As I come to the end of the first school year in which I have served as president of SIBI, I am reflecting on some of the things that have impacted me during this time, and yet I can’t help pondering upon what has impacted all of our lives this year. To be sure, my year was interesting, but whose wasn’t? In common, we face a pandemic; social injustice; bigoted hatred and murder; political and religious polarization; wage decline, and job loss. Perhaps you are tired of hearing about such things. Perhaps you think we haven’t yet heard enough. It is in such moments that I need reminding that as impactful as such circumstances might be, our God is above all our circumstances, and we do well to also remember His ongoing work in and through us.
I am, therefore, reminded of God’s grace in allowing me to be a part of a worldwide ministry that equips His servants. And yet, I find that the servants are so few when the scope of the true need is considered. We are surrounded every day by people who have not heard of the Savior and do not know His love. Who is ready to tell them? I believe in our process of training and in our God’s ability to use that to equip able spokesmen of the Word, but oh, how we pray that He would send us more students. We have the space, we have the curriculum, but where are those who want to learn and serve? “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few” (Matt. 9:37). The ultimate pandemic in our world is one of sin, and its effects are eternal. Thanks be to God that He allows us to join Him in His labor of love.
I also reflect on the blessing that is mine to be a gospel preacher and to train others to share in this same glorious task. The primary purpose of SIBI in the midst of a broken and fractured generation has never been clearer nor more pressing. We are sending out ministers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to proclaim justification by faith in His name. This is our challenge, and this we are doing from our residential studies in Lubbock, from our 75-plus international partner schools, from more than 150 satellite schools around the U.S., and through more than 350 who study with us online. This is what we do and will do, by the grace of God
And, I am reminded of our true hope in Him who sets us free. The great plague of our world and our society is not ultimate, but in Christ, we have a living hope (1 Peter 1:3) through His resurrection from the dead. Personally, I am more hopeful today than I have ever been that the best is yet to be. I believe that Sunset is looking at a bright future as it trusts in the power of its Lord. His strength and His resources are readily available. His Word is an ever-present guide for all that we do, and His sacrifice has already secured our victory. Of all the people on this earth, WE ARE the most hopeful.
All my reflections bring me back to these two core things: that Jesus is my loving Lord and that I am to Preach the Word!
-Tim Burow SIBI President