So I started this blog up again with the intent of updating every two weeks or so. Well, it's been close to three weeks now.

I guess being a 22 year old freshman at a new school assumes the obligation of being the topic of this blog entry. I'll start with my trip up here.

On January 15th, darkish-early at 4:40am, I set out on about a 700-mile trip from Winston-Salem, NC, to Jackson, MI. I foolishly stayed up until 12am the night before, trying to pack away nearly all of my belongings. This left me with all of four hours to sleep. Anyway, yea, I said my goodbyes and set out wide-eyed and with much anticipation to reach my destination.

Needless to say, my once wide eyes quickly turned to half-closed with lids weighing down like anchors. About two or three hundred miles into the drive, I began to drift into split-second naps. One after the other came and went, until I realized what a danger I was to myself and the others around me. So at mile-marker 154, I took the exit, drove a quarter-mile into an empty parking lot, and slept for twenty-five minutes. After resting, and now feeling refreshed and ready, I set out again. I put on some music and just sat back to enjoy the cruise through the beautiful, snow-covered mountains. Thirty miles had been gained when I suddenly remembered that my exit was number 147. That was seven miles before I took that much needed nap! Overcome with frustration, I turned around and reprimanded myself for not taking a nap sooner (for exhaustion was the reason I missed my exit in the first place).

To make a long 700-mile 12-hour story short, I reached my destination safely. So what has school been like since I arrived? I'm glad you asked.

New Tribes Bible Institute is not your average school, nor is it for the "average Joe." NTBI is the first phase of training for tribal missionaries. More specifically, it is mission training targeted at unreached people groups- most of which speak a language that is unknown to any and everyone outside of their tribe. The total annual cost of NTBI is about $8,000. This includes everything: living expenses, tuition, books, etc.. If you're familiar with current tuition of most colleges these days, then you know that $8,000 is less than half of that of most others. New tribes is able to do this by employing (without pay) its own students to do nearly all of the work required. Along with this, all of the teachers are church-supported missionaries. Tuition is free, thus the incredibly affordable price of attending.. This is done because the need for missionaries is great. Any way to keep from providing students a reason to not attend is partly the goal. Financial freedom is another partial reason. Every student to graduate NTBI graduates debt-free.

I guess, so far, I've yet to elaborate on m experience of being here these past three weeks. On the 19th, after two grueling days of orientation, classes began. Each day we all have three classes, not including the occasional elective. Breakfast is at 7am, the first class at 8, then chapel at 9, second class at 10, and the third at 11. From there we go to lunch and then have the rest of the day to study, work, chill, etc.. I, on average, have spent 3-4 hours each day doing homework. Besides other electives and needing to study, I also have other responsibilities. Every other week, I have a single chore to complete each day day in my dorm of ten guys. This week, I take out the trash. Every third week, I am responsible for just one meal each day to help clean the kitchen. I'll be cleaning pots this semester. And once a week, I'm responsible to buff my classroom floor (this only takes a couple hours). The classes are done in block-style format, meaning that a class is taken every day until it is completed. So every day I have Bibliology first, Evangelism second, and Biblical Foundations third. On February 8th, I will finish Bibliology and Biblical Foundations. Two days later, my schedule will become: Hermeneutics 1 first, Evangelism second, and Pentateuch third. I think you can get the idea. If not, Google it ("block scheduling"). So far, my classes are just setting a foundation for me to learn/study the entire Bible.

I know that normally a blog is supposed to be about what someone is experiencing. But to keep from writing a single exhaustive blog entry, I'll save the rest for next time (in like a week or two). I'll simply say for now that God is working in my life and convicting me in the area of falling back in love with my Creator and Saviour. Revelation 2:4

Nathaniel J. Clonch


Austin Mccann said…
Enjoyed the blog post man! Glad to hear you made it there alive and you are enjoying it! Praying for ya buddy and so excited to see how the Lord has preparedthe way for you to be at New Tribes! Love ya man!

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