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'Dr. Chuck' visits Myanmar Sem Grads
At the age of 71, Dr. Chuck Nichols is still going strong.
Professor Emeritus of Educational Studies and teacher for the past 28 years at Providence Seminary, Nichols continues his work, despite admitting he should be retired by now.
“I’m doing something beneficial, even though I’m a Professor Emeritus and 71,” says Nichols, “I still want to teach.”
Nichols said the best part about his profession is being able to teach and encourage his students, especially graduates.
Recently, Nichols was able to combine the two with a month-long trip half way across the world to meet and encourage Providence Seminary graduates, as well as participate in 21-days of non-stop ministry action.
From Aug. 23 to Sept. 22, Nichols paid his own way to meet with five of the nine graduates who came from Myitkyina, Myanmar to Manitoba for their studies. Starting in the late 1980s, several students have emerged from the Kachin Province of Myanmar to study at Providence, only to return to full-time ministry. Currently, Providence Seminary has one student from Kachin enrolled.
During his 21-day visit Nichols was busy. He began his ministry by teaching over 50 nursery school teachers for five hours, followed by a speaking engagement to over 200 students discussing Christian education. For the next few days, Nichols spent his time teaching pastors and Christian education workers about biblical teaching in the home and in the church. The last event was teaching 21 students ages 18-25 that were going into fulltime ministry.
“They were a great encouragement to me and I loved them dearly,” he said. He was also involved in preaching throughout his trip, and Nichols was able to meet with several key leaders in the area to learn and encourage each other.
“The people there were warm and courteous and they have a way of getting into your heart. I thoroughly enjoyed everyone I met and felt I had things to learn from these brothers and sisters,” said Nichols.
“They do not have as much as we [do], but they were willing to share, and I thoroughly enjoyed their singing.”
Nichols said the best part of the experience was being able to meet with his former students and witness first-hand the success and involvement in their ministries.
One of the most challenging aspects of the experience for Nichols was the temperature. Throughout his stay, temperatures scorched to 40+ celcius, which meant Nichols was showering and changing his shirt two to three times a day. Nichols also went through six bottles of water per day.
“I had the stamina and I really enjoyed it,” said Nichols. “I only got sick one day.”
Since his return, Nichols feels rejuvenated and notes there is a lot of work left to be done. He asks that the graduates be kept in mind through prayer and thought as they continue their work in Myitkyina.
But as for Nichols, he still wants to keep teaching, which is exactly what he’ll be doing with Providence Seminary. He continues to teach one-week intercessions and online courses.
He also hopes to continue traveling and maintain his connections with recent Seminary graduates.
“The trip was quite worth it. One of the things I’ve appreciated in my teaching here at Providence is my traveling, and the school here has been real supportive of that.”
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