At our May 2010 graduation, the Tyndale alumni association was pleased to give the Distinguished Alumni Award to two alumni who are doing outstanding things in their life and ministry.
Rauni Salminen, MTS 2008
Rauni Salminen graduated from Tyndale in 1994 with a Bachelor of Religious Education and in 2008 with a Master of Theological Studies. She is an ordained minister with a background in social work and cross-cultural missions.
A founding member of the Philip Aziz Centre, Rev. Salminen presently serves as its Executive Director. The Philip Aziz Centre is a community-based hospice program that provides practical, emotional and spiritual support to persons living with AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, in the comfort of their own home. Much of her hospice work involves research, community networking and consultation, program development, recruitment and training of staff and volunteers, pastoral and spiritual care, AIDS and hospice education among the faith community, and most recently, establishing a residential pediatric hospice in Toronto.
Rev. Salminen believes that the greatest expression of our love for God is unconditionally loving our neighbour. “We may differ in culture, ethnicity, values, beliefs, faith, giftings, social/economic status, gender, education and geography, but we are similar in our universal desire to be loved, accepted, belong and know our lives have significance, purpose and value. To be loved and to share love is at the core of our humanity and the yearning of every heart.”
University College Awardee:
Sokreaksa S. Himm, BRS 1993
Sokreaksa (Reaksa) Himm was a member of a large family in Siemreap City, Cambodia when the country fell to the Khmer Rouge on April 17, 1975. Forced to join the exodus to the jungle villages, the whole family was marched to a grave and killed one by one. Young Reaksa, gravely wounded, was covered by the bodies of his brothers and sisters. In time, he escaped the killing fields and fled to a Thai refugee camp.
He eventually made his way to Canada and attended Tyndale, graduating with a Bachelor of Religious Studies degree in 1993. Continuing his studies, he earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education (Providence Theological Seminary, 1996) and a Doctor of Psychology (Southern California University, 2004). He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Providence Theological Seminary in 2007. He is the author of The Tears of my Soul, which describes his journey to freedom, faith and purpose, and After the Heavy Rain, which tells of his journey of forgiveness and reconciliation to the people who killed his family.
Dr. Himm and his wife Sophaly Eng have two children—Philos and Sophia—and together serve as church planters in Cambodia. One of the churches they founded is in the village where his family was killed. Knowing too well the suffering of his people, his message is clear: “Nothing will ever make them whole again except the healing message of the hope, love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.”