Bio : Dr. Samuel Chand
Series: Developing a leadership culture
Samuel Chand: “I was born and raised in a pastor’s home in India, a Pentecostal pastor’s home, so people want to know how did you get saved. My dad just beat me into salvation. The Lord allowed me come to the United States in 1973. I heard about Beulah Bible Heights College in Atlanta, Georgia, I wrote them a letter telling them that I was interested in coming. They sent me a catalogue and an application form which I completed and they accepted me. Once they accepted me then the more important thing began.
For an international student to come to America you have to have an American sponsor. I didn’t know any Americans but there was an American couple from Pasadena, California who had come to our church for Sunday night service. In those days I used to play the accordion. They sang, I played the accordion for them, they were the only ones I knew. So I wrote them a letter saying: Dear Bob and Vivian, I don’t know if you remember me or not, but I’m the young man in India who played the accordion for you. I would like to come to Beulah College, but they need somebody to support me. They’re looking for 1000 dollars, you pray about it, if God allows me to do that, I’ll appreciate that. I didn’t know what they were going to say. The worst answer would have been No, but I’m used to that. So they wrote me back about two weeks later saying: Sam, we remember you. We’ve already sent a check to Beulah College for 1000 dollars. Thank God.
And so I came to Beulah College. 1973 was a good year, but then 1974 happened. In1974 America experienced its first oil crisis. I know right now gas is 200 dollars a gallon, but in those day you could not even get gas. Are anybody here from that day that you remember you could not get gas? About 10, 12 of you, in those days if you wanted gas you had to stand in line according to your gas tag, the odd and even. It was during that time that inflation was double digit in America, unemployment was very, very high, the lowest mortgage interest were 18, 19%, so during this time Bob, my sponsor, lost his job in Pasadena. So he wrote a letter to Beulah saying; can’t help Sam anymore. So that’s no good news because I have heard rumors that if you don’t eat regularly, your body goes one place and your spirit goes another way. And I wanted to keep my body and spirit together.
I thought to get a work permit, so I went to the INS office. Most of us in this room know about our friends in INS, and in those days there were no jobs. So they refused me a work permit, but I still needed to eat, so went up and down the street that the college was on. I would knock on their doors: can I mown your lawn? Can I reap your yard? They’d say: go away. Then I’d say their favorite word “free”. They’d say: what do you want? After I’m done just fix me a sandwich, and that’s how I made it.
There was a groceries store about a quarter of a mile from the college, it was a small groceries store about this size of the building, and I went over there and talked to the food manager and said: do you ever through food away. He said, I through food away every day. Then don’t do that, that’s not good. How many of you remember Tombstone pizzas, the frozen tombstone pizzas? And I asked them: do you ever through those away? I through those away. So I fixed up an arrangement with him: I would pack them really carefully, then I’d walk with him to the parking lot. There was a big dumpster trash can in the back and he would take those and through them in there. Then he would back inside the store and I’d jump in the trash can, get my pizzas out, come back home.
I’m saying that to you for you to understand that I was not born with all of this stuff. The first time I was hungry was not in India, the first time I was hungry was right here in the land of plenty. It was during that time that the college offered me a job of a janitor, so I became their janitor. Then they also asked me to cook breakfast and be their dishwasher. It was during that time that one day I was in the office picking up the trash of the secretary, her name was Brenda. She was a student from Michigan so as I was picking up her trash I looked at her and I went: mmmmmmm And so I became a regular trash picker of her. I picked up her trash, many, many times every day. After 3 years of doing that she saw some gifts in my life. She said: you know, he can take out the trash, he can cook, he can do dishes so she offered me a full time job opportunity and she is now my boss. In fact tomorrow we will have been married 23 years.
I’m still carrying out the trash. You know, over here on this platform I’m doctor Chand, at home I am: Hey, carry out the trash. My wife does something very special for me every Saturday: this year I will be doing conferences like this all over the country for 47 weekends. Brother Eric Moon travels with me, he’s my assistant. What Brenda does for me every Saturday, I’m in a different hotel room somewhere, she prays for me over the phone and I want to tell you what she prayed this morning. She said: God give Sam physical strength because he’s tired but most of all anoint his spirit so when he speaks people will be moved by it. She said Holy Spirit give them the gift of connection so even if he’s speaking in English and using a translator, the word of God will still be powerful. Alleluia.
And then in 1989 the board of the college invited me to come back to serve them this time as their president. Thank God. Thank God. And I think there’s a leadership lesson somewhere in there, because the scriptures inform us if you’re faithful in living then He will make master over much and so it doesn’t matter what you’re doing in your ministry, be faithful in it, be faithful in it, be faithful in it because God’s got a plan for your life.
Because see, the service there were ushers over here a little while ago. Their service is as important as anything I will do today. The people who got you the letters to invite you to this conference, if they had not been faithful in their jobs, we wouldn’t be here today. But because they were faithful, we are here today and that’s what I’m saying. Be faithful. Be faithful.