Returning from the United States with a desire to go and serve beyond his hometown, Livingstone Chen was asked by the Lord to stay for a while as the principal of the young but growing school. Despite a lack of experience and knowledge, Livingstone obeyed the Lord and his short two-year stay helped prepare him for the ministry ahead of him. Indeed, no time or effort is in vain when working for the Lord. This is the untold story of one of the school's earliest administrators – Livingstone Chen.
REVISITING THE JOURNEY
Upon the completion of my seminary training in NYC, I returned to Davao where my parents were residing. I had been away from home for 6 years and Mrs. Josephine Lim, the then principal, was leaving. So Rev. Wesley Shao, the pastor of Davao Evangelical Church, along with Dr. Antonio Lim and other church leaders, urged me through my parents to stay in Davao as principal before starting ministry with churches elsewhere. I hesitated to accept their request since I had no prior experience with teaching other than at Sunday School. However, being product of Christian schools myself, in Kulangyu, Fujian, China and a believer of the benefits of Christian education, I decided to accept their offer as both a challenge and a learning experience. This was all in 1962.
Two years later, I accepted a call from the United Evangelical Church of Naga in 1964 to become their minister. So I was principal for only a short time. But this two-year tenure as principal was valuable for me in my subsequent ministry. The Naga church was also operating a Christian school at the time inside their church premise so I doubled as their principal and their pastor. Soon after, I moved on to Bacolod Trinity Church later as their pastor and the church there also started a Christian school now thriving and known as Trinity Christian School.
ON BEING PRINCIPAL
In my time as principal, the primary school building was located on Bajada Hill. A little climbing was needed to reach the site and there were no other great landmarks around then other than our school building. The school buses were old and would break down now and then. There was a dormitory to accommodate out of town students and we had a relatively small staff.
As a principal, I taught classes, entertained the supervisors from the Bureau of Education, and occasionally rang the bell. Many people assisted me along the way. Chua Eng Chan 蔡榮燦, a veteran teacher and talented calligrapher from Manila, Emma Ang 洪麗婷 were my great helpers among others. Chua Eng Chan also served as dean of dormitory. Atty. Rafael Lim advised us on legal matters. Mrs. Valeria Young 楊永耐夫人 helped with bookkeeping and keeping the school buses running. Above all, God, the greatest Helper, was watching and leading us.
ON THE EARLY CHURCH AND SCHOOL
Rev. Wesley Shao and his wife were teachers in Kulangyu and later on in Manila. They were strong believers and supporters of Christian schools. My parents, Job Chen and Lim Siok Lian, elder and deaconess in the church, were also on the faculty of Christian schools in Kulangyu. Ms. Bona Lim and her sister, Mrs. Valeria Young, were products of Christian Schools in Kulangyu. In fact, a number of members in the Davao Evangelical Church became believers because of Christian Schools.
All of these factors converged and convinced the church to start and support the building of Davao Christian High School. The church leaders and school trustees were practically the same people and united in supporting the school as a part and an arm of the church in evangelism and community outreach. All of the Chinese faculty members were also members of the Davao Evangelical Church.
ON CONTINUING A CHRIST-CENTERED LEGACY
I have been in North America since 1978 and I keep meeting outstanding church leaders and professionals. They are elders and deacons in churches, physicians, lawyers, businessmen, seminary presidents, choir conductors, musicians, etc. They are a strong bulwark of churches and communities in U.S. and Canada and it is gratifying to know that they are alumni of DCHS. Our investment has not been in vain.
I thank our Lord for blessing the school to what it is now. I salute you for your hard work and sacrifices for all these 65 years. It is my prayer that the DCHS will continue to fix her eyes on Christ, our Lord and Savior, the greatest Teacher of all, holding hands with Davao Evangelical Church and other churches, in fulfilling its high calling of recruiting and nurturing people for Christ and His Kingdom.
Rev. Livingstone Chen is now based in Bellevue, Washingston where he serves as a minister of preaching at the First Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Mercer Island, Washington. He has three sons and one daughter: Stanley, Hilton, Gilbert, and Mildred; and enjoys playing tennis during his free time.
If like Livingstone Chen, you want to invest your heart in the lives of students, then please consider applying to serve in Davao Christian High School. Davao Christian High School aims to provide a well-rounded Christian education to develop students to become responsible and useful citizens imbued with high Christian ideals. To learn more about the school or to apply to join our ministry, please click the button below.
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