Picking Up the Torch
“Lord, if You’re going to use me, use me in places where it is difficult or there are people waiting and wanting to hear the gospel but cannot because they are too far from the city.” Jon Paller, the training program director of New Tribes School of Missions (NTSM) of the Philippines, remembers praying this before he became involved with New Tribes Mission.
Johnny Macad is a member of a tribal group whom NTM reached out to years ago. Now, as the faculty head of NTSM, he is involved in teaching other Filipinos to reach yet others.
NTSM was originally founded in the 1960s to train Filipinos to reach the tribes in the Philippines but has since expanded its outreach to tribal groups in six other Asian nations. In 2017 NTM Philippines will be celebrating 65 years of being in existence, and the NTSM is just one offshoot of God’s working there.
Igniting the Torch
Jun Fabra, the church planting director of NTSM, and his wife ministered with the Kankanaey tribe prior to beginning his ministry with the school. He was able to help plant three churches and has watched them mature.
With this experience he is an invaluable teacher in the school’s two phases: the one-year Basic Bible Course (doctrine and individual book studies) and then another one-year Missionary Training Course with language- and culture-learning tools and practical classes (e.g., literacy, field medicine, and cross-cultural communication), including a three-month on-field internship.
Carlos Benavidez, the administrator of NTSM (on home assignment), commented: “I learned that here at the school, you have to be serious about yourself and with the Lord….This is the best place for us — for me — to know the Lord more deeply.” NTSM seeks to help the missionary candidates to grow and mature so that they too can follow NTSM’s goal “to teach others also.”
Handing Off the Torch
Approximately 100 miles from the capital city, you would come upon NTSM huddled in a small bowl-shaped valley. It isn’t easy, though, for the new students who come to be trained. One student, Mina, noted that it was hard for her to leave city life and her family, stepping out of her comfort zone. Nevertheless, she followed the Lord and entered the training.
With 10 to 15 students per year from all parts of the Philippines, NTSM understands the need to send trained missionaries to the farthest corners of their land — and other nations — in order to reach the last tribal group. Pray as NTSM trains Filipinos to make a thriving church a reality for every people group in the Philippines — and beyond.