As I get to know the Central Baptist Theological Seminary community, I want you to hear some of the amazing stories that I am hearing. To share those stories with you, I am “interviewing” students, alums, faculty, staff, board members, and supporters and sharing an interview on my blog, THIS IS CENTRAL. I invite you to join me on the journey of meeting members of our Central community.
Today’s interview is with San Htoi Lat, current Central student in the Master of Divinity program.
San Lat, tell us your Central origin story. How did you come to be a student at Central? What led you to Central?
Throughout the years in the ministry in different lay-positions, I have met many pastors, church members, and friends who encouraged me to attend seminary. Inspired by all the encouragement from different people and looking back at what God has provided me and how God has drawn me into the ministry, I started thinking about pursuing theology studies again. But I had no clue where and when to start while working full-time with limited finance.
Thanks to God, a miracle happened at the right time. I had an opportunity to visit Central Seminary when I was driving a friend, who was a Master of Divinity, to campus. While there, I was introduced by my friend to Mr. Lyle Kraft in the admission office. I believe God spoke to my heart to ask about the possibility of my studying at Central. Mr. Kraft explained the requirements, and I discovered that there was opportunity for me.
Soon after I got back home, I took time to pray to God for an answer. After learning about all the accreditations and achievements of the seminary, reviewing the faculty profiles, and hearing witnesses from the alumni, I considered Central as the best place for my studies. There, my journey of study to be cherished began, and I cannot wait for the year 2022 when I will graduate and be able to devote myself to God employing all the invaluable learnings I have received.
Share with us about your call to ministry and your ministry journey—where you have served and where you are now serving.
God’s love, grace, and blessings in my life motivate me to be keen to serve in the ministry in every possible way. Soon after I graduated from high school, I entered ministry as youth leader at my church, Yangon Kachin Baptist Church, in 2006 through 2007. Serving as youth leader introduced me to the taste of joy in serving the Lord. As I was eager to get more involved in God’s ministry, I went to the Myanmar Institute of Theology for my Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies degree for four years. At MIT, I studied the foundation to Christian faith and that sparked me to study further about my creator. Therefore, I continued my studies at MIT for a Master of Arts in Christian Studies program.
In my third term in studying M.A Program at MIT, I received a different opportunity: studying in the MBA Program in Singapore as part of the University of Wales in Cardiff. I took this rare chance. Even though my studies shifted in different directions, my eagerness to serve the Lord has never been diminished, and I have never been out of sight from God wherever I go.
When I moved to Malaysia after I obtained my MBA degree, I served as assistant secretary at Malaysia Kachin Baptist Church in 2010-2011 then as secretary general in 2012-2013. I then resettled in the United States, when I participated in First Kachin Baptist Church of America in Omaha, Nebraska, and served as an assistant secretary in 2013. Then, I started moved to the Omaha Kachin Baptist Church in 2014. I volunteered as a secretary general for three years from 2014-2017. I also had the opportunity of serving as the national youth director from 2013-2017 with the Kachin Baptist Churches of USA, which is the convention for the Kachin Churches in the US. I am the moderator/board director at Omaha Kachin Baptist Church.
What have been the best resources and experiences you had in your time at Central?
The diversity of the students, professionalism and passion of the professors/lecturers, the availability of a variety of resources in the e-library, and the family-typed treatment from the office staff are the best resources and experiences that I have graciously received while a student at Central.
What brought you joy in the hard season of COVID? What hobbies, activities, adventures, family connections are keeping you healthy?
Evening walks with my wife and daughter help me stay connected with my family and give me a positive vibe and relaxation at the same time. It also keeps me healthy and gives me enough energy to live through this COVID pandemic time. A special bonus of walking with my family in the neighborhood is that it not only gives me the benefit of enjoying the wonderful creation of God but also creates the opportunity for my daughter to learn the beautiful surroundings.