On August 19th another semester began at New Tribes Missionary Training Center. Missionary candidates are training to go overseas to take God’s Word to unreached people groups around the world. Seventy-three returning students and their children settle back in to continue their cross-cultural training. Forty-six new students and their children arrive and adjust to new living conditions, new schedules, new classes, new techniques, new relationships. One hundred forty-two staff again get involved in the lives of these candidates. Some are more directly engaged with the students, participating in things like teaching, discipleship, and child care; others help in areas like administration, construction, and maintenance.
All staff and students are here for the same purpose: to be a part of God’s work in reaching unreached people groups with the Gospel. Recent statistics show that there are still over 2,100 language groups without God’s Word. That’s a lot of souls needing to be reached, which will take a lot of people with the Good News willing to go and tell them! That’s why we are here at the training center—to help train others to go and take the Good News to those who have never yet heard.
For us personally, a few things have changed for this semester. In our department, Families in Ministry, our group of 8 members has decreased to 5. Three of our coworkers have left for various reasons and we are sad to see them go. We are thankful that we had last year to work with them all and “learn the ropes”, especially seeing as John (being the only man of our current group) is stepping into the department coordinator role, doing most of the administration, and teaching more in the classes that our department provides. Melanie’s role will not change that much as she will continue working with the finances for our department. She will also be fitting in as needed, assisting John and the others in any areas necessary as we transition and shift responsibilities.
We will also continue with our small group of students that we disciple along with 2 other staff couples. We’ve been meeting with the same group for a year and, although one couple has already graduated and left for the field and one single gal left to get married, we have one more semester with the rest of them, and have added one more couple to our group, making a total of 3 couples (with 5 kids between them), 2 single guys and 3 single girls. We really enjoy our time with them and count it a blessing to connect with them at this stage of their lives and ours.
Please pray for us as we serve the Lord by helping train all these candidates for cross-cultural life and ministry. God has given us the privilege of sharing our field experience with those who will reach out to others, sharing the Good News with those who have never heard. Our desire is to live transparent lives before these candidates, sharing and growing together, as we are involved in their lives for a short time during their year and a half long training, and beyond as we maintain contact with them. There is an urgency to the task of reaching the unreached, and yet we know how easily we can get out of balance with life’s demands. Please pray for us to stay balanced in all areas of life, and especially in taking on new responsibilities as we don’t want to become overloaded again. We are privileged to serve our awesome God!