Chin Do Kham’s ‘Global DNA’
By Jennifer Raynes 06
Dr. Kham, who taught graduate theology courses at ORU in 2006-07, had this philosophy of teaching: "I'm going to stretch you to think beyond where you are at in your thinking, so you know what you believe and why you believe it."
While Dr. Kham and his wife, Siraporn, were completing their D.Min. degrees at ORU, he was serving as "prayer pastor" at Eastland Assembly.
We received word on Oct. 14 that Dr. Chin Do Kham, 1994 ORU alumnus and former professor in the College of Theology and Ministry, passed away on the 13th. To honor his memory, we are re-posting this story from 2006, written as he had just returned to teach at ORU.
How faith and "unstoppable determination" helped Dr. Chin Do Kham embark on a worldwide mission
Who would have guessed that a self-described "jungle boy" from Myanmar, who had to repeat his senior year of high school three times, would one day earn two doctoral degrees and preach in more than 25 countries on four different continents?
When Dr. Chin Do Kham, ORU's newest professor in the graduate theology department, received his call to ministry at the age of 19, he admitted "it didn't make sense at all." Having grown up in a primitive Burmese village, Kham was initially overwhelmed when he felt the Lord calling him as "a prophet to the nations." Despite living a very sheltered life in the jungle (he never even saw a vehicle until he was 12 years old), Kham "took God at his word" and trusted the Lord to lead him into a global ministry.
As a zealous 19-year-old, Kham was determined to go to Bible college, so when he heard that the International Correspondence Institute (now Global University) was offering a residential bachelor's program in Myanmar, he immediately jumped at the opportunity. The one drawback? The course was in English and Kham couldn't speak English. "To study one page in the textbook took...literally three days," Kham recalls. With "unstoppable determination," however, Kham persisted through the program and graduated five years later with a B.A. in Bible and Theology.
After college, Kham felt led to Singapore where he had a "life-changing experience" attending a Discipleship Training School with internationally recognized Youth With a Mission. From Singapore, it was on to South Korea where he earned his master of divinity (M.Div.) while simultaneously leading a Bible study group for Yoido Full Gospel church, the world's largest Christian congregation. Burning with a fire to win souls, Kham used every holiday break from school as an opportunity to travel and evangelize. "No one invited me; I always invited myself. I wrote a letter to pastors, and the Lord used me greatly in healing. I saw hundreds of instant healing miracles and hundreds of people come to the Lord."
Desiring to cultivate his gifts in the healing ministry, Kham came to ORU where he earned his doctor of ministry (D.Min.) degree in 1994. From ORU, Kham went on to receive a Ph.D. in intercultural studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, and then relocated to the Philippines to teach at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary (APTS). At APTS, Kham served as both Dean of Students and graduate teaching faculty, but his list of titles didn't stop there. During this same time Kham managed to pioneer a D.Min. program at APTS, while simultaneously directing another D.Min. program in Myanmar. Teaching and preaching in numerous countries only served to heighten Kham's vision of making a worldwide impact in the Kingdom. "If you have a way of testing my DNA," Kham asserts emphatically, "you would see...my call is so global."
Over the years, the Lord remained faithful to lead Kham among the nations, opening doors for him to preach in megachurches across Asia, as well as consult for a number of churches in the U.S. Although Kham loved preaching, when he received the invitation to come "home" to ORU to teach, he couldn't refuse. "ORU has a significant part in who I am today and I'm grateful for the values and the quality of education I received here," Kham said. "[I knew I wanted] to be a part of that dynamic again, making a contribution myself." Kham believes the best contribution he can make is training students to become "missions strategists." Contemplating his own personal limitations, Kham is looking for ways that he can, "in the shortest time, make the most impact for Jesus." In the end, Kham concluded that "God's kingdom can be expanded many more times by equipping key leaders."
And that's exactly what he's doing. Kham admits that although he never envisioned himself having a teaching ministry, he thoroughly enjoys the interactive dynamic of education. Moving beyond mere theory, Kham strives to be as practical as possible: "I'm not only teaching [students] what to do, I'll be going out in the days to come...taking students to the nations." Networking with other department chairs, Kham is already brainstorming ideas for mission trips and "dreaming together" with his fellow faculty about ORU's potential for global impact.
Eager to serve in any way he can, Kham is thrilled about his new season here at ORU -- even if he doesn't quite see the big picture yet. "I don't even know ten percent of why I am here," he said, "but I know that God has brought me into something bigger and better than I know."