Meet Colton Miller
Colton is an Ethnos360 missionary kid (MK) from South America and Pennsylvania, and is a freshman at Ethnos360 Bible Institute of Jackson. In high school he planned to get a degree in Social Studies/History at a local university, as well as play soccer there. But a couple months before graduation, he had a serious change of heart. Colton knew that this was not what the Lord wanted him to do. Like Jonah, he wanted to flee God and make his own path. God continued to work in his heart, slowing bringing Colton to Him again. A month after graduation, Colton decided to change his plans by spending two years studying God’s Word and laying a foundation for his walk with God.
A Typical Day at Ethnos360 Bible Institute:
5:45 A.M. – Breakfast
I wake up and spend time in prayer, interceding on behalf of a specific list of people around the world I routinely pray for. After my quiet time with God, I work out in the fitness center until breakfast at 7:00. The school’s maintenance crew eats breakfast with the students, so I take the opportunity to get to know them. After breakfast, I clean up my dorm before heading to class.
8:00 A.M. — Class
Our first class right now is Hermeneutics taught by Chad Huber. Hermeneutics is the process of studying the Bible. With the knowledge I have gained from this class, it’s opened my eyes to a lot of things that I have missed when I read the Bible. It’s been challenging because it’s a whole different viewpoint of looking at the Bible and other resources. There are so many outside resources that can help me understand the historical and cultural context of each passage of Scripture.
I came into Hermeneutics thinking the way I studied Scripture didn’t need to change. I assumed I knew how to study the Bible and thought, “how far off can I be?” But I was far off, and this class has been such a blessing on helping me know how to dig deeper into the context of the Bible.
9:00 A.M. — Chapel
This is our chapel hour where we take a break from our regular Bible classes. Chapel is different every day with a variety of speakers either from in-school staff, missionaries, or visitors from the community.
I really enjoy the chapels that occur every Thursday. All the single guys and a few staff men go to a classroom to talk for 45 minutes. The things that guys struggle with are talked about without any fear of judgment. They are willing to tell us areas that they’ve struggled with, knowing that we are facing the same temptations in our own lives today. The fact that they would be open and vulnerable to share their struggles is really encouraging. My parents are living in a tribe in South America which makes it difficult for me to go to my dad to talk about “guy things” but I’ve built a friendship with one of the staff guys through him sharing his personal story in these chapels.
10:00 A.M. — Class
After chapel, we have regular class time again. This hour we are going through the book of Genesis with Todd Nelson. I’ve read Genesis the most out of any book in the Bible but after taking Hermeneutics with Chad Huber, I’ve found so many new things that I had never noticed before. The patience of God astounded me as the characters in the Bible continued to sin against Him. Time and time again, He showed His love to those who rejected Him. We also had to talk about the topics that I tend to avoid in Genesis like violence and depravity. It was good to finally take Genesis apart and use hermeneutics to study it more.
11:00 A.M. — Class
Chad is our teacher again as we go through Leviticus. This is a book that I typically skim over. I thought it would be a boring class just talking about sacrifices that don’t have much to do with me. Leviticus shows, however, how difficult it was for the Israelites to even talk with God since they couldn’t enter the Holy of Holies. They couldn’t have direct access to God; they needed a mediator which was the priest. It dawned on me the privilege it is to have direct access to God. I can pray to Him anywhere, anytime; and it’s easy to take that for granted.
12:00 P.M. — Lunch
After four hours of class, it’s time for lunch. Lunch time is a great time for me to talk to people outside of my class. At the beginning of the semester, I found it hard to branch out from my classmates, but lunchtime is a comfortable environment to get to know staff and students from other classes. It’s hard to pinpoint some teachers when they are free, because they’re all seriously busy. However, lunch is a time where most staff members are free to talk over their meal. In fact, they invite you to sit with them!
1:00 P.M. — Elective
After lunch, I have an elective called Understanding Suffering with Rich Bruce. I wouldn’t say that there was one big event that I really suffered through, but there were many challenges my family faced as missionaries in a tribe. It was really hard to understand why God would allow obstacles to come our way while we were trying to get the Gospel to those who hadn’t yet heard. This class opened my eyes to see how God used those challenges for good.
2:00 P.M. — Work
After class, I head for work at a grocery store. Most of my coworkers are unbelievers, so I’ve had the change to witness there. Working allows me to get away from the confines of the school which can be a much-needed break. It’s also a great opportunity to interact with the community.
The Lord has really been testing my faith in Him this year through my financial situation. I knew before coming to school that I would have to work hard to pay my own way. My parents are missionaries so they aren’t able to support me financially through college. I started the year off with two jobs, but now I’m forced to work three. As hard as it is, the Lord keeps showing me how to rest in the security that He will always provide for me. In our Theology class, we’ve been learning about the different names of God. One of them is “Jehovah-Jireh,” which means “the Lord will provides.” I’m thankful to experience His provision firsthand this year.
6:00 P.M. — Intramural Sports
I’m involved in some of our school’s sports intramurals that are held Monday-Thursday nights each week. On Wednesday nights though, I play futsal outside of the school with a group of guys from all over South America. It’s a cool ministry opportunity because I speak Spanish and can relate to them from growing up in the same area of the world.
8:30 P.M. — Homework
After intramurals, I head to my dorm to do some homework, the majority of which is reading. Our assignments really test our knowledge of the information given in class; it’s not just busy work. The homework material has helped me to fully grasp the many important and intricate issues that are discussed in the classroom.
10:30 P.M. — Bedtime
As I get ready for bed, I reflect on all things I’ve been blessed with by attending Ethnos360 Bible Institute: studying God’s Word in-depth daily, being discipled by staff, and applying what I’m learning in class by witnessing to the community.
What’s Next for Colton?
My desire is to do long-term missions with Ethnos360. I would love to reach an unreached ethnic group, somewhere in Latin America. Before heading to the next step of training at Ethnos360’s Missionary Training Center (MTC) or Emanate of Ethnos Canada, I plan to work at a landscaping company to save some money. Ultimately, I am open to whatever the Lord leads me to do. He is at work, and I just want to be a pawn in His game wherever He wants me.