Jody Riethmiller joined New Tribes Mission in his 40s, after having spent time as a pastor here in Michigan. His first workplace was at our sister campus in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where he was a teacher. Jody says, “I was a teacher, but the Lord took me there to learn.” After a few years there, Jody and his wife moved on to the field of Papua New Guinea and did member care for a number of years. Jody recalls his time overseas as being rewarding and full, as he clearly saw God work in marvelous ways. Jody is caring, fun-loving, and sincere. He is currently Dean of married men as well as doing some teaching here at the New Tribes Bible Institute Michigan campus.
Where are you from originally? I was born in Louisiana, and was raised in Norway until I was five or six. After that our family moved to Texas. I grew up there for a while and then we moved to Michigan when I was in upper high school.
When did you join the Jackson team? Fall 2015
What is your favorite thing about serving at New Tribes Bible Institute? I think it’s one of the most exciting ministries because there is a lot of fruit. You see what God does in two years. It’s God changing people radically. Some guys come here as such knuckleheads, and then by the end of two years I look at them and think, “I’d go to the field with that guy”. That’s a God thing.
What is something the student body might not know about you? I love to make my wife laugh. She’s had me for 45 years now and she stills laughs at me, and I love the fact that she does.
At what point in your life were you convinced to become involved with missions? 1998. I had been pastoring a church here in Michigan for 3 years. I was studying through 1 Timothy and realized I didn’t meet the qualifications for ministry because of some issues with my son. My wife agreed, so I resigned. I had no idea what I was going to do. I quit, and about six weeks after, the Lord pressed missions on my heart. The mission I was most familiar with was New Tribes Mission, so I applied.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Jackson? Texas Roadhouse
What pastimes do you enjoy? I’m an avid reader and I like riding my motorcycle. I like riding really fast, so I have a slow motorcycle. My wife has drawn the line.
Do you have a “hero of the faith” that you admire, and if so, what about them is inspiring? Ron Lindsey is someone that I see as a hero of the faith. He’s the president of the New Tribes Bible Institute Wisconsin campus. He was halfway through language learning and came home on furlough. While he was home, his family was hit by a drunk driver. One of his son died and the other was paralyzed. His wife’s back was broken. After that they were home for two years recovering. Everyone thought he was crazy to go back, but he did. They built a special home there for his son’s wheelchair. There’s a church in Siowi now.
Who is your favorite author or musician? My favorite author and speaker is a guy named Arnold Fruchtenbaum.
Where is your favorite place to spend time? Chiang Mai Thailand – I love it there. It’s a really peaceful place. I love going to the market at night, and the countryside; I could rent a motorcycle – I love it.
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Anna Wishart is a graduate of Ethnos360 Bible Institute and continues to seek ways to be involved with missions through writing. She currently lives in Winchester, Virginia, and enjoys biking, art, friends, the mountain views, and attending Fellowship Bible Church.