Legacy school opens in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Legacy Institute of Dundee, Ohio, and Bangkok announced May 31 the
opening of the Legacy Institute Leadership Training Center in Chiang
Mai, in northern Thailand.
at the center May 27, said Legacy founder Leon Sexton, who maintains
residences in Bangkok and Rowlett, Texas.
one year earlier, Mr. Sexton and his wife, Gloria, had made the
decision at a Legacy Institute board meeting to open a center to
train young men and women for "the work of God in Asia,"
said Mr. Sexton.
The aim was to
train workers to help evangelize in South and Southeast Asia.
ago we didn't have the funds to start a school," said Mr. Sexton.
"We did not know where the money would come from. We had no
idea where to locate or even how to start the school."
The Sextons decided
to "move ahead into the unknown" while "entirely
trusting God," he said. "The birth of the Legacy Institute
Leadership Training Center is an act of faith, pure and simple."
The center's facilities
include classrooms, six teachers and 12 students from the Karen
and Kachin tribes.
Church of God families have even moved from the [Thailand-Myanmar]
border to help us," he said.
The center teaches
classes in Bible, health and hygiene, spoken and written English,
computer, music, voice, sports and vocational organic agriculture.
are all volunteers who pay their own way over [from America] to
teach for one year," said Mr. Sexton.
They are (besides
Mr. and Mrs. Sexton and their son Bronson) Heidi Hanisko of Ohio,
Marjorie Riggs of Hawaii, Bonnie Turner of Texas and Sally Hamilton
and Matthew Bates, both of California.
The 12 students
include three children of Church of God members. Eight come from
"traditional Christian" families, said Mr. Sexton.
have one girl who is a Buddhist," he said. "All are required
to take the Bible classes and attend Sabbath services. However,
we will not cram God's truth down their throats."
On May 26 Mr.
Sexton conducted a brief opening ceremony for the school. He delivered
a speech, each teacher introduced himself, and the students sang
in Karen, Kachin and Burmese.
inspiring for me," said Mr. Sexton, "was hearing the U.S.
national anthem by Bonnie and Heidi."
In his speech,
Mr. Sexton talked of the dream of Worldwide Church of God founder
Herbert W. Armstrong, for whom Mr. Sexton worked in Thailand in
dream for Thailand was to prepare refugees "for new lives in
a new land," said Mr. Sexton.
died, in 1986, before he had realized his dream.
"Now 16 years
later we are standing on the threshold of fulfilling that dream,"
Mr. Sexton said. "We are opening a school in northern Thailand
to teach the leaders of tomorrow."
Visit Legacy on the Web at www.legacyinstitute.org.
© The Journal: News of the Churches of God