ABC Pastor narrates life’s journey

Published on May 2, 2005

By Seikam Touthang

May 2, 2005: My name is Seikam Touthang.  I was born in a Christian home in 1960.  I am the second son out of three brothers and four sisters.  My father, who was a teacher and a church planter, taught me to live with Jesus Christ in my life.  He used to read stories from the Bible and lead me to Sunday School and Worship services.  Unfortunately, my father died on January 26, 1969.  My mother takes care of our family and prays for her children at every single meal.  As I grew up, she passed family prayer on to me and my siblings.  That was how I developed my prayer life when I was in need.

Stage One

On October 9, 1976, Twichin Baptist Church held an evangelistic crusade.  I thought that I was a Christian, but the preacher emphasized a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the importance and meaning of being born again.

During the first day, I was not convinced with those messages.  But deep in my heart the Spirit was telling me that I should have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and, sure enough, I had not been born again.  On the third day, after much prayer and through the help of counselors, I confessed my sins, accepted Jesus Christ, and invited Him into my heart.  The Scripture portion revealed to my heart, “You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Cor 6:19-20).  I made a solemn vow to follow Jesus Christ throughout my life, and I will be right with Him.  Time passed by, and I was graduated from high school in 1979.

Stage Two

Upon graduation from high school, I enrolled at D.M. College of Arts and Commerce in Imphal, India for a pre-university course, and graduated in 1982.  While in college, I had a hard time supporting myself and I was seeking a job to meet my needs as well as my family’s.  God granted me to a teaching position at Keithelmanbi U. J. B. School; later, this school was amalgamated to Keithelmanbi High School.  After school hours, I used to visit hospitals and pray for those who were in need.  I was married in 1983.  My longing desire and my vow to follow Him has never decreased.  My heartbeat for God’s service is a constant reminder of how He blesses me.

Stage Three

God allowed me to work as a teacher paid by the government, to preach, and to be involved in church activities.  In 1985, my friend and I saved two months’ salary and conducted/sponsored a missionary conference at Phaimol Baptist Church.  We invited Rev. Laltingen Vaiphi, and four hundred people were saved.  To my surprise, we collected Rs 8,000 and lots of clothes, jewelry, and watches.  The Lord spoke to me in my inner being that He can do impossible things if I obey Him.

I was promoted to be a headmaster at Saitu Government Junior High School   As a layman, I was involved in church activities and preached the Gospel to surrounding villages.  As the song says, “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.”  The more I was involved in preaching and church activities, I was convinced I needed to become a full-time minister; but I had to have this secular job to provide food for me.

Stage Four

On March 13-16, 1987, Chongthu Baptist Association of Manipur organized a missionary conference.  I heard of this conference and, as a member of this association, I thought I should be there.  After two days in conference, my heart was prompted to become a full-time minister.  Again, humanly speaking, it was so difficult for me with a poor family.  After much prayer, God convicted me in my heart that I should be a full-time minister.  But if I were to do it, I should resign from the government teaching job.  I had three daughters at this time, which made it harder for me to decide.  After much prayer, I concluded that I should deny myself and follow Him.

During the service we had a missionary challenge.  People dropped cash, clothes, jewelry, and watches.  It was amazing.  I did the same thing, but deep in my heart I was so convinced that God wanted me more than gold, silver, and properties.  Therefore, I could not stand by myself.  I surrendered to Him to be a full-time minister.  Rev. Khaizakham, who was then the preacher and is now principal of Dwindwidee Bible College at Churachandpur, prayed over me.  Thousands of people blessed my dedication to God.  God’s presence throughout my body at that particular moment was so overwhelming, and for many years after.  I still remember my joy and peace.  That experience leads me even today.

Stage Five

On September 16, 1987, God opened a wide door for me to study theology in the Asian Center for Theological Studies and Missions at Seoul, Korea.  I enrolled in a Master of Divinity course.  To my surprise, I was the first person among my tribe, which is Kuki, to study in the whole South Korea.  It was a miracle that I got a full scholarship plus all of my daily needs.  My experience in the seminary and Korean church life impacted me so much spiritually.  Within three years, God provided me friends and miracle after miracle.  I was fully convinced that “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam 15:22b).  I received a Master of Divinity degree in 1990.  I thank God for His marvelous love and care during my theological studies in Seoul, Korea.

Stage Six

In May 1990, I came back to India and worked for Chongthu Baptist Association in Manipur, India.  My job was to look after the Mission and Evangelism department.  In this department we planted new churches among the Meiteis cities and towns.  I also organized a missionary conference, seminar, and Bible camp within the Chongthu Baptist Association churches.  In 1991, my wife and I founded Agape Bible Institute and Mission under the supervision of Chongthu Baptist Association.  Unfortunately, ethnic clashes between the Kukis and Nagas broke out and the work did not progress as expected.  In the midst of this, I was approved to work as a missionary in New Delhi in collaboration with friends and churches in Seoul, Korea.  My job as a missionary included preaching, distributing Gospel tracts, and working with government employees and students.

Within three years in New Delhi, I was involved with the Delhi Evangelical Fellowship and initiated a slum ministry in Vikas Puri.  My organization requested me to work in Manipur, and I left New Delhi in 1995. I was ordained March 16, 1996 at Aigegang Baptist Church by Rev. D. Doungel, the Executive Secretary of Chongthu Baptist Association at that time.

Stage Seven

On April 16, 1996, I landed in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., to study for a Master of Theology degree at International Theological Seminary.  While I was in this seminary, I met Rev. S. N. Gangte and Rose Ningsen from my hometown.  We prayed together and shared our joys and sorrow.  I was involved in the International Student Fellowship and helped with the Dream Center adopt-a-block.  I received my Master of Theology degree in 1998.

In February 1998, I came to study at Oral Roberts University.  I enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program.  In order to be reunited with my family, I prayed almost every day, but their visas to the U.S.A. were denied three times.  Wondering whether I should pursue this degree or not, I visited India in 1998 and reapplied for their visas.  By God’s grace my two daughters, Kimboi and Chongboi joined me.  In 1999, I visited India again and my whole family got their visas.  We all are united in Tulsa.

Life in the U.S.A. is not that easy.  After much prayer, God miraculously opened the door for me to plant a church among my language group in Tulsa, under the church planting project of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.  After training, I started an Asian Baptist Church in Jenks, Oklahoma, on October 7, 2001.  It is a group of people from India, Nepal, Myanmar (Burma), Korea, and others.  The church celebrated its third anniversary in October of 2004.

God blessed me with three daughters and two sons.  Along with the deacon board, they are helping me every year to initiate this church planting ministry.  Above all, God answered my prayers and even allowed me to finish the Doctor of Ministry degree on April 30, 2005.  Once again, I give thanks to God for His marvelous love and care through all these years of my journey and to those who earnestly pray for me and my family.  Hallelujah!  “Ebenezar” thus for the Lord has helped us.