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For almost the past two years, I set my heart and dreams against not going to NTBI. My brother decided to go the winter of his senior year and the next fall he was in Jackson, Michigan. I didn’t want to go then, and I was certainly against going when he came back for Christmas break. We were all sitting around the dinner table one night and he was talking about how great it was. He told my sister that she should just go the spring semester. She said, “why not?” and from there she had two weeks to get ready to go to college in the middle of her senior year.

Then, my sister left with my brother on a plane to Michigan in the freezing cold of January. Everyone asked me then if I was going to New Tribes, and I kept telling them no. She met a boy and came back home in the summer with my brother. They talked about New Tribes all the time and to everybody. They kept saying I needed to go but I kept saying no. This time, I was more and more confident. I was adamantly saying that I would not go there. I was really stubborn. My heart and my soul were set against New Tribes. I hated the thought of ever going there.

I got an amazing opportunity at the end of last summer to go on a huge “across America” road trip with my grandparents. Along the way, we dropped off my brother, sister, and her boyfriend (at the time) at school (New Tribes Bible Institute) and I got to be on campus for a few days. I hung out with some of the kids that were there, toured the school, and met some people.

One day my sister was introducing me to everyone and everyone she introduced me to asked me if I was going to go there. Of course my answer was no. Then she introduced me to the dean of the school. He asked me if I was planning on attending school at New Tribes Bible Institute. I said no. Instead of looking shocked like everyone else, he looked at me, smiled, and said, “You know what, it’s a good thing your not coming here. God probably wants you somewhere else, and if God doesn’t want you here, then I don’t want you here.” I went back to school, back to volleyball, back to normal high school junior life and then my sister got engaged. She spent the spring semester of my junior year at home planning her wedding and I got to spend a lot of time with her.

That first semester, what the dean of New Tribes said to me had been tugging at my heart. One day me and my sister went out for ice cream and we ended up having a really long talk. I told her that I wanted to go to New Tribes, and not just during the normal time, but to go during my spring semester of my senior year like she did. I’d be giving up a lot, but I really wanted to do that. I have NO idea why I even said it. My heart just changed. It seemed like God popped the words right out of my mouth that had been in my heart all along.

I was so stubborn and set on planning my own life that after a while of being so hard hearted, God started to mold me back into His loving creation. He took me when I didn’t want to be taken, and He made me into what I am supposed to be. I still don’t really get my desire to go to New Tribes and I don’t know if I’ll go to the mission field. But I do know that trying to make decisions on my own and living a life for myself doesn’t help me at all — that everything I do, I’ve got to give it to God, and He’ll take care of it for me. It’s just that simple.

Kirsten Duron