Plain Text version:
“I hear the prison doors slam behind me as I go into the women’s prison in Vero Beach, FL. I am getting the chance to teach twice every week there. This past week after I spoke, five girls were weeping as they confessed their sins and surrendered their lives to Jesus. I am learning as well – so much every day! I am working alongside the staff of the ministry there, and I am taking notes and listening, and allowing God to expand me and my vision.” – Taylor (SOTB Graduate 2012)
In 1 Corinthians Paul said, “Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.” You might think that a year in Bible school would produce prideful, unpleasant know-it-alls, but this isn’t the case. Our students in the School of the Bible (SOTB) unfailingly turn out like Taylor – more excited to reach out to people, more in love with God, and hungry to keep on learning. The not so secret explanation for this is that our school is not exclusively academic. It is a year of intense study for the students, but it is also a year of intense immersion in the love of God. Every year we show the class that the correct posture for studying the Bible is on our knees with one hand holding the Bible and the other stretched up to God. Luckily for all of us, this is a figurative posture! The idea is that in order to correctly understand God’s words and plans for the world we must be submitted to Him and constantly connected to Him in prayer and focus.
At the end of each school there is a five week outreach in which the students put their studies into practice. We had teams in Florida, Zambia, Houston and New England. Beth and I had the unbelievable privilege of bringing a team of seven to our perfect Tolkien-esque homeland in the Upper Connecticut River Valley. It was a jam packed month of teaching, preaching, encouraging, praying, eating ice cream and even running vacation Bible schools! At one of our VBSs we heard the precious testimonies of two girls who heard God’s voice for the first time. Everywhere we went people were learning and meeting with God.
In July we had 20 students graduate and go on to future ministry. A few became youth and young adult pastors. Two went back to their roles as preachers and seasoned pastors. At least ten of them continued on in full time missionary work with YWAM and other ministries. Every one of them expressed feeling more equipped, ready for ministry, and excited about what they get to do with and for God.
This fall marks the last School of the Bible we get to work with in Tyler, TX for a while. God has given us a Texas-sized vision for New England. We can hardly wait to tell you all about it, but wait we will. Stay tuned, and watch those mailboxes and inboxes for our next newsletter!
– Micah and Beth