Downing Update from Bible School at New Tribes Missions
Dear Austin Bluffs Family,
It has been a great privilege for us to start school in Jackson, Michigan this past fall. This transition is what can be considered our first ‘official’ step toward our future ministry on the field of working with an unreached people group. It seems that what we are learning in the classroom is only half of what God has been teaching us. We are being taught the awesome truth of the Word of God, and we are ensuring that our foundation is built upon a rock. The teachers here at New Tribes Bible Institute have been taking us through the Word, teaching it to us in the same way that God revealed it through history. We started at the beginning and are continuing through it chronologically, one book at a time. So far we made it all the way through to the Babylonian captivity of Judah. This next semester we are looking forward to finishing up the OT. One of the things we continually heard through last semester was, “You cannot fully understand the New Testament without the understanding of the Old Testament.” So when begin the study of the NT, we will already have a firm grasp on how the Old relates to the New, which will help us better grasp and learn the New Testament writings.
We live and attend our classes in the same building as all the other students. Each of the students in our class is going through the exact same curriculum at the exact same time (minus the electives.) This makes for a very focused atmosphere in the building, which seems to help with the learning process.
As I mentioned earlier we have been learning much outside of school as well. At church we have been under the teaching of Grace’s father, Alan, who is also a graduate of the Master’s Seminary. We have been able to get involved in ministry there. One of the things we are doing is helping with the curriculum of a Sunday School class on marriage. As we have been hunting down information and studying the Word, there has been much to learn about marriage!
We have continually been challenged with the great commission here at the school. Little by little we are becoming acquainted with the true size of the task that God is setting before us. We are learning how incapable we are, and how capable He is. There is no way we can plant a self-proliferating church among an unreached people group with our own strength and abilities. It has to be God all the way and our part is simply to help with the task. Please join us in the task of reaching a people group who has never heard the gospel and never read the Word of God in their own language. Begin by praying that God will prepare the hearts of whichever people group He may send Grace and I to.
We are looking forward to continued fellowship this summer back in Colorado Springs.
Until then, farewell!
Payton and Grace Downing