The Faith Challenge: Tanner Besosa Blogs From BMW

For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. (Ecclesiastes 7:12)

Tanner Besosa

Tanner Besosa

The college experience reveals the quality and depth of a student’s faith. Hopefully, students grow spiritually and strengthen their faith through the challenges of the college experience. Sadly, others walk away from their faith or compartmentalize their faith as they struggle to navigate the complexities of college life.

Tanner Besosa has graciously agreed to let us go to college with him as he starts his second year at Florida Free Bible, Missionary, & Work Training Center. BMW trains missionaries and is underwritten by Teen Missions International, Inc. He is taking six classes this semester: Miner Prophets, General Epistles, Ethics, Daniel and Revelation, as well as Biblical Psychology. The sixth, Pauline Epistles, is the one he looks forward to most. Says Tanner, “The teacher of this class is one of the wisest men of God I know, who thinks through the deep spiritual matters of the Bible in the same way I do. It makes it easier and better for me to understand, and for me to get excited about.”

Teen Missions World Headquarters

Teen Missions World Headquarters

So, what are the faith challenges facing Tanner during this crucial time in his life? An article posted on the Cedarville University website lists ten challenges faced by Christian Students as they start college. Over the next few weeks we will explore each of these from Tanner’s perspective.

Challenge 1: Faith identity

In high school, faith was associated and supported by familiar places and people. Now those keystones are missing. Does it matter?

Tanner tells us that during his time at BMW, “There are some things that I do not hold the same as my father and mother, nothing major, but still small differences. [However,] I do find their faith very supporting and they are still my greatest teacher in the faith, and when I hit hard problems they always point me back in the way that I should go.”

When asked why he believes, Tanner replies, “This is a question that changed not too long ago for me. I used to say I have seen the change in my life and I feel Him inside of me, but Jeremiah tells us, “the heart is deceitful above all things,” so that I cannot trust what I feel.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

Beyond feelings, continues Tanner, “I have found that I must have faith in Christ above all things. That when the enemy tries to make me feel far from God and downcast, that my heart is lying to me, and I must hold on to my faith in Christ above all.”

His biggest challenge this year

You might think that the biggest challenge in college is the course load, but for Tanner the challenge is to measure up.

“The greatest challenge this year,” he says, “will be that we have a group of new Bible students. I want to be able to do as good of a job as those that helped me fit in and find the groove of everything when I had first started.” Beyond good works, Tanner has “been in prayer for the new students.”

In closing, Tanner wishes the best for those of us back home. “I’d like to thank all of you back home praying for me and supporting me as I am here growing in our Lord, and I pray that He is blessing your life every day!”

Next time, we’ll explore the Freedom Challenge faced by all college students living far from home.

Pray for our Teachers and Students

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8)

Pray for the teachers and their students. BCBC 8/28/16

Pray for the teachers and their students. BCBC 8/28/16

Teachers who are Christians cannot compartmentalize their faith. It impacts every aspect of their lives.

So, as the new school year gets started, let’s pray for our teachers, that they may educate our children and serve in a way that supports His will to be done.

Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. (Deuteronomy 32:2)

At the same time, pray for our young students, that they may learn and become wise.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

Daniel Bridges: Time to Share God’s Message

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Hi, here is an update on my time in Nicaragua over this past week. Thanks!

Saturday, 6/25/16: God provides for me.

The Indianapolis team flew out this morning, and a World Race team of 6 girls arrived late in the afternoon. Without any groups at the mission center, the day was very chill. The interns and I relaxed,  played games, and talked.

We visited Bethel in the morning to give sponsorship money to some of the guys. It was great catching up with old friends. One old friend and I talked about how God has provided for me spiritually; and how He encourages me, knowing that I will lead a group in the future. We had a great a great day of relaxation and rest.

Sunday, 6/26/16: Look ahead

After breakfast we went to the Bethel soccer game. I talked with Carlitos and Luis (Juan Carlos’ sons, and Ixcels brothers), and also Marcos. It was fun hanging out and watching some soccer.

Later, we discussed as a team about what our time will look like over the next 3 weeks. Then, Marty gave us the Strengthfinder book, which is designed to uncover our talents and areas of expertise. It’s similar to Myers-Briggs personality test, but more in-depth and personalized. Then, I played Settlers of Catan with Cassie and Lauren (my two fellow interns) and enjoyed bonding with the team.

Monday, 6/27/16:  God uses what I say.

Today, we planned everything we are doing when the other groups arrive, and how all of the planned activities will work out. The two groups (guys and girls) will both be going through and discussing Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Barton, which is all about opening up your deepest desires in God’s presence and experiencing spiritual transformation.

We then discussed when to do the D-Team (Discipleship Team) meeting during the rest of the time we are here. We decided to meet for a 2-hour session on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please pray for me and that these sessions will be impactful and that God will be present as we all meet to find out more about Him.

We had a meeting on short notice today. It was a little tough because I wanted to be able to speak to them perfectly; because even in the US, leading a group can be hard on the communicating side. But after talking to Marty and the other interns, along with some Nicaraguans, I realized I was underestimating myself and forgetting that God will use whatever I say and whatever the strength youth believers say to penetrate people’s hearts and allow us to grow closer to God together.

Tuesday, 6/28/16: Into the jungle

San Cristobal

San Cristobal

This morning we set off as a group (interns, World Racers, Mission Center staff, and a guide) into the jungle below the San Cristobal volcano. We got a sneak peek at a “resort”-type camp that will open in the coming months; and we learned about the plants and trees that inhabit the jungle. It was beautiful, and I had a great time joking around with Thelma (she works cleaning clothes).

Thelma in the jungle

Thelma in the jungle

After this adventure we returned for lunch and later went to Leon where we shopped, got coffee and smoothies, and saw one of our teammates get a tattoo. That said, it was an interesting fun-filled day. I am starting to get to know everyone at the Mission Center, and this makes me very happy!

Wednesday, 6/29/16:  Share the Gospel.

In the morning, we went to Bethel to play with the kids and show the World Racers around the village. I spent time with Karely and her sister, Chiquita. We all played; and the crazy kids nearly wore me out! After this we went to meet a girl named Cadence who described her ministry in Nicaragua and showed us where there was going to be an orphanage.

Our first meeting was scheduled for after lunch, and I was very nervous. It went well and thankfully Carlos the translator was there because I was able to share the Gospel, my story, and also heard the youths’ testimonies. I knew that God gave me the words to say, and it was a very good start as we begin to journey together to know God more.

Playing with the kids in Bethel

Playing with the kids in Bethel

I think many of them will benefit from reading Sacred Rhythms… including me. I thank God that it went well, and now I feel a little more at ease because we’ve broken the ice.

Continue to pray that we all will see God more and fall more in love with Him, and that because of knowing Him more we will want to tell others and be disciples who make disciples.

Thanks to all for supporting my journey.

Daniel Bridges

North Carolina State University