From Bible Institute Freshman to Adoption & Foster Care Advocate.
I was a “Brooklyn boy” - born in the great state of New York - that is until we moved to Pennsylvania when I was only 4 years old. You see my father accepted a position at Camp Orchard Hill in Dallas PA to be their new Executive Director. Living at a camp? That’s a big change from the New York life I was accustomed to.
Growing up on a 125 acre camp is pretty much as cool as you think it is. I could not have asked for a better back yard. I loved the excitement of camp - retreats happening every weekend during the winter - youth camps going on all week through out the summer. Being a Christian camp, I frequently heard the Gospel from numerous speakers and teachers. And like many people who have given their life to Christ, I became a Christian at the age of 5 after hearing about Jesus during one of the camp programs.
We eventually moved again and my father became a pastor. I became an obnoxious pastor’s kid (you know the type). I liked to push boundaries - I liked to push buttons - but I always kept the faith decision I made at age 5 close to my heart.
As I entered highschool talk of college because more prevalent. Where would I go? What would I major in? Who was going to pay for it? I looked at many schools and did several campus visits but I was not convinced of where I wanted to go. My dad mentioned a school in Schroon Lake, NY (Where in the world was that?) called Word of Life Bible Institute. He said that while he had never been at the school himself, he had become a Christian many years earlier (Before I was born) at a youth rally lead by the WOLBI founder, Mr. Jack Wyrtzyn.
“Ok, let's check it out!”
We did! I loved it!
Spend a year studying only the Bible? No science? No math? No social studies?
My year at WOLBI flew by, but it was filled with memories - memories of learning from incredible Bible teachers - memories of late night study sessions - and of course memories of stuff I won’t write here publicly (After all, I was still an obnoxious pastor’s kid). The Biblical foundation I was given at WOLBI was priceless. The opportunity to spend a year studying God’s Word was a blessing - a blessing that has continued to be fruitville in all that I would do in the coming years.
Today, in large part, because of my time at the World of Life Bible Institute, I am serving Christ as an advocate for orphaned and vulnerable children and teenagers. I regularly speak, teach and write on issues related to orphan care, adoption and foster care. Over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to partner with churches, camps, Christian schools, adoption agencies and conferences to spread a message of God’s heart for the orphan.
I recently had the blessing of being able to release my first discipleship curriculum - an 8 session video series called Trusting The God of The Gospel (Helping You Disciple Your Adopted and Foster Teenagers).
I am exceedingly grateful for my time at WOLBI. It was formative - it was growing - and it was foundational to who I would eventually become. May God continue to bless the work begun by the late Jack Wyrtzen who was responsible for brining my very own father to Christ.
by Arthur C Woods
Need Help Talking To Your Adopted or Foster Teenager About God? Check out the latest video & discussion series by Arthur C Woods, called Trusting The God of The Gospel. This 8-Session course will help you as a parent or youth worker walk through the Gospel message with your teenager, in light of their past. Available at: www.TrustingTheGodOfTheGospel.com
This article originally appeared in The Experience Magazine by Word of Life Bible Institute