In the summer of 2011 I attended Camp Grace, with Dr. Ralph “Yankee” Arnold. I was just married and about a year out of high school. I had plans for my life but there was a void, something missing. Something was not right about the life I was living. I had been in church all my life, and trusted Christ when I was ten or twelve years old. I believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I had dedicated my life several times, but the flame had always dwindled.
But this camp was different. I met a group of singers from Chicago and all of them were serving the Lord. They were happy with what they had, although it was little. They were satisfied to be serving God where they were. They also attended Bible College.
This impressed me immensely. How was I, a newlywed, supposed to lead my family in the right direction without having a deeper understanding of God’s Word? How could I know what the will of God is for my life if I did not know what the Word of God said? After a long discussion, my wife and I decided to pursue Bible College -- in Chicago.
|Jesse and Kyla
Our families were shocked. Chicago is not exactly a close location to Tampa, Florida! No one understood why we could not do something online or just do more in-depth studies on our own. I believed God wanted me to get an education in His word. There were many nights that my wife and I would feel empty and unsure of our decisions. But we pressed forward. We did not renew the lease at our apartment, and moved in with her mom in anticipation of heading for Chicago in August, 2012.
Then we saw God working. We changed how we were praying about our decision. Instead of asking the Lord to show us how Chicago would work out, we asked Him to help us properly discern what His will was. We were limiting God by thinking Chicago was the only way to get success. So we prayed for his will to be shown. Opportunities began to open up. I was asked to serve as a deacon at Calvary Community Church. We started serving in ministries where we were. Then out of what seemed like thin air, Florida Bible College of Tampa was announced. I remember exactly where I was in the church. My eyes welled with tears of joy! The Lord had not only shown us our way, but also gave us the opportunity to continue serving in Tampa! We were over joyed!
|Jesse - Director of the Tampa Youth Ranch
Florida Bible College is not the only college on the map that teaches Bible. However, it is unique in its focus on the clear gospel and its emphasis on getting that same gospel out to a lost and dying world. For my wife and I, it is truly an answer to many nights of prayer. We don’t know what’s next, but we are both glad to be a part of Florida Bible College of Tampa.