soon regain the past momentum and even more so that it would be lifted up to a higher ground. My prayer goes for it. To GOD be the glory who cares us this far!
|I was officially proclaimed as a graduate on the 5th January 2016 during the|
10th Convocational Graduation Service of the Christian Bible College (CBC) with my four colleagues - Lamminlun, Pauneihkhup, David Khupmuanlian and Chinsianmuan. (L-R)