Nathan and I have four kids and we weren’t really sure how living on a school campus would affect our family. After being at New Tribes Bible Institute for three semesters now we really could not ask for more!
The fact that the moms do not need to be in class until 9:00 (or some days, 10:00) is so helpful! Our son, who is school-age, is driven to and from school by a very helpful staff family who also has a son in school. This helps me out a ton, as I do not have to miss any class to do transportation.
Our daughters, who are younger, are in the childcare where they receive incredible amounts of love and guidance. If there are any discipline issues, the childcare workers text us and we are able to go right away and address it with our child! That is a huge blessing.
The staff at NTBI really wants to work with us as parents in any way they can. The childcare director makes it very clear that they do not just want to “babysit” our kids—they are investing in our kids and they all view it as a ministry of love.
As far as basic family life, NTBI has been so great for our family. Although living on the third floor of a school gives our family a bit less privacy than we would “normally” have, we have really enjoyed living among these other believers.
We live at the end of the single girls hallway and our kids love to color pictures and walk down the hall to deliver their masterpieces to random single students. And although our kids can’t just run outside to play whenever they feel like it, in the wintertime living in a school has vast benefits.
If we are bored we can walk down the hall to a gym! If the gym is empty we can play with our kids. If the gym is being used, it is usually an intramural game, which our kids love to watch. We have found the gym to be a blessing that we wouldn’t normally have.
In addition to all of this, our living in these circumstances has helped to grow all of us as a family. It is a different kind of experience that we wouldn’t have otherwise. Our 4-year old daughter has made some very good friends here in the school—her best friends are a little Korean girl and a little German girl! (I have even found her telling us “nein!” instead of “no”!).
When Nathan has to do his weekly “job” here in the school (cleaning a classroom), he always takes two or three of our kids with him to “help”. Students have commented on how great it is to see our little 4 year old pushing a mop bucket down the hall or our 6 year old son cleaning tables. Other times Nathan will have them sit in the hallway while he cleans and their job is to “say hi and be a blessing to everyone who walks by”. These are such great opportunities for our kids!
We really can’t say enough good things about NTBI Jackson. We would love to stay here for two more years! But we will be moving on to the missionary training center, and we will be forever grateful for the many ways that NTBI has helped to teach us and grow us as a family.