Sep 19, 2010

Joseph Goes to College

       For a couple of years now Sandra, Joseph, and I have wondered and watched for direction as to what would be God's best for Joseph's continuing growth and education. One afternoon as we were questioning Mike McDonald, a friend and bible teacher for the local Calvary Chapel Bible College, he began to think that we should check out a bible college and training program that New Tribes had here in Mexico. Later he arranged a visit and Mike, Joseph, and I went to check it out.

       The idea of Joseph going off to a tribal group to learn their language, create a written system for that language, and then translate the scriptures into their language was a completely new thought for me. God quickly showed me, however, that He had been preparing Joseph all of his life to do just that. We weren't sure that He was directing Joseph to go to the New Tribes school but it seemed that tribal missions were in his future.

       We continued to seek God's direction. We didn't have the money but more and more it seemed clear that Joseph's desire and God's were converging on IMT Bible College. Then two missionary families that we work with, within a few days of each other, told us that they wanted to help with the cost by sponsoring Joseph a certain amount each month. The total was almost exactly equal to the tuition! We decided to proceed with the application process and see if God would guide by opening or closing that door.

       After several weeks, with the deadline nearing, we still had no response. Then Mike, who had been intending on giving Joseph a ride to the school (~1000 miles), had to cancel. We were counting on that ride because, at the time, we lacked the funds to get Joseph there any other way. The days ticked by and it seemed that perhaps the door might be closing. This was very confusing because we had felt God had been clarifying in our spirits that He wanted Joseph to go.

       At last it seemed time to buy a bus ticket or admit that we had misunderstood. There were less than two weeks before classes would start and we still did not have an acceptance letter or the money for travel when the School Administration called one of Joseph's references and asked, “Who is this Joseph Fruin? We have no application for him”. Apparently their email had blocked Joseph's application because it was too large. It really looked like the door was closing now.

       In faith we prepared a smaller version of the application, resent it, and Joseph began to pack. It seemed doubtful, though, that they could review the application and make a decision in time. We prayed and prayed some more.

       Only a few days later the school had emailed that the decision board had unanimously agreed to accept Joseph, we had received some unexpected money, Joseph's bags were packed and we were heading to the bus station. Joseph is now attending, and doing well at, the Instituto Misionero Transcultural Bible College in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico.

       Many times throughout the process it would have been easy to succumb to anxiety or doubt but hindsight has taught us over and over how foolish that would be. God is faithful! I think He purposely unfolds His plans with unexpected turns and delays in order that we can learn to rest and trust in Him.

       It's been more than a month but instead of the pain of missing Joseph fading it builds with time. We miss him increasingly but there is no question in us that he is where God would have him.