This is the first of many employee profiles that we’ll be doing on the blog. We wanted to highlight some of the interesting things that our employees are involved with inside and outside of work.
I recently sat down with Tori Farquhar, one of Tyndale’s customer service representatives for an interview (well, actually I emailed her a list of questions, and she emailed them back). Tori does general customer service, as well as author and national accounts customer service. Her an her husband Tom recently finished a two year program at New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, MI.
Tell us a little bit about your history at Tyndale, and why you left the first time?
Well, this is actually my third time being employed by Tyndale. The first time was for about 6 months, I was a temp in the warehouse, then I got married and worked at a local eye clinic. That job lasted about 3 months. Once I found out that the Customer Service Department at Tyndale was hiring, I applied right way and about a week later, I was hired.
Let me back up a bit. When I met my husband-to-be, we had both wanted to attend Bible school and eventually be missionaries overseas. So my second time at Tyndale was only for 8 months and then Tom and I headed off to New Tribes Bible Institute. It was a bittersweet goodbye. I was excited to finally get to Bible School, but I loved my job and I had made some great friends in my department.
Why did you choose to attend New Tribes?
It was very appealing to me once I discovered that it was two years of strictly Bible course, which meant no math and no science. Bingo. 🙂
But in all seriousness, I had first heard about NTBI on a short term missions trip to Mexico (which is also where I met my husband Tom). This was right around the time I had decided that I wanted to be a missionary and be a part of spreading the Gospel to those who haven’t heard. I just had no idea what that looked like or where to start. When I had thought of what it meant to be a missionary, I thought about the pictures of families posted on the bulletin board at our church growing up, and I thought about close mentors of mine that had left to be missionaries in Spain or Tennessee. I don’t think I knew that there were missions organizations that focused on remote indigenous groups it the deepest parts of the earth, let alone that there were people that isolated from the rest of the world. My eyes were opened wide to the fact that there are over 2,500 people groups in the world who don’t have access to the Word of God.
Learning these things, and seeing the great need in those parts of the world, solidified our decision to attend New Tribes Bible Institute with the hopes of someday bringing the life-saving message of the Gospel to one of those groups. The Bible Institute was the first step in that direction.
Can you tell us about the school itself?
I sure can. In order to be a missionary with New Tribes Mission, you have to attend Bible School-not necessarily NTBI and then complete the 1 ½ year program at the Missionary Training Center in Camdenton, Missouri.
There are two Bible School Campuses, one in Waukesha, WI and the other in Jackson, MI. Tom and I just recently graduated from NTBI in Jackson. Even though I’m only 23 years old, my time at the Bible school was the best two years of my life. The Biblical foundation I have received from there has drastically changed my relationship with the Lord and with others. I might be biased, but I don’t think you’ll ever find a better set of teachers and staff, and I think all former Jackson New Tribers would agree.
New Tribes approaches teaching at the Bible school in the same way that the missionaries teach the people they are working with; chronologically through Scripture. When we first got there, they taught us the basics. Bibliology, where the Bible came from, Biblical Foundations, essential truths to understand Scripture as a whole, Evangelism, how to effectively share truth with others and understanding what makes up our worldviews, and Hermeneutics, how to accurately study the Bible. When I first told a friend here at Tyndale that I had ‘Hermeneutics,’ he replied with “You have what??!?!? Does Tom know????”
This was just our first block. In the two years, we studied almost every book of the Bible in depth as well as taking other courses and electives like: Christian Apologetics, Intro to New Tribes Mission, Oral Communications (not everyone’s favorite class…), and courses that teach on other religions in the world. An additional privilege is that a majority of the Staff have been missionaries overseas, so you’re being taught by people that know first-hand what it’s like to be a part of such a challenging and rewarding work.
I loved class. I was immediately humbled by how much I didn’t know and blown away by how much God loved me. I didn’t have an accurate understanding of His grace before I went there, and for that I am thankful.
I thought that the “no math and science” part would mean that school would be a bit easier. I was wrong. We had on average about 3-4 hours of homework every night (along with being married and working part time) and it was all GOOD stuff…so you really wanted to give it all your time and energy. But it was different, I wasn’t studying stuff that I could care less or not if I forgot, but I was studying the life-changing Word of God. And my teachers knew it well, so forget about slacking. It’s rewarding to see God reshaping your mind and heart through his Word. It can also be exhausting and hurt quite a bit at times, especially when sin and failures are exposed in your life and you’re reminded of your great need of a savior. Math can’t do that to you.
So basically what I’m trying to say is, go to New Tribes.
I haven’t been to the Missionary Training Center yet, but just to give you a quick overview, you basically go there with your bags half packed. There, you will be trained in practical skills like basic medical training, how to build your own shelter, and survive in remote parts of the world. You will also learn about strange and foreign things like Phonetics and Linguistics. I got a crash course in these over our senior retreat, fascinating stuff. You are being trained to plant a church among people who think, believe and speak different than you. I hear it’s amazing and I can’t wait to get there.
So, I’m assuming you had a good enough experience at Tyndale the first time you worked here to make you want to spend your break between schools here?
Definitely, I’m so thankful that I’ve had the privilege to work here, and that they keep taking me back! It’s truly a blessing to work with all the people that make up Tyndale and be a tiny part in getting Bibles and Christian literature into the hands of so many people. Plus I get to talk to people on the phone every day…and you never know who you’ll have the privilege of talking to or helping. I like meeting new people.
Where do hope to see your life take you in the coming years?
Well, the goal right now is to save up our funds again to get to the MTC in about 1 ½ to 2 years. After that, we’d love to be somewhere overseas and a part of a church-planting team. We have no idea where we want to go. There’s so much need all over the world, and I’m not too concerned about going to the ‘wrong’ country. What’s the worst that could happen-the wrong people get saved? J I’d also like to be a mom sometime soon . 🙂
Will you get to eat bugs?
Yep. You don’t have to be a missionary to do that.
Will you give me some recipes?
Yep. I can give you some recipes right now.
Thanks for spending the time to tell us about yourself, any final thoughts you’d like to leave us with?
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share some of my life with you. I suppose I’d like to encourage anyone out there who has ever considered missions. Tom and I didn’t hear a booming voice from the heavens that told us to become missionaries. We have read God’s clear command that we are to go and make disciples of all the nations, we know that there are so many out there who have not yet heard and decided that we would be robbing ourselves to not be a part of what God’s doing in this world. This doesn’t mean that we need to be missionaries with New Tribes Mission overseas somewhere, but just that we want to be a part of getting the Gospel to the unreached. And we know that can be here or in the utter most parts of the earth. And it’s terrifying. We know that on our own we are completely inadequate for the task, but that’s why He’s given us His Spirit. It’s God that has reconciled man to Himself, we just need to share this good news.
If you have a minute or two, check out www.ntm.org or www.ntbi.org for more information.
Also, if you want to watch a cool video of the testimony of one man from the Moi Tribe, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PfNCemTs-k.
And if you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned or would like to hear more about New Tribes, please feel free to contact me. Thanks so much!
Have any questions or comments for Tori? Leave them in the comments section of this blog post.